South Sudan


The South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF), including Taban Deng-allied SSPDF, and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-in-Opposition (SPLA-IO) are listed for grave violations in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s (SG) 2019 annual report. The SSPDF are the only government forces listed for all five ‘trigger’ violations. In December, the SG will report on the implementation of the UNMISS mandate, pursuant to SCR 2459 (2019). According to his latest report (S/2019/722), the Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting (CTFMR) verified 39 grave violations, including recruitment and use, killing and maiming, and rape and sexual violence (para. 65). In July, 32 boys were released from SPLA-IO forces. In October, the Security Council visited Juba to follow up on the implementation of the 2018 peace deal. The deadline to form a transitional government has been extended by 100 days to allow for progress on critical pre-transition benchmarks. On October 27, three IOM humanitarian workers were killed in crossfire between two armed groups in Isebi; a female volunteer and a four-year-old child were also abducted. Following the incident, IOM suspended Ebola screening operations in five areas along the border between South Sudan, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Security Council should:

  • Urge all parties to publicly recommit to maintaining the ceasefire, and fully implement the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan of September 2018;
  • Demand that all parties allow the safe passage of humanitarian aid, especially in areas along the DRC border, to allow for Ebola screening and response;
  • Welcome progress made by parties to the revitalized peace agreement, with support from UNICEF and UNMISS, in screening, verification, and releasing children from armed groups;
  • Urge the Government to swiftly sign and implement the draft comprehensive action plan addressing all six grave violations; urge the SPLA-IO to continue implementing its action plan on recruitment and use and killing and maiming of children and engage with the UN on child abductions;
  • Call on the Government to cease attacks on and military use of schools and fully comply with its obligations under the Safe Schools Declaration;
  • Request an update from the Government on accountability for sexual violence and other conflict-related crimes, including the status of establishing a hybrid court with the African Union and special units within the national justice system to investigate and prosecute these crimes.

The United States is the lead country on South Sudan.

This information is based on Watchlist’s Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update – December 2019.


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.