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CrisisWatch Database

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South Sudan

  |  1 Jul 2016

Deteriorated Risk Alert

No progress on peace deal implementation, fighting rose and govt and rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) prepared for return to war. Forces allied to SPLA-IO 11 June attacked Kajo Keji, former Central Equatoria State and 15 June attacked Raja, former Western Bahr el Ghazal State to demonstrate need for cantonment sites and unification into army or disarmament program in those areas. Independent armed group primarily comprising ethnic Fertit 25 June attacked and briefly captured Wau, second largest city; 10,000 civilians under UN protection and over 100,000 displaced. Govt delegation and Sudan govt 6 June in Khartoum committed to withdraw troops from Safe Demilitarised Border Zone along shared border and stop supporting rebel groups hostile to each other (see Sudan).

South Sudan

  |  1 Jun 2016

Unchanged
Transitional unity govt 27 May approved cantonment of rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) forces in Greater Equatoria and Bahr el Ghazal; 22 May formed committee to resolve controversial issues of boundaries and number of states as demanded by IGAD. Small groups of Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and SPLA-IO clashed in former Unity and Upper Nile states.

South Sudan

  |  2 May 2016

Improved Resolution Opportunity
Riek Machar, leader of armed Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO), returned to Juba 26 April and was sworn in as first VP. Govt, SPLM/A-IO and other political groups formed transitional govt 28 April. SPLM/A-IO armed personnel continued arriving in Juba, reaching more than 1,500. Ethiopian army 20 April entered S Sudan pursuing Murle tribesmen who crossed from S Sudan into Ethiopia and 15 April reportedly killed over 200 people and abducted over 100 children; negotiations between Juba and Addis ongoing end-month over Ethiopian force’s parameters within S Sudan (see Ethiopia).

South Sudan

  |  1 Apr 2016

Unchanged Resolution Opportunity
Initial steps in implementing August 2015 peace deal helped raise prospects for significant progress toward formation of transitional govt of national unity in April. First group of rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) forces arrived in Juba 28 March to prepare for return of their leader, VP designate Riek Machar. Complicating ongoing negotiations with Sudan including over disputed border areas, President Kiir sacked FM Barnaba Marial Benjamin after he wrote that academic from Abyei, claimed by both Sudan and South Sudan, was Sudanese not South Sudanese. Under peace agreement, former political detainees have chosen their leader Deng Alor, from Abyei, to be FM in forthcoming transitional govt. Sudan 29 March announced closure of border with South Sudan (see Sudan). East African Community (EAC) 2 March accepted South Sudan membership.

South Sudan

  |  1 Mar 2016

Unchanged

Peace deal implementation made some progress: President Kiir 11 Feb appointed Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) leader Riek Machar first VP and began movement of govt forces 25km away from Juba, both in accordance with deal. Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) 23 Feb announced agreement on implementation of transitional security arrangements, including SPLA-IO forces arrival in Juba. Constitutional amendment process suspended 21 Feb with most contentious issues to be managed through “Boundaries Commission” called for by Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). At least eighteen killed 17 Feb in fighting inside UNMISS civilian protection camp in Malakal; armed civilians and individual govt forces subsequently burnt down much of camp which hosts tens of thousands.

South Sudan

  |  1 Feb 2016

Unchanged
22 Jan deadline for formation of transitional govt under Aug 2015 peace agreement missed: President Kiir 7 Jan appointed 50 members of opposition SPLM/A-IO to parliament; distribution of ministries between govt and opposition groups announced same day. Some ethnic communities, IGAD, AU, U.S., UK and Norway criticised establishment of 28 states. Sudan govt 21 Jan announced willingness to renegotiate oil fees; South Sudan now losing money exporting oil. Setting conditions for negotiations, South Sudan troops 26 Jan moved five miles south of Sudan/South Sudan border and border opened 27 Jan in accordance with 2012 deal. Ugandan President Museveni 26 Jan received SPLM/A-IO head Riek Machar in Uganda to discuss Aug deal and Sudan-South Sudan-Uganda relations. 21 Jan UN report accused all conflict parties of war crimes; UN sanctions panel 26 Jan recommended arms embargo, sanctions on Kiir, Machar and top commanders.

South Sudan

  |  4 Jan 2016

Unchanged

Implementation of peace deal began in South Sudan: SPLM/A-IO advance delegation led by chief negotiator Taban Deng Gai 21 Dec arrived in Juba; parties held first meetings of joint peace institutions. Machar 6 Dec unilaterally announced formation of a political party structure amid ongoing debates over whether the SPLM/A-IO should rejoin SPLM or form independent party; Dhieu Mathok appointed Sec Gen, Machar’s wife Angelina Teny appointed chairperson of security and defence committee. Sporadic, low-level conflict continued, largely in Equatoria region. UNSC 15 Dec extended UNMISS mandate to July 2016, authorising use of drones. In violation of peace deal, president Kiir 24 Dec created 28 states by decree and appointed governors, dissolved previous ten states; announcement was condemned by SPLM/A-IO and alliance of eighteen political parties. Govt 24 Dec announced memorandum of understanding for negotiation with South Sudan Armed Forces/Federal Democratic Party (SSAF/FDP), breakaway group from the SPLM/A-IO, in bid to undermine Machar’s SPLM/A-IO.

