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South Sudan

CrisisWatch South Sudan

Deteriorated Situation

In response to U.S. postponement of decision on whether to lift sanctions on Sudan (see Sudan), Sudan late July supported S Sudanese rebels, Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO), to launch attacks from Sudan against govt forces in northern Unity oil field. Despite govt’s unilateral ceasefire declared in May, govt forces negotiated and fought with SPLA-IO near Pagak, SPLA-IO’s former HQ, in north east during July to secure area for oil refinery project with Ethiopia. SPLA-IO 30 July near DRC border clashed with group who defected from it to join opposing rebel group, National Salvation Front. Troika members (U.S., UK and Norway) and EU 20 July denounced attacks by opposition and govt forces’ “clear violation” of ceasefire. National Dialogue Steering Committee (NDSC) delegation early July went to South Africa to meet rebel leader Riek Machar and invite his input in National Dialogue design. NDSC 3 July said Machar declined to meet. President Kiir 10 July earmarked 2.4bn S Sudanese pounds for NDSC activities.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

20 Apr 2017
[There is] a much more chaotic situation on the ground [of South Sudan] than, let's say, two years ago, when [there was] one government, one armed opposition. Voice of America
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Casie Copeland

Senior Analyst
1 Dec 2016
From the war's outset the UN never tried to maintain a death toll [in South Sudan]. Guesses vary from 50,000 up to 300,000. It demonstrates a shocking lack of humanity that no one has tried to establish the scale of violence. Reuters
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Casie Copeland

Senior Analyst
18 Aug 2016
The over-focus on a new peacekeeping mandate at the expense of political developments in the country [South Sudan] reflects international disunity and a lack of political strategy. Washington Post
13 Aug 2016
We need some kind of political solution to this conflict, and this resolution doesn’t do that. Financial Times
9 Aug 2016
It's time for real talk because while the diplomats are playing games, it will be the South Sudanese who are dying Los Angeles Times
18 Jul 2016
It [South Sudan's peace agreement] halted the fighting, created a framework for reform, transitional justice and elections and prevented regional powers being further sucked into South Sudan's war AFP

Latest Updates

Report / Africa

China’s Foreign Policy Experiment in South Sudan

China, traditionally averse to intervening abroad, is testing the role of peacebuilder in South Sudan, where it has unique leverage. This could portend a growing global security role, but further Chinese engagement will likely be tempered by self-interest, capacity constraints and aversion to risk.

Also available in 简体中文
Statement / Global

Instruments of Pain: Conflict and Famine

For the first time in three decades, four countries, driven by war, verge on famine. Over coming weeks, Crisis Group will publish special briefings on Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria. Each conflict requires tailored response; all need increased aid and efforts to end the violence.

Statement / Africa

Twelve Points for the New African Union Commission Chairperson

Africa is experiencing the highest number of humanitarian crises since the 1990s. As the new chair of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, takes office, International Crisis Group suggests how he can strengthen the organisation’s response to threats to continental peace and security.

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Report / Africa

South Sudan: Rearranging the Chessboard

President Salva Kiir has played a weak hand well since his main rival was forced out of Juba in July. To avoid new flare-ups in South Sudan’s three-year-old civil war, Kiir and regional states should step up their work on a more inclusive transitional government and peace deals with local rebel groups.

Commentary / Africa

South Sudan’s Risky Political Impasse

International actors are struggling to respond to the evolving situation in South Sudan, meanwhile regional actors are busy creating facts on the ground.