War in South Sudan led the UN to declare 100,000 people are suffering famine, with a further 5.5 million at risk. This special briefing urges the country to work harder to establish parameters for a ceasefire. At the same time, humanitarian corridors from Sudan should be kept open and donors must fully fund the UN aid appeal.
Originally published in Daily Monitor
Originally published in Sudan Tribune
Following rebel attacks around Wau in west, govt forces launched campaign against rebels SW of Wau early April. In ambush, rebels 9 April killed two senior Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) officers. Ethnic Dinka retaliated, attacking civilians from ethnic groups they associate with rebels in Wau town, killing at least sixteen. Rebels briefly overran Raja town, Lol state capital in west 14 April. Govt forces and rebels clashed early April around Pajok in south and Waat and Tonga regions in east. Govt forces late April moved into rebel-held areas around Kodok in NE, following failed negotiations with rebels and offensive by Aguelek and Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) rebels in Jan. President Kiir, responding to calls from churches, civil society and donors, late April appointed more diverse range of leaders to national dialogue steering committee, including former political detainees, Kenyan General Sumbeiywo and Kenyan religious leaders as advisers. UN mission (UNMISS) 29 April said Regional Protection Force had started to arrive in Juba and deployment would continue in coming months.
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.
The 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan reached a milestone with the formation of a transitional government in Juba in April. Yet fault lines like those in the Equatorias remain outstanding. A committed, inclusive political response is vital to stop low-level conflicts continuing indefinitely.
Talks led by East Africa’s IGAD offer the best chance to end South Sudan’s spreading war. International partners must put aside their disillusionment and rally to the regional body’s new IGAD-PLUS mechanism to help mediators reach a deal.
South Sudan’s Jonglei state is emblematic of the regional, national and local challenges to peace and of the limitations of trying to resolve a conflict by engaging only two of the nearly two-dozen armed groups in the country.
[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.
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.
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.
We need some kind of political solution to this conflict, and this resolution doesn’t do that.
It's time for real talk because while the diplomats are playing games, it will be the South Sudanese who are dying
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
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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.
International actors are struggling to respond to the evolving situation in South Sudan, meanwhile regional actors are busy creating facts on the ground.
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.