South Sudan

  |  1 Dec 2015

Unchanged

IGAD heads of state summit meant to kick-start implementation of Aug peace deal delayed until 23 Nov; former Botswanan President Mogae 27 Nov inaugurated peace deal oversight body in Juba but SPLM/A-IO refused to participate. In accordance with peace deal, Ugandan forces 2 Nov completed withdrawal of forces deployed Dec 2013 in support of govt. Armed clashes continued in southern and central Unity state in violation of ceasefire. Shilluk Agualek forces increased rhetoric against Kiir govt over control of Malakal town. Conflict continued and expanded into new regions of the Equatorias, including Mundri, Mwagi, Opari, Ezo and Nimule, as several new armed groups declared themselves. President Kiir 18 Nov announced plans to normalise exchange rate, close gap between official exchange rate and black market rate that has deepened economic crisis. Normalisation will enable S Sudan to access loans from international financial institutions and to support peace implementation plan.

South Sudan

  |  2 Nov 2015

Unchanged

President Kiir 2 Oct unilaterally created additional eighteen states; keeping most oil-producing areas under pro-govt leadership; Kiir will appoint all governors and state MPs. Kiir-led SPLM National Liberation Council 16 Oct dissolved SPLM structures, removed all SPLM officials from positions; said SPLM/A-IO and SPLM-FD must return to Juba to be included in years-delayed SPLM convention, now set for Nov. SPLA-IO 26 Oct signed transitional security agreement, govt signed last month. IGAD 26 Oct appointed former Botswana president, Festus Mogae, as Chair of peace implementation monitoring mechanism “JMEC”. Conflict intensified in Western and Central Equatoria, particularly around Mundri. SPLA-IO 27 Oct merged with Equatorian armed group, REMNASA. African Union 28 Oct released report of inquiry into wartime atrocities; documented mass killings, rapes and forced cannibalism.

South Sudan

  |  1 Oct 2015

Unchanged

“Ceasefire and Transitional Security Workshop” laid out in 12 Aug IGAD Compromise Agreement to end civil war began 13 Sept, attended by members of SPLA, SPLA-IO and Former Detainees; parties agreed on six of seven agenda items, including permanent ceasefire modalities and shared command structure with only size and composition of forces in Juba unresolved. SPLA-IO only partially implementing agreement pending resolution of transitional security arrangements in Juba. Ceasefire largely holding since 16 Sept when parties provided declarations of disposition of forces to mediation though conflict in some locations flared, expanded in parts of Central and Western Equatoria where small groups taking up arms in response to local land grievances, abuses by security forces. AU late Sept announced it will start work on hybrid war crimes court as called for in peace agreement.

South Sudan

  |  1 Sep 2015

Improved Resolution Opportunity

Parties to conflict finally signed peace agreement, declared permanent ceasefire following months of negotiations. Chair of SPLM-IO, Riek Machar and Pagan Amum, representing the Former Detainees, 17 Aug signed final peace agreement that was modified following 16 August IGAD Heads of State summit which included meeting with Kiir and Machar. President Kiir 26 Aug signed deal after IGAD gave govt fifteen additional days for “consultations” and threatened sanctions, arms embargo if no signature following Kiir’s refusal to sign on 17 Aug deadline. Kiir and Machar declared permanent ceasefire effective midnight 30 August. Generals Peter Gadet and Gathoth Gathkuoth 13 Aug split from SPLM-IO; several other generals and politicians including head of opposition United Democratic Salvation Front (UDSF) party Gabriel Changson also withdrew support. Kiir 16 Aug announced dismissal of governors of Western and Central Equatoria, Warrap and Upper Nile states and put former Western Equatoria governor under house arrest for four days.

South Sudan

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged Resolution Opportunity

International community presented unified front to exert pressure on S Sudan’s warring parties to reach peace agreement: IGAD, African Union, UN, China and others, as part of new IGAD-PLUS mediation, 24 July proposed draft peace agreement, gave it to S Sudanese parties, gave them until 17 Aug to sign a final deal; S Sudanese parties dispute certain provisions but did not reject draft, raising hopes of agreement to end deadly 18-month conflict. U.S. President Obama late July visited Addis Ababa, met with regional leaders and Heads of State 27 July, discussed sanctions and other penalties for warring parties if they do not sign deal by 17 Aug. UNSC 2 July imposed sanctions on six govt and opposition generals. Most of ten SPLM Former Detainees (FDs), returned to Juba to mark Independence Day 9 July; notably the two most senior generals did not return. Low-level conflict in Maridi and Mundri forced over 4,000 civilians to flee parts of Western Equatoria.

South Sudan

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

Kenyan President Kenyatta 29 May announced “merger” of IGAD peace process and SPLM reunification process. Delegation of five out of ten SPLM-Former Detainees (FDs) early June visited S Sudan after considerable pressure from S Africa and Kenya: accompanied by S African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Kenyan and Ethiopian FMs. Former detainee Pagan Amum reinstated as Sec Gen of SPLM 23 June. Merged process stalled 28 June as talks with President Kiir and former VP Machar in Nairobi failed. IGAD special envoys 8-10 June held consultations with S Sudanese parties to conflict, gave parties a “synopsis” of a draft agreement. AU Summit 7-15 June inaugurated ad-hoc high-level committee and former Malian President Alpha Oumar Konaré as AU high rep for S Sudan. Meanwhile, low-level conflict continued in W Equatoria and W Bahr el Ghazal, and on 28 June fighting resumed in Malakal. UN 30 June released human rights report documenting widespread rape and burning women alive; said “level of cruelty … suggests a depth of antipathy that exceeds political differences”.

