South Sudan


The South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF), including Taban Deng-allied SSPDF, and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition – pro-Machar (SPLA-IO) are listed in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s (SG) 2022 annual report on children and armed conflict (CAAC) for committing grave violations against children. This year, the SSPDF was delisted for attacks on schools and hospitals but remains listed for the other four “trigger” violations. In September, the SG will report on UNMISS, pursuant to SCR 2625 (2022). According to the SG’s June report (S/2022/468), between February and June 2022, the UN verified the recruitment and use of 24 children (23 boys, one girl), the killing and maiming of 34 children (30 boys, four girls), 53 cases of rape (all girls), and abduction of six children (three boys, three girls). Between January 1 and July 30, 2022, 232 incidents related to humanitarian access constraints were reported in South Sudan, and five humanitarian workers have been killed since the beginning of 2022. The Special Representative of the SG for CAAC visited South Sudan in May, where she co-chaired a national conference on child protection and reflected with stakeholders on progress made toward implementing the 2020 Comprehensive Action Plan to end and prevent all grave violations against children. The Security Council should:

  • Urge the Government and parties that have endorsed the 2020 Comprehensive Action Plan to fully and swiftly implement their commitments, reiterate concern over continuing violations and the impact of inter-communal violence on children, and urge all parties to immediately cease all grave violations against children and to release and hand over to child protection actors all children from their ranks;
  • Demand that all parties allow and facilitate unimpeded, rapid, and safe access to ensure the delivery of humanitarian assistance to affected populations, especially children, and respect and protect humanitarian personnel, assets, and infrastructure;
  • Call on the Government to prioritize the reintegration of children allegedly associated with armed forces and armed groups (CAAFAG), ensure that disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration processes and security sector reform fully take into account the specific needs of children, and endorse the Paris Principles and the Vancouver Principles; urge donors to provide long-term, predictable funding for reintegration;
  • Call on all parties to take immediate and specific steps to end and prevent rape and other forms of sexual violence against children, ensure survivors have access to comprehensive, gender-sensitive, and age-appropriate response systems and services, and strengthen preventive measures;
  • Urge the Government to end impunity for grave violations against children through timely and impartial investigation and, where appropriate, prosecution, and follow through on commitments to establish the Hybrid Court.

The United States is the lead country on South Sudan.

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