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CrisisWatch

Tracking Conflict Worldwide

CrisisWatch is our global conflict tracker, a tool designed to help decision-makers prevent deadly violence by keeping them up-to-date with developments in over 70 conflicts and crises, identifying trends and alerting them to risks of escalation and opportunities to advance peace.

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September 2021

Africa

South Sudan

Unravelling of VP Riek Machar’s movement continued, and clashes between armed groups in south continued to prompt mass displacement. New breakaway “Kitgwang” faction from Machar’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) already in disarray: faction’s most powerful warlord, Gen Johnson Olony, 20 Sept expressed readiness to strike limited army integration deal with President Kiir; following Olony’s disavowal, Kitgwang faction indefinitely postponed conference scheduled for late Sept with other opposition leaders to build broader alliance against govt. Meanwhile, heavy fighting reported mid-Sept between SPLM/A-IO forces loyal to Machar and “Kitgwang” faction in Magenis area, Upper Nile state, notably leaving 20 killed 13 Sept. Chair of Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, tasked with tracking implementation of 2018 peace agreement, 23 Sept warned lack of progress on unifying army is worsening insecurity across country. Violent clashes continued to ravage Tambura area of Western Equatoria state (south), reportedly leaving 24 dead 6 Sept; violence, which pits mainly ethnic Balanda forces under Machar’s SPLM/A-IO against ethnic Azande forces of commander James Nando – who defected from Machar to Kiir’s South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) after 2018 peace deal – has displaced 80,000 and killed over 100 since June. Joint Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)-UN delegation to area 19 Sept warned of further escalation absent urgent govt action. Insecurity also persisted elsewhere. In Lakes state (centre), armed youth 5 Sept reportedly attacked police station in Rumbek East county; disarmament operation targeting suspected criminals in Cueibet county 8 Sept turned deadly, leaving seven dead. In Jonglei state (east), armed individuals 2 Sept reportedly killed herder in Uror county; 5 Sept reportedly killed two in road ambush in Duk county. In Eastern Equatoria state (south), local officials 12 Sept said unidentified assailants stabbed two SSPDF soldiers to death in Ikotos county. NGO Amnesty International 3 Sept urged authorities to end “new wave of repression against peaceful protests”, including arrests and harassment, since civil society coalition in Aug called for anti-govt protest. UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan 23 Sept accused governing elite of having looted $73mn from public coffers since 2018; govt 27 Sept dismissed claim.

August 2021

Africa

South Sudan

Split within VP Riek Machar’s movement sparked deadly violence; govt faced new calls to stand down, and implementation of transitional security arrangements remained stalled. Military leaders from a rural headquarters of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) 3 Aug claimed to have ousted Machar as movement leader over alleged failure to represent group’s interests, appointed Simon Gatwech Dual as interim leader. SPLM/A-IO forces loyal to Machar and Dual’s splinter group 7 Aug clashed in Magenis area, Upper Nile state, reportedly leaving dozens killed; 17 Aug reportedly clashed again in same area. Few SPLM-A/IO commanders elsewhere publicly backed Dual; SPLM/A-IO deputy chairman and Mining Minister Henry Odwar 11 Aug however resigned from govt, next day said he supported Dual. Meanwhile, following months-long delay, Transitional National Legislative Assembly sworn in 2 Aug, paving way for implementing key steps of peace process including constitutional review and electoral preparation. Intergovernmental Authority for Development chairperson, Sudanese PM Abdallah Hamdok, 19-20 Aug failed to broker agreement between President Kiir and Machar on share of signatory groups in unified national army, with Kiir reportedly demanding 60% of recruits be drawn from his forces. After coalition of civil society groups late July called for country’s leadership to resign and mid-Aug called for countrywide anti-govt protests 30 Aug, govt deployed military and police forces in capital Juba, arrested several activists, shut down internet and threatened to use live bullets; streets 30 Aug remained quiet. Kiir 18 Aug accused members of coalition of non-signatory rebel groups South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA) of carrying out “terror attacks”, after unidentified gunmen 16 Aug reportedly killed five people on Juba-Nimule road; SSOMA faction led by Thomas Cirillo, National Salvation Front, immediately denied responsibility; Kiir 30 Aug suspended govt’s participation in Rome peace talks with SSOMA, said negotiations would resume when SSOMA “cease killing innocent people”. Intercommunal violence persisted mainly in centre and south: 31 people killed 15-16 Aug in Tonj East county, Warrap state; seven dead 3-4 Aug in Terekeka county, Central Equatoria state; and about 20 killed and over 20,000 displaced late July-late Aug in Western Equatoria state.

July 2021

Africa

South Sudan

Country marked tenth independence anniversary amid ongoing violence and delays in implementation of transitional agenda. On tenth anniversary of South Sudan’s independence, President Kiir 9 July lamented “lost decade” and warned against “ethnic and regional activism” but lauded “new spirit of dialogue” among civil war belligerents. Kiir 3 July replaced 35 MPs due to sit in Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA); govt 7 and 29 July postponed swearing-in of TNLA initially scheduled for 9 July, now expected for 2 Aug. Govt and factions of South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA, coalition of non-signatory rebel groups) led by Paul Malong and Pagan Amum 15 July resumed talks in Italian capital Rome, 18 July agreed to incorporate Malong’s and Amum’s factions into ceasefire and transitional security arrangements monitoring body; also signed political roadmap scheduling three rounds of talks from Sept to Nov. However, attempts to restart peace talks between govt and SSOMA faction led by Thomas Cirillo, leader of rebel group National Salvation Front (NAS), remained stalled. Meanwhile, official body monitoring Sept 2018 peace deal implementation 22 July expressed “critical concern” over delays in setting up unified army, amid reports that soldiers keep abandoning cantonment and training sites over lack of food and medicine. Intercommunal violence persisted in centre, north and south. In Lakes state (centre), suspected armed youth from neighbouring Rumbek East county 13 July reportedly killed three people in separate attacks on Pulthib and Mayom-cuei villages, Yirol West county. In Warrap state (also centre), cattle raid in Tonj East county by suspected armed youth from Tonj North county 9 July left 14 dead. In Unity state (north), clashes between two ethnic Dinka Bek subgroups 13 July killed three in Mayiendit county. In Western Equatoria state (south), intercommunal violence and clashes between forces loyal to Kiir and those loyal to VP Riek Machar throughout month reportedly killed at least three and displaced over 4,000 in greater Tambura area. UN Mission in South Sudan 26 July said it was “deeply disturbed” by recent spate of extrajudicial executions of alleged criminals in Warrap and Lakes states that reportedly left at least 42 people dead since March.