South Sudan

  |  1 Jun 2015

Deteriorated

Month saw most serious clashes since Aug in Upper Nile and Unity states, and escalating tensions along Sudan-South Sudan border. Fighting broke out 27 April in Unity state capital Benitu and surrounding areas when govt forces attacked SPLM-IO-held areas. Clashes late April involving SPLA and Sudanese SPLM-N rebels in Pariang. Fighting broke out 21 April between govt troops and allied Shilluk group under command of SPLA Gen. Johnson Olony in Upper Nile state capital Malakal; over 10,000 Shilluk fled back to ethnic Shilluk territory, further 4,000 took shelter with UNMISS. IGAD 11 March announced formation of “IGAD-Plus” mechanism to expand peace talks, yet talks not taking place. Tensions with Sudan escalated: Sudan reportedly bombed several suspected Sudan Revolutionary Front areas in S Sudan’s Bahr El Ghazal region 8-11 April; Sudan President Bashir 29 April threatened to pursue SRF rebels in S Sudan territory.

South Sudan

  |  30 Apr 2015

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Month saw most serious clashes since Aug in Upper Nile and Unity states, and escalating tensions along Sudan-South Sudan border. Fighting broke out 27 April in Unity state capital Benitu and surrounding areas when govt forces attacked SPLM-IO-held areas. Clashes late April involving SPLA and Sudanese SPLM-N rebels in Pariang. Fighting broke out 21 April between govt troops and allied Shilluk group under command of SPLA Gen. Johnson Olony in Upper Nile state capital Malakal; over 10,000 Shilluk fled back to ethnic Shilluk territory, further 4,000 took shelter with UNMISS. IGAD 11 March announced formation of “IGAD-Plus” mechanism to expand peace talks, yet talks not taking place. Tensions with Sudan escalated: Sudan reportedly bombed several suspected Sudan Revolutionary Front areas in S Sudan’s Bahr El Ghazal region 8-11 April; Sudan President Bashir 29 April threatened to pursue SRF rebels in S Sudan territory.

South Sudan

  |  1 Apr 2015

Deteriorated

Serious uptick in fighting accompanied 6 March suspension of IGAD-led peace negotiations after what were termed “final talks” between govt and SPLM-IO ended without agreement. IGAD chair called for future mediation led by expanded “IGAD-plus” group possibly including AU, China, EU and “troika” (U.S., UK, Norway); no date set for resumption of talks, govt 31 March said it will oppose troika’s participation in negotiations. UNSC 24 March threatened sanctions against “senior individuals”. Military operations increased: govt 6 March launched coordinated offensives in Upper Nile capturing Wadakona and advancing toward SPLA-IO HQ in Pagak; skirmishes took place in Unity state; SPLA-IO 26 March attacked Ayod in Jonglei, clashes ongoing. Govt 24 Feb offered amnesty to SPLA-IO members until 31 March. Parliament 24 March extended President Kiir and elected officials’ terms by three years.

South Sudan

  |  2 Mar 2015

Unchanged

IGAD-led negotiations ended 2 Feb without peace deal; President Kiir and former VP and SPLM-IO leader Machar recommitted to ceasefire, signed document outlining areas of agreement/disagreement regarding proposed transitional govt. Disputes remain over structure of executive. Delayed negotiations began 23 Feb; Kiir reversed previous commitment to attend; 5 March deadline still remains amid scepticism deal will be reached. Small clashes continued in Unity and Upper Nile states. Murle South Sudan Democratic Army-Cobra Faction (SSDA-CF) splinter group 13 Feb defected from govt, pledged allegiance to SPLA-IO. UN confirmed gunmen 14 Feb abducted at least 89 boys, now training as child soldiers, from Wau Shilluk near Malakal, Upper Nile state; thousands of children already fighters. Defence minister 3 Feb signed new Status of Forces agreement with Ugandan counterpart; Ugandan troops may remain in S Sudan another four months. Govt 13 Feb suspended elections scheduled for June for two years as negotiations continue. Kiir 24 Feb issued executive order reversing dismissal of senior party members.

South Sudan

  |  2 Feb 2015

Unchanged

Multiple mediation processes ongoing, leading to multiple, uncoordinated agreements and processes. Three SPLM factions (govt, SPLM-IO, and separate negotiating group “SPLM 7”) 21 Jan signed symbolic agreement to “reunify” following talks mediated by Tanzania; China held talks between govt and SPLM-IO in Khartoum 12 Jan. Delayed IGAD summit postponed to 31 Jan; President Kiir and former VP and SPLM-IO leader Machar 29 Jan met in Addis Ababa to discuss terms of possible agreement. Fighting continued in Unity, Upper Nile states. SPLM-IO accused govt troops, police, pro-govt militia of series of attacks; govt counter-claimed, IGAD investigating. Warring parties clashed in Unity oil fields 5 Jan. Clashes continued in Lakes state, including attempt on life of caretaker governor; casualties now higher in Lakes conflict than in Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity.

South Sudan

  |  5 Jan 2015

Deteriorated
Peace talks reached standstill in face of intransigence from both sides over details of power-sharing deal, while fighting continued despite Nov recommitment to cessation of hostilities agreement. SPLM-IO conference early Dec passed resolution agreeing to share power with Juba govt on condition PM has full executive powers. Conference rejected proposed positions for VP and deputy VP; agreed to federal system of 21 states; established for first time military command structure; also agreed to separate its political and military wings. Ongoing skirmishes in Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity. Push at UNSC to impose sanctions on warring parties 9 Dec. reached impasse over U.S. opposition. National Election Council 1 Dec presented election calendar, insisted elections would be held in 2015; Council of Ministers approved $517mn election budget.

