South Sudan


The South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF), including Taban Deng-allied SSPDF, are listed in the annexes of the SG’s 2021 annual report on CAAC for all five trigger violations. The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition – pro-Machar (SPLA-IO) is listed for recruitment and use, killing and maiming, and abduction. In March, UNMISS’ mandate is up for renewal, pursuant to SCR 2567 (2021). According to the SG’s December report on South Sudan (S/2021/1015), the UN verified the recruitment and use of 56 children (54 boys, 2 girls), the killing and maiming of nine children (seven boys, two girls), rape and sexual violence against two girls, the abduction of three girls, and one attack on a hospital between September and December 2021. The Security Council should:

  • Renew UNMISS’s child protection mandate, maintaining its child protection capacity, and, in subsequent budget negotiations, ensure distinct budget lines for child protection;
  • Urge the Government and parties that have endorsed the 2020 Comprehensive Action Plan to fully and swiftly implement their commitments; urge all parties to immediately cease all grave violations against children, and release and hand over to child protection actors all children from their ranks;
  • Call on the Government to prioritize the reintegration of formerly associated children, to ensure that disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) processes and security sector reform fully take into account the specific needs of children, and to endorse the Paris Principles and the Vancouver Principles;
  • Call on all parties to take immediate and specific steps to end and prevent rape and other forms of sexual violence against children, and to ensure perpetrators are held accountable and survivors have access to comprehensive, gender-sensitive, and age-appropriate response and protection;
  • Urge the Government to end impunity through timely and impartial investigation and, where appropriate, prosecution, and follow through on commitments to establish the Hybrid Court;
  • Urge the Government to immediately evacuate military personnel from schools’ premises, to re-introduce legislation to prohibit the occupation of schools or hospitals by the armed forces, and to take all appropriate measures to mitigate disruption of education due to insecurity.

The United States is the lead country on South Sudan.

This information is based on Watchlist’s Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update – March 2022.


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: 2020; 2018; 2014; 2011200920072006
Security Council Working Group conclusions on South Sudan: 2021; 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.