South Sudan


In December, the Working Group received the Secretary General’s (SG) third report (S/2020/1205) on children and armed conflict (CAAC) in South Sudan, covering the period from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2020. During this period, the Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting (CTFMR) verified 708 grave violations, affecting 618 children (431 boys, 178 girls, 9 unknown sex). The most prevalent violation was recruitment and use, as children were recruited to boost numbers when conflict intensified, new armed groups emerged, and during the training of unified armed forces. Nearly half of these children (48 percent) were used in combat roles. The CTFMR also verified 98 cases of rape and other forms of sexual violence against children, with Government security forces found responsible for 75 of these violations. Impunity for violations committed against children remains widespread. During the reporting period, parties to the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) signed a Comprehensive Action Plan to end and prevent all grave violations against children. The Working Group should:

  • Welcome the signing of the Comprehensive Action Plan to end and prevent all grave violations against children, and urge all parties to the R-ARCSS to ensure its swift and full implementation, to immediately cease recruiting and using children, and to release and hand over to child protection actors all children from their ranks;
  • Welcoming the Joint Verification Committee’s work to identify and release children from armed forces and armed groups, call on the Government of South Sudan to prioritize the reintegration of formerly associated children and to ensure that disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) processes and security sector reform fully take into account the specific needs of girls and boys and the protection of their rights; and in this regard, encourage the Government to endorse the Paris Principles;
  • Strongly condemn all incidents of rape and sexual violence committed against children, including by Government security forces, and urge all parties to take immediate and specific steps to end and prevent rape and other forms of sexual violence against children, including by ensuring perpetrators are held accountable and that survivors have access to comprehensive, gender-sensitive, and age-appropriate response and protection;
  • Express grave concern at the lack of accountability for grave violations, and urge the Government to end impunity through rigorous, timely, independent, and impartial investigation and, where appropriate, prosecution, and by coordinating with the African Union to establish the Hybrid Court for South Sudan, per Chapter V of the R-ARCSS;
  • Call on all parties to cease attacks on and military use of schools, and urge the Government to fulfill its commitments under the Safe Schools Declaration.

This information is based on Watchlist’s Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update – January 2021.


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.