South Sudan

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

Renewed fighting between govt and SPLA-IO despite 7 Nov recommitment to peace deal, at which parties recommitted to cessation of hostilities under pressure from regional body IGAD, Troika (U.S., UK and Norway) and China. IGAD threatened sanctions if ceasefire broken. Talks due to resume in late Nov but now postponed “indefinitely”; no IGAD sanctions at 25 Nov expiry of two-week deadline set by IGAD for warring parties to reach power-sharing deal. SPLM-IO 10 Nov proposed elimination of VP position as part of transitional govt, seen by many as tactic to prolong negotiations; govt refused request. Parties late Nov traded accusations over reported attacks in Jonglei. UNMISS mandate extended 24 Nov with few changes. Canada 1 Nov imposed sanctions against rebel commander Peter Gatdet and presidential guard commander Marial Chanuong for violations of 23 Jan 2014 cessation of hostilities deal.

South Sudan

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged Risk Alert

Warring parties preparing major offensives as hardliners appear determined to settle civil conflict through war: fighting continued throughout month, SPLA-IO 28 Oct launched major attacks on Bentiu prompting govt to threaten withdrawal from peace talks. UNSG Ban 30 Oct condemned renewed violence, urged parties to participate in negotiations, reach agreement on transitional arrangements. SPLM factions had late-Oct signed framework agreement on SPLM reform in Tanzania and accepted joint responsibility for war. Violence among Dinka clans and between civilians and SPLA following a forced disarmament campaign left hundreds dead in Lakes state. National Assembly 8 Oct passed controversial National Security Services bill; allows for arrests without warrants, shields officers from accountability, provides wide powers of surveillance and authority. MPs from ruling and opposition parties staged walkout after request for 72 hours to review revised bill rejected by Speaker of Assembly.

South Sudan

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged

Fresh fighting erupted around oil facilities in Upper Nile’s Renk County 18 Sept. IGAD-led talks resumed 22 Sept following discredited Aug peace deal. Despite agreement on formation of transitional govt, President Kiir 2 Sept began preparations for 2015 general elections. SPLM-IO 22 Sept announced opening office in Kampala; delegation 20 Sept visited Beijing for bilateral talks with Chinese govt; China 21 Sept halted arms sales to govt; 25 Sept confirmed to send 700 troops to UNMISS for civilian protection later this year, particularly around oil installations. U.S. 18 Sept extended sanctions to SPLA Major General Santino Deng, SPLA-IO Major General James Koang Chuol for prolonging conflict. Authorities 16 Sept announced plan to ban foreign aid workers by 15 Oct, to be replaced by nationals; 17 Sept rescinded order.

South Sudan

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

Warring parties missed 10 Aug deadline for formation of transitional govt; AU, UNSC, IGAD renewed threats of punitive action against spoilers. IGAD 25 Aug announced new ceasefire deal and protocol for formation of transitional unity govt, including provisions on opposition PM, transitional justice, finance management and humanitarian concerns; threatened sanctions if govt not formed within 45 days. SPLM-IO 28 Aug refused to sign deal, said unhappy with PM provisions. Violence continued including killing of several aid workers; fresh fighting erupted 15 Aug in Unity and Jonglei states; further clashes outside Malakal town 21 Aug. UN helicopter 26 Aug crashed near Bentiu, killing 3; both sides traded accusations. UNDPKO deputy head 6 Aug said humanitarian aid operations in South Sudan largest in world; UN aid chief 28 Aug warned of famine if violence continues.

South Sudan

  |  1 Aug 2014

Deteriorated

Heavy fighting resumed: govt mid-July attacked 3 towns in Unity state including WFP food distribution site; SPLA-IO 19-21 July reclaimed control of Nasir; army 25 July retook town. Nasir attack condemned by IGAD, UN, AU, U.S.; no condemnation of govt offensive. SPLA-IO 22 July attacked Jonglei’s Ayod town; fighting ongoing. Both sides preparing for more intensive combat Mid- July request by Jonglei’s community leaders for UNMISS to relocate Nuer civilians from Bor to home areas or refugee camps prompted fears of another attack on UN base. Hundreds of Northern Bahr el Ghazal armed youth 16 July joined SPLA-IO; sporadic fighting continued in Northern and Western Bahr el Ghazal. Equatorians reiterated calls for federal govt structure to break “Dinka-dominated” power as tensions increased and clashes reported between Central Equatoria Mundari youths and Presidential Guard in Juba; SPLM-IO 16 July introduced 21-state scheme based on 1956 boundaries; some senior govt officials firmly opposed to federalism and increase in number of states but plan popular among many. IGAD-led peace talks expected to resume after over a month of hiatus delayed again; govt 29 July tried to exclude 10 political parties from talks; transitional govt agreed to as part of 10 June agreement unlikely to be established by 10 Aug deadline. Peace agreement with David Yau Yau’s South Sudan Democratic Movement/Army-Cobra Faction (SSDM/A-CF) now law; creates and gives special status to Jonglei’s Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA), though tensions remain high around Boma and Pibor Town. EU 10 July announced sanctions against army general Santino Deng and SPLA-IO military leader Peter Gadet for ceasefire violations; renewed arms embargo. Amnesty International 17 July called for UNSC embargo amid reports of massive Chinese weapons transfer to Kiir’s govt. UNSC 25 July said South Sudan food crisis worst in world.

