South Sudan


The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA; renamed the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces, or SSPDF), the SPLA in Opposition (SPLA-IO) – pro-Machar and pro-Taban Deng factions, and the White Army are listed for grave violations. The SSPDF are the only government forces in the Secretary-General’s (SG’s) annexes listed for all five ‘trigger’ violations. The UNMISS mandate is up for renewal in March. The Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict (SCWG-CAAC) visited South Sudan in November 2018 and in December issued conclusions on the latest SG report, citing grave concern over rapes and sexual violence perpetrated against children, including those displaced. According to the SG’s last update report (S/2018/1103), between September 2 and November 30, 2018, the CTFMR verified 90 incidents of grave violations against children, including 31 cases of recruitment/use, 30 cases of  sexual violence, 19 abductions, 10 cases of killing/maiming, and one incident of denial of humanitarian access (para. 43). Attacks on schools and hospitals continued, with three verified attacks on schools and one on a hospital, eight incidents of military use of schools, and four incidents of use of hospitals – affecting an estimated 2,568 children (1,328 boys and 1,240 girls). OCHA reports that 15,000 children have been separated from their families or are missing five years since the conflict’s outbreak. In response to threats of the spread of Ebola from neighboring DRC, the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) campaign was launched. Access to areas outside of Yei County remains a challenge for Ebola preparedness. On January 29, for example, OCHA partners reportedly failed to secure access to verify reports of the arrival of over 7,000 returnees from the DRC who required EVD screening.

The Security Council should:

  • Renew UNMISS’s child protection mandate, ensuring that Child Protection Advisors (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;
  • Demand all Government and non-State armed actors to allow the safe passage of humanitarian aid, especially in areas along the DRC border to allow for Ebola screening and response;
  • Without delay, freeze all remaining assets of, and enforce travel bans on, designated individuals on the 2206 sanctions list, and urge States where assets are held to implement similar asset freezes and travel bans;
  • Strongly remind, per the arms embargo, all Member States to monitor, enforce, and take urgent action to identify and prevent arms shipments intended for South Sudan;
  • Urge the Government to revise its existing action plan on recruitment and use into a comprehensive plan addressing all six grave violations; and urge all other listed parties to sign and implement action plans on all violations for which they are listed;
  • 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. Poland chairs the 2206 South Sudan Sanctions Committee.

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