South Sudan


The South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition – pro-Machar (SPLA-IO) are listed in the annexes of the SG 2023 annual report on CAAC for committing grave violations against children. In March, UNMISS’ mandate is up for renewal, per SCR 2677 (2023). According to the SG’s December report (S/2023/976), the UN verified 28 grave violations between September and November 2023, including the recruitment and use of 20 boys by the SPLA-IO (14) and SSPDF (6), the killing and maiming of six children, one case of rape, and one abduction. In February, the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan described violence and gross human rights violations continuing “with impunity, with women and children being the main target of these crimes,” including abduction and sexual violence. In 2023, South Sudan remained one of the deadliest places to be an aid worker, with 34 aid workers killed during the year. Recruitment and use of children, the military occupation of schools, killing and maiming of children from ERW, and a persistent environment of impunity all remain concerns for children, and these risks may become exacerbated in the lead up to South Sudan’s first national election scheduled for December 2024. The conflict in Sudan has also led to increased numbers of refugees and returnees crossing into South Sudan, including over 200,000 children between April and November 2023. A spike in violence in Abyei in January and February has also led to the deaths of at least three children and injury of two. 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, and urge all parties to immediately cease all grave violations against children, to facilitate humanitarian assistance and protect humanitarian personnel, and to release and hand over to child protection actors all children from their ranks;
  • 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; urge allocation of appropriate resources to ensure survivors of grave violations have access to justice, including for rape and other forms of sexual violence; and designate a focal point on CAAC in the Ministry of Justice;
  • Call on all parties to swiftly and fully implement the recommendations of the SCWG-CAAC, as elaborated in its fourth conclusions on South Sudan.


This information is based on Watchlist’s Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update – March 2024.


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.