South Sudan

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

IGAD 10 June announced agreement reached to form transitional govt within 60 days, amid increasing threats of sanctions by mediation body. Despite pressure, govt boycotted upcoming talks after IGAD Executive Sec Mahboub Maalim allegedly referred to govt and opposition as “stupid”; Kiir 17 June demanded formal apology. SPLM-IO 22 June announced talks boycott over unfair selection of civil society organisations and preponderance of govt-affiliated representatives in mediation. Govt defections continued including 18 SPLM MPs 9 June; former SPLM detainee Ezekiel Gatkuoth 27 June joined rebels; at least 3,000 soldiers early June deserted in Upper Nile and Jonglei over non-payment of salaries. SPLA-IO also divided, several ground commanders critical of Machar’s participation in talks. Fighting continued in Jonglei, Upper Nile, Unity, including around oil areas. Humanitarian situation deteriorated with start of rainy season: UN 14 June warned 7mn at risk of starvation and disease, including 50,000 children; WHO 24 June reported almost 2,000 cases of cholera.

South Sudan

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

President Kiir, SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar 9 May signed agreement in Addis Ababa committing to cessation of hostilities, agreed to transitional govt and participatory peace process; Kiir 12 May postponed 2015 elections. Despite renewed ceasefire armed clashes continued as Nasir SPLA-IO HQ captured by govt and Bentiu captured by SPLA-IO. UNHCR 6 May reported over 11,000 predominantly-Nuer refugees crossing into Ethiopia for fear of ethnically-targeted attacks; similar movements reported into Sudan after clashes around Bentiu. UNMISS report 8 May found reasonable grounds to believe crimes against humanity committed by both sides; UNSG Ban 12 May urged creation of Special Tribunal to investigate; UNMISS staff reportedly assaulted and detained mid-month in Juba. U.S. Sec State Kerry 1 May warned of possible genocide; new UNMISS mandate enables regional force deployment and prioritizes protection of civilians; U.S. 6 May announced first sanctions against head of presidential guard and SPLA-IO military leader. UN humanitarian chief Amos 20 May warned 4mn threatened by famine, urged warring parties to allow humanitarian access.

South Sudan

  |  1 May 2014

Deteriorated

Fighting between govt and SPLA-in-Opposition (SPLA-IO) and targeting of civilians on basis of ethnicity escalated as both parties continued to trade allegations of ceasefire violations. Over 200 killed and 400 wounded during 15-16 April SPLA-IO capture of Bentiu; UN 21 April reported targeted ethnic killings, said killings “game changer”; SPLA-IO 22 April denied accusations, blamed retreating govt forces. Armed youths 17 April attacked UNMISS base sheltering nearly 5,000 displaced in Bor, Jonglei, killing at least 58 and injuring 98; attackers reportedly targeted civilians on basis of ethnicity; UN said attack “war crime”. UN 23 April threatened sanctions; UN human rights chief Pillay and Special Envoy for Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng visited 28-30 April, met with SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar and President Kiir, Pillay condemned “apparent lack of concern displayed” by both. UN aid convoy attacked 24 April in Upper Nile, perpetrators not identified. Kiir 23 April replaced Nuer army and Bor Dinka intelligence chiefs with Bahr el Ghazal Dinka. IGAD 28 April announced resumption of peace talks after several weeks’ adjournment; mediators 7 April agreed to exclude 7 former SPLM detainees (“SPLM 7”) from negotiations. Govt 25 April released 4 remaining treason suspects, dropped charges; 4 reportedly prevented from leaving country. IGAD Ceasefire Monitoring and Verification Teams dispatched 1 April; ongoing discussions over deployment and mandate of IGAD Protection and Deterrence Force. U.S. President Obama 3 April authorised possible sanctions against anyone inciting or committing violence, failing to engage constructively in peace talks, interfering with humanitarian operations; specific govt and SPLA-IO targets not yet identified. SPLM 5 April announced Intra-Party Dialogue Forum, sponsored by South African and Ethiopian ruling parties; discussions postponed until after IGAD parties reconvene.

South Sudan

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Armed conflict between govt and SPLM/A-in-Opposition continued despite Jan ceasefire agreement, including fierce clashes over Malakal late month. Second round of talks between govt and SPLM/A-in-Opposition led by former VP Riek Machar ended with no breakthrough: govt continued to demand return of 7 released detainees to Juba for trial; opposition continue to demand withdrawal of Ugandan and others foreign forces. Third round of talks opened 26 March with both govt and opposition threatening boycotts; parties unable to agree on Declaration of Principles; IGAD 31 March requested suspension of talks for 1 month. IGAD 13 March approved Protection and Deterrent Force (PDF), though mandate and composition still unclear, may include Uganda. Security officials in Lakes State 6 March intercepted 11 UN trucks transporting UNMISS firearms and uniforms; govt accused UNMISS of plotting to arm opposition; VP James Wani Igga 10 March led protest against UNMISS in Juba, called for resignation of UN SRSG and UNMISS head Hilde Johnson. EU and 10 states 28 March issued statement reiterating support for UNMISS, condemning obstruction by govt and opposition forces. UNOCHA 29 March reported over 1 million displaced by conflict so far.

South Sudan

  |  1 Mar 2014

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Violence escalated ahead of rainy season despite 23 Jan ceasefire with reports of atrocities on both sides; tens of thousands fled fighting. Second round of talks between govt and “SPLM/A-in-Oppostion”, including “SPLM 7” released from detention last month, have not begun; SPLM/A-in-Opposition leader and former VP Riek Machar reiterated calls for release of 4 remaining political detainees currently charged with treason, withdrawal of Ugandan forces. Govt and SPLM/A-in-Opposition forces continued to clash; SPLM/A-in-Opposition 21 Feb took control of Malakal; currently moving towards oil-producing areas in Upper Nile. Govt increasingly fiscally unstable, threatening non-payment of salaries to soldiers. UNMISS late Feb reported civilians targeted by both sides; UN OCHA said 740,000 displaced by conflict, FAO issued famine warning. 

