South Sudan

Since fighting erupted in Juba in July 2016 and a major rebel faction returned to war, rebel groups have proliferated though conflict is much reduced from its height in 2014. The government’s current strategy can secure Juba but cannot deliver sustainable nationwide peace. Of the millions experiencing hunger due to the conflict’s impact on civilians, the UN declared 100,000 in famine conditions for several months in 2017. Through field-based research and engagement with relevant national, regional and international actors, Crisis Group aims to support humanitarian access and build a new consensus around sustainable peace efforts that address the regionalised nature of the conflict as well as its localised dynamics.

CrisisWatch South Sudan

Unchanged Situation

Monitoring body confirmed roadmap to extend transitional govt’s rule to 2025; deadly violence persisted, notably in Upper Nile state as fighting erupted at site for displaced persons.

Roadmap to extend transitional period until Feb 2025 confirmed. Members of Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, responsible for tracking implementation of 2018 peace agreement, 1 Sept confirmed extending transitional period beyond anticipated Feb 2023 end until Feb 2025; extension provides additional 24 months for govt to address outstanding tasks of agreement. UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) chief Nicolas Haysom 16 Sept told UN Security Council that next few months will be litmus test for political parties to demonstrate their commitment to roadmap. Meanwhile, nearly 7,000 troops from Bahr el Ghazal region 21 Sept integrated into unified forces, and another 1, 701 troops from Jonglei state capital, Bor, on 27 Sept; creating unified armed forces command remains key provision of 2018 peace agreement.

Violence persisted, notably in Upper Nile state with hundreds reportedly killed. In Upper Nile (north east), fighting continued between breakaway splinter factions of VP Machar’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) after ethnic Nuer Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual removed ethnic Shilluk Gen. Johnson Olony as deputy of his “Kitgwang” faction in Aug. Notably, UN 8 Sept reported that fighting between Gatwech- and Olony-aligned groups had erupted day before near Adidiang island where thousands forced to flee fighting had taken refuge; according to unconfirmed reports, up to 300 people were killed in attacks. In Greater Pibor Administrative Area (east), unknown assailants 13 Sept killed herdsman and stole 21 cattle. In disputed Abyei Administrative Area along border with Sudan, armed youth from Twic country (Warrap state) 25 Sept reportedly attacked Aneet and Agok villages, killing six.

Security situation remained fragile in Unity state, UN called for accountability. Amid persistent high level violence in Unity State, UNMISS and UN Human Rights body 6 Sept released joint report on fighting from 11 Feb to 31 May between forces loyal to President Kiir and elements of SPLM/A-IO loyal to VP Machar in Unity state. Report found that fighting left 173 civilians killed and 45,000 displaced, highlighted need for accountability for abuses to address ongoing conflict.

Continue reading

In The News

9 Aug 2021
There is still no sign of a broader reset in South Sudanese politics [...] instead, the divisions just keep mounting. New York Times

Alan Boswell

Project Director, Horn of Africa
9 Jul 2021
[South Sudan] is just, unfortunately, in a much worse spot than it was 10 years ago. Whenever I talk with various diplomats from different countries [...] they all fear c... Al Jazeera

Alan Boswell

Project Director, Horn of Africa
13 Aug 2020
Disarmament in South Sudan resembles an abusive counterinsurgency operation, not an orderly collection of arms, which the local militias often resist giving up. The New York Times

Alan Boswell

Project Director, Horn of Africa
8 May 2020
The disagreement between Kiir and Machar has endangered the gains made toward a lasting peace. Reuters

Alan Boswell

Project Director, Horn of Africa
20 Feb 2020
"[South Sudan president Kiir and former rebel leader Machar] still have much to work through, but Machar was unlikely to extract more significant concessions before formi... Reuters

Alan Boswell

Project Director, Horn of Africa
16 Feb 2020
[In South Sudan] the dispute over the configuration of states became a major impasse blocking the peace process from moving towards a unity government. Al Jazeera

Alan Boswell

Project Director, Horn of Africa

Latest Updates

Our People

Alan Boswell

Project Director, Horn of Africa
Alan Boswell