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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.

Entries: South Sudan

Date Range: September 2021 - November 2021

November 2021

Africa

South Sudan

Govt formed state legislatures, nascent talks between President Kiir and breakaway faction of VP Machar’s party on hold, and intercommunal violence persisted. As part of long-delayed implementation of 2018 power-sharing deal, Kiir issued decrees reconstituting state legislatures in nine of ten states, including Upper Nile, Lakes, Western Equatoria and Central Equatoria 6 Nov, Eastern Equatoria, Jonglei, Warrap and Northern Bahr El Ghazal 18 Nov, and Unity 26 Nov; assembly of Western Bahr El Ghazal state yet to be reconstituted. Late Oct military coup in Sudan paused kickstarting negotiations between Juba and “Kitgwang” faction of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO), which broke away from VP Riek Machar’s leadership in Aug. Gen Simon Gatwech Dual, Kitgwang faction’s official leader and Machar’s former military chief, 11 Nov declined President Kiir’s proposal to continue talks in capital Juba. Sudanese coup also further weakened Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), currently chaired by Sudan, striking another blow to regional bloc’s already weak capacity to serve as guarantor of South Sudan’s 2018 peace deal. Most devastating floods in 60 years in Oct-Nov submerged vast swathes of land near White Nile, affecting eight of country’s ten states and worsening food insecurity in many areas. Rains temporarily dampened violence in much of country and will likely shorten annual “fighting” season during dry months, usually Nov to April. However, prolonged presence in parts of Equatoria region (south) of many ethnic Dinka herders displaced by floods since last year exacerbated conflict dynamics in area. Meanwhile, Jonglei state (east) officials reported several violent incidents: intercommunal clashes 2 Nov killed ten and injured four in Akobo county; unidentified armed men 8 Nov attacked IDP camp in Twic East county, killing three people and injuring two, next day killed three people and kidnapped three children in separate attacks in Duk County; two separate intercommunal revenge attacks around 19 Nov left at least nine dead in state capital Bor. Warrap state (centre north) authorities 3 Nov reported over 20 people killed and 36 others injured in two separate intercommunal clashes involving Luachjang, Adoor and Thiik communities in Tonj East county 29-31 Oct.

October 2021

Africa

South Sudan

President Kiir launched talks with breakaway faction of VP Machar’s party, raising tensions within unity govt; violence continued in south and centre. In Sudan’s capital Khartoum, govt delegation 2 Oct started formal talks with “Kitgwang” faction of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO), which broke away from VP Riek Machar’s leadership in Aug. Splinter group – headed by Machar’s ethnic Nuer former military chief of staff, Gen Simon Gatwech Dual, and prominent ethnic Shilluk warlord, Gen Johnson Olony– demanded all govt seats currently allocated to Machar’s party, sought to negotiate integration into national army, and championed ethnic Shilluk territorial claims around disputed Upper Nile state capital Malakal. In response, Machar’s party rejected Kitgwang faction’s claim to any share of its current govt positions and accused Kiir of fomenting division in SPLM/A-IO ranks that led to split. Violence in Tambura area of Western Equatoria state (south) continued as Juba’s order for all armed groups to leave Tambura by 1 Oct unheeded; humanitarian agencies including World Food Programme and World Vision International reportedly evacuated staff from Tambura after gunshots between warring parties 14 Oct. Conflict took on increasingly communal tones, pitting local ethnic Azande, dominant group in state, against local ethnic Balanda; Balanda seen as loyal to Machar’s appointed state governor, Alfred Fatuyo, while Azande forces largely commanded by Fatuyo’s ex-deputy, James Nando, who last year defected from Machar to Kiir’s camp. Violence also ran high in centre. In Warrap state’s Tonj East and Tonj North counties, intercommunal clashes between Thiik, Luachjang and Lou Paher youth communities around 3 Oct reportedly left at least 35 people dead and another 80 injured, and displaced thousands. In neighbouring Unity state, clashes between forces loyal to senior county official and unidentified armed group 6 Oct killed one and injured another seven in Koch county. UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan 20 Oct expressed “alarm and dismay” over “ongoing threats, harassment and intimidation of prominent human rights defenders, journalists and civil society actors” by “overzealous security services”, said shrinking space for civil society “undermining efforts to achieve a sustainable peace”.

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.