South Sudan

  |  1 Feb 2014

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Govt 28 Jan announced treason charges against 7 opposition politicians including former VP Riek Machar over alleged Dec coup attempt, raising fears over fate of ceasefire agreed 23 Jan between govt and armed opposition following IGAD mediation. Machar said treason charges were govt attempt to derail peace process, called for President Kiir’s resignation. 23 Jan deal included agreement on release of political detainees held by govt but failed to address underlying causes of conflict; 7 of 11 detainees released to Kenya 29 Jan, other 4 to stand trial for treason; govt late Jan said 4 detainees would be released in time to participate in peace talks scheduled to begin 7 Feb. Armed opposition, govt late-Jan accused each other of violating ceasefire; UN 27 Jan called for “robust” monitoring of ceasefire. Ongoing clashes in Unity State forced thousands to flee late-Jan. Fighting continued throughout IGAD mediation as govt forces backed by Ugandan army retook major towns seized by armed opposition in Dec including Bor 18 Jan, oil capital Bentiu 10 Jan and Malakal 20 Jan. AU 16 Jan affirmed commitment to begin investigation of rights abuses; UN ASG for Human Rights Ivan Šimonovic visited 17 Jan, said both sides committed atrocities. UN estimates 770,000 displaced in fighting since Dec 2013; nearly 70,000 inside UN bases. UN USG for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos visited late-Jan, highlighted dire humanitarian situation. David Yau Yau, Murle rebel leader, signed peace agreement with govt late-Jan. 

South Sudan

  |  2 Jan 2014

Deteriorated Risk Alert

S Sudan on cusp of civil war after President Kiir accused former VP Riek Machar of attempted coup 17 Dec; UN reported over 1,000 killed, 180,000 displaced by escalating violence. Clashes began in Juba, rapidly spread to Unity and Jonglei states. Violence particularly heavy in Bor, Jonglei, where AU 23 Dec said “war crimes” had been committed: Machar claimed Ugandan jets backing Kiir’s forces bombed Bor 21 Dec; Bor has changed hands 3 times, currently under control of rebel forces “loyal” to Machar. Machar 19 Dec reportedly called on army to oust Kiir; rebel troops 22 Dec took Bentiu, capital of oil-rich Unity state. Regional FMs 20 Dec, mediators 21 Dec met with President Kiir to discuss crisis; Rebecca Garang, John Garang’s widow, met with Kiir 21 Dec but no breakthrough. Govt 27 Dec pledged to observe immediate ceasefire; Machar agreed to talks mediated by regional peace and security body Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD); talks began 2 Jan in Ethiopia. UNSC 24 Dec increased peacekeeping force to 12,500, called for “immediate cessation of hostilites”, dialogue. UN evacuated all non-essential staff; 2 UNMISS peacekeepers killed in attack on Aboko UN base.

South Sudan

  |  2 Dec 2013

Unchanged

Early Nov results of unilateral unofficial referendum on Abyei status held by Ngok Dinka 27-30 Oct showed 99.98% of voters in favour of joining S Sudan; Sudan dismissed results, S Sudan govt has not officially endorsed results. UN 25 Nov extended Abyei peacekeeping mission to May 2014. President Kiir 20 Nov met Sudan President Bashir on sidelines of Africa-Arab summit, discussed bilateral relations. Dr Lam Akol, chairman of SPLM-DC who ran against President Kiir in 2010 elections, 2 Nov returned from self-imposed exile in Khartoum. UN SRSG Hilde Johnson 18 Nov said S Sudan “at crossroads”, warned that despite some positive signs, continuing deadly inter-communal conflict, abuses by security forces and challenges in extending govt authority could threaten security. 5 killed 29 Nov in civilian attack on security forces in Unity state. LRA rebels reportedly attacked 5 villages in W Equatoria state late Nov, killing 3.

South Sudan

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

Media reported rumours rebel leader David Yau Yau in talks with govt; Murle elders and former rebels who have already accepted President Kiir’s amnesty offer reportedly serving as facilitators. Nearly 80 reportedly killed in rebel attack in Jonglei state mid-month. Govt continued to encourage return of displaced Ngok Dinka to Abyei, pressured AU to go ahead with proposed referendum or refer case to UNSC; Ngok Dinka tribe held unilateral referendum, voted to join S Sudan.

South Sudan

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

President Kiir 23 Sept suggested 2015 general elections may be delayed, cited lack of funds for census and completion of new constitution. Kiir early Sept visited Khartoum, discussed post-secession issues; Sudanese President Bashir agreed not to close oil pipeline. Govt continued to urge Abyei communities to return to region, register and prepare for planned Oct referendum on status of region; AU 24 Sept urged Sudan and S Sudan to refrain from any unilateral actions including holding of referendum, 27 Sept urged countries to “urgently” restart talks. Ministry of Oil and Petroleum early-Sept announced S Sudan received $969mn since resuming oil production in April, 20% paid to Sudan govt.

South Sudan

  |  1 Sep 2013

Unchanged

Lawmakers 24 Aug unanimously endorsed parliamentary speaker James Wani Igga as new VP; parliament 25 Aug delayed election of new speaker after failing to reach consensus on Igga’s replacement. UNSC 23 Aug condemned attacks on civilians in Jonglei state, called for humanitarian access. Dozen of SPLA officers reportedly jailed mid-Aug for role in human rights abuses in Jonglei; President Kiir 25 Aug announced investigation into abuses. Rebel David Yau Yau responded positively to Kiir’s renewed offer of amnesty, but demanded “international participation” in peace talks, notably by UNMISS. Hundreds protested 25 Aug in Juba against deteriorating security following killing of 2 police officers in Nyakurona West 24 Aug.

