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South Sudan

CrisisWatch South Sudan

Unchanged Situation

President Kiir 9 May replaced ethnic Dinka army chief Paul Malong with ethnic Luo James Ajonga Mawut and 23 May restructured army command. Govt offensive against ethnic Shilluk and Nuer rebels under Johnson Olony, part of Riek Machar’s Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO), launched late April in former Upper Nile state, forced many rebels to flee to Sudan where authorities disarmed them and treated them as refugees; fighting also caused thousands of civilians to flee including into Sudan. Thousands of Bor Dinka from Jonglei state entered neighbouring Boma state in east early May to pressure ethnic Murle to return abducted children and stolen cattle; fighting lasted almost two weeks. Kiir 22 May declared unilateral ceasefire, launched national dialogue and said Machar, in exile, not welcome back. In accordance with Sudan-S Sudan deal, govt forces late May forced Sudanese rebel faction Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) from S Sudan into Sudan, where SLM-MM fought Sudanese troops (see Sudan).

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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

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.

Commentary / Africa

De-escalating South Sudan’s New Flare-up

In this Q&A, senior analyst for South Sudan, Casie Copeland, explains what is behind the fighting in Juba and what can help prevent the conflict spiralling out of control.