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 SG’s 2019 annual report. The SSPDF are the only government forces listed for all five ‘trigger’ violations. In March, UNMISS’s mandate is up for renewal, pursuant to SCR 2459 (2019). In the SG’s latest report (S/2019/936), the Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting (CTFMR) verified 44 grave violations, including recruitment and use, killing and maiming, rape and sexual violence, and abduction, as well as two incidents of military use of schools. In February, the SPLA-IO released 78 women and 50 children who had been abducted in 2018 and subjected to rape and other forms of sexual violence. On February 7, the Government of South Sudan signed a comprehensive action plan to end and prevent all six grave violations against children. Ahead of the February 22 deadline to form a unity government, the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan reported a deliberate policy of preventing humanitarian aid from reaching civilians by different parties to conflict as well as recruitment and use of children and pervasive sexual violence. The Security Council should:

  • Renew UNMISS’s child protection mandate, ensuring that Child Protection Advisers (CPAs) continue to have direct access to senior mission leadership and the political and operational space to engage with all parties to conflict for the protection of children; in subsequent budget negotiations, ensure distinct budget lines for child protection in order to allow UNMISS to effectively deliver on its CAAC mandate;
  • Welcome the signing of the comprehensive action plan to end and prevent all six grave violations and urge all parties to the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) to ensure its swift and full implementation;
  • Call on the Government to cease attacks on and military use of schools and fully comply with its obligations under the Safe Schools Declaration;
  • Demand that all parties allow safe and unimpeded delivery of humanitarian assistance to children and civilians in need, in compliance with IHL;
  • Request an update from the Government on accountability for sexual violence and other conflict-related crimes, per Chapter V of the R-ARCSS , 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. Viet Nam chairs the 2206 Sanctions Committee.

This information is based on Watchlist’s Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update – March 2020.


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); Comprehensive action plan covering all grave violations replaces previous action plans for SPLA and SPLA-IO as of February 2020.
Sanctions Committee: South Sudan Sanctions Committee (Current Chair: Viet Nam)
Secretary-General’s reports on CAAC in South Sudan: 2018; 2014; 2011200920072006
Security Council Working Group conclusions on South Sudan: 2018; 2015; 2012200920082006
UN Mission: UNMISS

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.