South Sudan

  |  1 Aug 2013

Deteriorated

Security deteriorated in Jonglei where fresh fighting between Lou Nuer and Murle early July left scores dead and hundreds injured, and attacks by rebels led by David Yau Yau continued in Pibor county. Media reported several rebel commanders killed, David Yau Yau wounded, SPLM captured military base. Human Rights Watch accused SPLM of abuses against civilians in anti-insurgency operations in Jonglei, failing to stop Lou Nuer youth mobilising against Murle. President Kiir 23 July dismissed VP Riek Machar and all cabinet and deputy ministers following increased tensions within ruling SPLM, 31 July announced new cabinet members. Govt mid-July announced plans to shut down oil production following Sudanese President Bashir’s threat to close pipelines (see Sudan); 23 July said Sudan decision “unjustifiable” and “material breach” of Sept 2012 cooperation agreement.

South Sudan

  |  1 Jul 2013

Unchanged

Tensions with Sudan over oil, rebels continued (see Sudan). Upper Nile rebels led by Johnson Olonyi 13 June met with SPLA leaders, accepted govt amnesty. Médecins sans Frontières 14 June said govt blocking aid delivery by not allowing agencies to leave cities; Human Rights Watch accused security forces of detaining over 130 civilians without charge, other rights abuses. President Kiir mid-June dismissed Ministers of Finance Minister and Cabinet Affairs, accused of corruption.

South Sudan

  |  1 Jun 2013

Unchanged

Govt accused Khartoum of involvement in 4 May killing of Abyei former Chief Kuol Deng Kuol and UNISFA peacekeeper. Govt 21 May said oil production halved in face of new “problems” exporting through Sudan; 27 May said oil will arrive in Port Sudan mid-June. Army 20 May retook Boma Town in Jonglei state, seized 7 May by David Yau Yau rebels; U.S. and several European states called on govt to find political solution to conflict. UN 31 May said 23,500 have fled fighting in Jonglei state. Members of security forces reportedly involved in looting in Pibor county. UN SRSG Johnson 27 May said UN peacekeepers lack capacity to protect civilians in Pibor. President Kiir 7 May dismissed Ajonge Perpetuar, deputy head of legal drafting team, and Elias Nyamlell Wako, deputy FM, following announcement that he will no longer tolerate criticism by members of his cabinet. UNAMID peacekeeping mandate extended by 6 months.

South Sudan

  |  1 May 2013

Unchanged

Talks with Sudan 23-25 April resulted in agreement to open or reopen 10 border corridors, establish Joint Security Committee (JSC) to deal with rebel demands and other disputes; UNSG Ban welcomed direct talks and agreements. Oil production resumed 7 April following March agreement. Clashes in Jonglei continued; a dozen people killed in attack on UNMISS peacekeepers 9 April including 5 UN troops. Both SPLA and Yau Yau rebels denied responsibility; UNMISS deployed additional forces to region. SPLA soldier and 3 rebels killed in attack on Pibor town by Yau Yau rebels 30 April. SSLA rebels surrendered 26 April following govt announcement of presidential amnesty. Over 20 killed mid-April in clashes in Eastern Equatoria, including 4 medical staff reportedly killed by security forces.

South Sudan

  |  1 Apr 2013

Unchanged

Govt 12 March signed security agreement with Sudan; both govts mid-month began withdrawal of troops from demilitarised border zone. Govt 26 March said oil flow will resume soon; Sudan and S Sudan central banks 30 March agreed on methodology and experts to facilitate collection of Khartoum oil revenues. Reports late month suggested Khartoum has abandoned demand for 50% of administrative positions in Abyei administration, prompting hopes long-delayed referendum will be held. SPLA repeatedly clashed with rebels in Jonglei state; over 150 rebels, 20 govt troops reportedly killed 26 March in Pibor county.

South Sudan

  |  1 Mar 2013

Unchanged

UN SRSG Johnson 19 Feb visited Jonglei state, urged communities to break cycle of violence following 8 Feb killing of over 100, abduction of unknown number in attack by rebels loyal to David Yau Yau. Lou Nuer and Great Akobo Youth Association protested attack, called for greater protection, decisive action in disarming Murle. Govt accused Sudan of bombing disputed area Jaw, at border of Unity state, 14 Feb; UN SRSG confirmed incident. SPLA early Feb accused Sudan of building up forces along disputed border, reinforced Upper Nile state border garrisons. Amnesty International accused govt of rights violations, unlawful detentions.

South Sudan

  |  1 Feb 2013

Unchanged

Talks with Sudan continued: Presidents 6 Jan agreed to abide by timelines for security, border and oil deals but following a week of talks mid-month both sides accused each other of making new demands. Plans to resume oil exports delayed after negotiations failed to reach agreement on demilitarised zone. Govt official 30 Jan said Sudan attempting to wage “economic war” on S Sudan. Govt 22 Jan dismissed over 30 top army officers, including all 6 deputy chiefs of staff, denied link to rumoured coup attempt. SPLA 26-27 Jan clashed with former Yau Yau rebels in Pibor town, Jonglei state, displacing thousands. Police 24 Jan arrested traditional leader in Warrap state accused of recruiting and establishing training camp for personal vigilante group. At least 2 killed 24 Jan when SPLA clashed with armed pastoralists in Lakes state.

