South Sudan


The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), the SPLA in Opposition (SPLA-IO) – pro-Machar and pro-Taban Deng factions, and the White Army are listed for grave child rights violations. The SPLA is the only government force in the Secretary-General’s (SG’s) annexes listed for all five trigger violations. Following South Sudan’s accession to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict (OPAC) in September, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (SRSG-CAAC) called for the development and implementation of a revised comprehensive action plan. In October, the Panel of Experts, whose mandate was renewed in August, will provide its monthly update to the Security Council (UNSC), and the SG will report on any violations of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) or obstructions to UNMISS. The Panel’s last report cited the continuation of grave violations against children, including recruitment and use (S/2018/292, para. 40). As of August OCHA had received reports of 470 incidents of denials of humanitarian access in 2018 alone. The Security Council should:

  • Demand all Government and non-State armed actors immediately cease all restrictions against humanitarian access and attacks on aid workers, and allow the free, safe passage of humanitarian assistance;
  • Without delay, freeze all remaining assets of, and enforce travel bans on, designated individuals on the 2206 Sanctions List per SCR 2206 (2015) and SCR 2428 (2018), and urge States where assets are held, to implement similar asset freezes and enforce travel bans. Member States should continue to submit to the Council for review and approval any additional designations for individuals and entities to the list;
  • Strongly remind, per requirements of the arms embargo passed in SCR 2428 (2018), all Member States to monitor, enforce, and take urgent action to identify and prevent arms shipments intended for South Sudan within their territories;
  • Recalling the Government’s recent accession to OPAC, call for the immediate release of all children from the SPLA, and urge all listed parties to update, recommit, and implement action plans with the UN to end and prevent all grave violations, including recruitment and use;
  • Urge the Government to strengthen accountability efforts by supporting the establishment of special units within the national justice system focused on investigating and prosecuting conflict-related crimes, including grave violations against children (S/2018/163, para. 36).

The United States is the lead country on South Sudan. Poland chairs the South Sudan Sanctions Committee.

This information is based on Watchlist’s Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update: October 2018.


In May, the Council adopted SCR 2416 (2018) extending UNISFA’s mandate until November 2018 and requesting the SG to report on recommendations on the reconfiguration of the mission’s mandate by August 15, 2018. In his most recent report on the situation in Abyei (S/2018/293) from April, the SG reported a relatively stable security situation during the reporting period from October 2017 to March 2018; however, noting a rise in hostilities between communities, he indicated that children continued to be exposed to risks of violence, exploitation, and abuse in the absence of rule of law structures. The report includes no specific information on children and armed conflict, and no disaggregated data on grave child rights violations, as the mission still currently lacks dedicated child protection capacity. In his latest annual report on children and armed conflict (S/2018/465), the SG reports one verified incident of killing and maiming in Abyei. The Security Council should:

  • Urge all parties to cease all human rights violations and abuses against civilians, including against children, and violations of international humanitarian law;
  • Echoing the Council’s prior request in SCR 2416 (para. 28), urge UNISFA to expedite the deployment of a Women and Child Protection Advisor, and further ensure the Advisor has the necessary resources and capacities to deliver on the mandate, including operationalization of the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) in Abyei;
  • In light of plans to reconfigure the mission, continue to ensure that child protection capacity is maintained in UNISFA’s mandate;
  • Reiterating paragraphs 26 and 32 of SCR 2416, remind the SG of his responsibility to ensure effective human rights monitoring, including on sexual and gender-based violence and grave violations against children, and to include those topics in his reporting on UNISFA; and furthermore, call on the SG to include grave violations against children as a specific aspect of all his progress reports on UNISFA, disaggregating the data on the six grave violations, and specifically signal priority concerns regarding children and armed conflict to guide the Council’s actions on Abyei.

The United States is the lead country on Sudan/South Sudan.

This information is based on Watchlist’s Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update: August 2018.


UN Action

Year listed: 2007
Action Plans signed: SPLA – recruitment and use of children (November 2009; renewed in March 2012 as the national armed forces of South Sudan; recommitted in June 2014); SPLA/M-in Opposition – recruitment and use of children and killing and maiming (December 2015)
Sanctions Committee: South Sudan Sanctions Committee
Secretary-General’s reports on CAAC in South Sudan: 2014; 2011200920072006
Security Council Working Group conclusions on South Sudan: 2015; 2012200920082006

Perpetrators listed in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s annual reports on children and armed conflict

2001 2002 2003 2005 2006 2007 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2104 2015 2016 2017
South Sudan Defence Forces, including the forces of Major-General Gabriel Tang Ginyi a,b,c
Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) a,c a,c
Pibor Defence Forces a,b,c
Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA)~* a,c a a a a a,b a,b a,b,c,e a,b,c,e
Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)* a a,b,c a,b,c a,b,c a,b,c a,b,c a,b,c
SPLA in Opposition~ a,b a,b a,b a,b
White Army a a a a

a: Parties that recruit and use children
b: Parties that kill and maim children
c: Parties that commit rape and other forms of sexual violence against children

d: Parties that engage in attacks on schools and/or hospitals
e: Parties that engage in abduction of children
f: Parties that deny humanitarian access to children

~ This party has concluded an action plan with the United Nations in line with Security Council resolutions 1539 (2004) and 1612 (2005).
* This party has been in the annexes for at least five years and is therefore considered a persistent perpetrator.