South Sudan

  |  30 Dec 2012

Unchanged

At least 10 killed 8-9 Dec when protesters clashed with police in Wau town following move of local govt seat to nearby Bagarre. Relatives of those killed reportedly kidnapped 28 pro-govt Dinka tribespeople; discovery of 6 Dinka bodies 19 Dec reignited violence, protests. Many residents fled town, govt flew in police reinforcements from Juba, UN deployed peacekeepers. New round of talks with Sudan reached agreement on steps toward border security (see Sudan). 29 militia fighters, 5 soldiers reportedly killed mid-month in army operation to combat ethnic militias in Jonglei, targeting fighters led by self-proclaimed prophet Dak Kueth. Journalist critical of govt shot dead 5 Dec outside home in Juba; President Kiir announced full investigation, UN condemned killing. Army 21 Dec shot down UN peacekeeping helicopter, killing 4 crew members, said it mistook it for Sudanese plane.

South Sudan

  |  1 Dec 2012

Unchanged

President Kiir 26 Nov said oil production, scheduled to resume 15 Nov, delayed due to new Khartoum security demands that Juba disarm SPLM-N. Govt 23 Nov condemned Khartoum for “continuous unprovoked attacks” on Bahr el-Ghazal region, killing and injuring scores of civilians and displacing over 900; Khartoum denied responsibility. 19 rebels, 1 soldier reportedly killed 19 Nov in SPLA attack on base of David Yau Yau rebels in Jonglei. Govt 4 Nov expelled UN human rights investigator.

South Sudan

  |  1 Nov 2012

Unchanged

Parliament 16 Oct ratified border and oil deal with Sudan; hundreds 15 Oct protested against demilitarisation of contested border areas. Govt 18 Oct ordered oil companies to resume production, ending 9-month shutdown. Govt 23 Oct expressed disappointment over AUHIP call to extend Abyei mediation efforts, said extension not consistent with AU roadmap, UN Resolution 2060. 5, including soldier, killed 19 Oct by unknown gunmen in Bor county, Jonglei. Amnesty International 3 Oct accused security forces of widespread abuses in Jonglei disarmament campaign. Govt 24 Oct announced plans to mediate Ethiopia-Eritrea border dispute. VP Machar 19 Oct dismissed rumours of coup plot following 11 Oct arrest of senior military officer and visit by President Kiir to SPLA HQ, speech warning against coups.

South Sudan

  |  1 Oct 2012

Unchanged

President Kiir 23-25 Sept met with Sudanese President Bashir, 27 Sept signed deal on demilitarised zone, oil, no agreement reached on disputed Abyei region. Govt 14 Sept issued revision of oil-exploration rights, divided Total license area into 3 blocks citing Total’s failure to expedite exploration. UN peacekeepers 24 Sept reportedly witnessed Sudanese airdrop to rebel Yau Yau in Jonglei state.

South Sudan

  |  1 Sep 2012

Unchanged

AU mediator Mbeki 3 Aug announced breakthrough deal on oil transportation fees; Juba, Khartoum said implementation of deal linked to progress in other areas; new round of talks scheduled early Sept. Abyei Joint Oversight Committee 10 Aug established peaceful coexistence pact; govt 24 Aug accused Sudan of keeping troops in Abyei with aim of provoking war. At least 24 SPLA soldiers killed 22 Aug, 30 Aug in clashes with militia led by former army general David Yau Yau in Pibor county; Jonglei governor said attack part of wider rebellion. Human Rights Watch sharply criticised Jonglei disarmament campaign in 23 Aug letter to President Kiir, reported widespread torture, abuse; reports corroborated by UNMISS 24 Aug.

South Sudan

  |  1 Aug 2012

Unchanged

S Sudan 9 July marked first anniversary of independence with series of celebrations. Month saw increasing signs of economic crisis as foreign currency supplies ran low, consumer prices continued to rise, infrastructure projects continued to stall due to shortage of funds. Negotiations with Sudan on security, oil, border demarcation failed ahead of 2 Aug deadline (see Sudan).

South Sudan

  |  1 Jul 2012

Unchanged

Govt 1 June said complaint filed with UNSC against Sudan for continued presence in disputed Abyei, 13 June said seeking international arbitration for border dispute. UNSC 18 June welcomed resumption of negotiations, reduction of violence, called on Sudan to withdraw police from Abyei. Talks with Sudan 4, 21 June failed to achieve real progress after negotiators disagreed on delimitation of Safe Demilitarised Border Zone. UN 14 June announced investigation into reports police abducted, raped women during Jonglei disarmament; UNMISS 24 June released report into intercommunal violence, criticised “longstanding impunity”. Justice Minister Mohamed Dousa appointed new war crimes prosecutor for Darfur.

South Sudan

  |  1 Jun 2012

Unchanged

UNSC 2 May adopted resolution calling for withdrawal of S Sudan and Sudan armed forces from disputed areas, establishment of joint border security mechanisms, endorsed AUHIP-mediated negotiations, threatened sanctions against Sudan, S Sudan if they fail to comply with AU roadmap for talks; govt 29 May said Sudan bombarded Werguet, Majak Woi border, Khartoum denied attack; talks resumed 29 May. UN Human Rights chief Pillay visited 8-12 May, called for continued vigilance in combating human rights violations, criticised recent bombing raids by Sudan. UNSG Ban 12 May commended S Sudan on withdrawal of “special police” forces from Abyei, called on Khartoum to do same, establish Abyei Area Administration. UNSC 17 May extended mandate of Abyei peacekeeping force by 6 months. Aid group Medecins Sans Frontiers accused military of rape, torture, extrajudicial killing of Muerle tribe members during disarmament campaign initiated March 2012. Jonglei state tribal leaders 5 May signed agreement to end cycle of inter-ethnic clashes.

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