Five non-State armed groups are listed in the annexes of the SG’s 2022 annual report on CAAC for recruiting and using children in the Sudan. In May, the SG will report on UNITAMS, pursuant to SCR 2636 (2022), which expires in June. According to the SG’s February report on UNITAMS (S/2023/154), between November 2022 and February 2023, the CTFMR verified the killing and maiming of 13 children by unidentified perpetrators in Darfur. On April 15, clashes erupted between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Khartoum. At the time of writing, these clashes were ongoing and had spread outside of the capital. The SG, the Security Council, and the Office of the Special Representative of the SG for CAAC have called for an immediate cessation of hostilities, a return to dialogue, and stressed the need to restore and maintain humanitarian access. The violence has led to temporary suspensions of humanitarian operations, with reports of both sides targeting humanitarian workers, widespread looting of aid and medical supplies, and power outages leading to the loss of vaccines critical for children. The Sudan INGO Forum has called for respect for international humanitarian law (IHL), including the protection of civilians, protection of aid workers and assets, unimpeded humanitarian access, and additional and flexible humanitarian funding. The UN has reported nine children killed and more than 50 injured as of April 20, noting that the security situation makes it very difficult to collect and verify information. The Security Council should:

  • Unequivocally condemn all attacks on humanitarian actors, civilians, especially children, and civilian infrastructure; demand that all parties uphold their obligations under IHL and human rights law (IHRL), taking all necessary precautions to protect civilians and civilian objects, including schools and hospitals, in accordance with the principles of precaution, distinction, and proportionality; call on all parties to avoid the use of EWIPA;
  • Demand an immediate ceasefire with clearly articulated timeframes, coordinate with relevant regional and subregional organizations and humanitarian actors to establish such a ceasefire, as well as to prevent further violations and abuses against civilians, including children; urge all parties to respect the April 20 AU Communiqué;
  • Demand that all parties allow and facilitate the safe, timely, and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance to affected populations, especially children; and respect and protect humanitarian personnel, assets, and infrastructure;
  • Renew UNITAMS’ child protection mandate and ensure that adequate resources are allocated to allow UNITAMS to fully deliver on this mandate, including monitoring and reporting on grave violations, pursuant to SCR 1612 (2005) and subsequent resolutions on CAAC.

The United Kingdom is the lead country on the Sudan.

This information is based on Watchlist’s Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update – May 2023.


In May, the SG will report on UNISFA, pursuant to SCR 2660 (2022). From April 3-6, representatives from the Ngok Dinka and Twic Dinka communities, including women and youth, participated in an inter-communal peace conference in which the communities agreed to a cessation of hostilities, unhindered movement along roads, including for humanitarian assistance, and a return of displaced communities. UNICEF had previously noted the impact of escalating inter-communal violence in Abyei on the humanitarian needs of children. The Security Council should:

  • Call for the protection, rights, well-being, and empowerment of children to be fully incorporated and prioritized in ongoing and future efforts to build and sustain peace at the community level, drawing on the Practical Guidance for Mediators; and encourage and facilitate consideration of children’s views in these processes where possible and compatible with the child’s best interests;
  • Ensure that child protection is appropriately considered and prioritized in ongoing efforts to develop a responsible exit strategy for UNISFA, including monitoring and reporting on grave violations committed against children, building on lessons learned, and consulting with the relevant child protection experts.

The United States is the lead country on Sudan/South Sudan (Abyei).

This information is based on Watchlist’s Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update – May 2023.


UN Action

Year listed: 2003
Action Plans signed: SPLM-North – recruitment and use of children (November 2016); JEM – recruitment and use of children (September 2012); SLA/Minnawi – recruitment and use of children (June 2007)
Previous Action Plans: Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) (November 2009) *Signed as an armed group before South Sudan’s independence; Sudan Liberation Army/Free Will (June 2010); Sudan Liberation Army/Abu Gasim (August 2010); Sudan Government security forces, including the Sudanese Armed Forces, the Popular Defense Forces, and the Sudan Police Forces (March 2016) *Delisted in 2018 following compliance with Action Plan. 
Sanctions Committee: The Sudan Sanctions Committee (Current Chair: Estonia) 
Secretary-General’s reports on CAAC in Sudan: 2020; 2017; 2011200920072006
Security Council Working Group conclusions on Sudan: 20202017; 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 2014 2015 2016 2017
Government-allied militia, the South Sudan Unity Movement (SSUM) a a
Government-supported militias (backed by Government of Sudan) a,b,c,d
Pro-Government militias* a a a a a a a a
Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) a a
Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) *~ a a a a a a
Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) a
Sudan Liberation Army (SLM/A) (Minawi) a,b,c,e
Sudan Liberation Army (SLA)/Minni Minawi* a,b,c a,b a a a a a a a a
Sudan Liberation Army (SLA)/Peace Wing a a a a
Janjaweed a,b,c,e a,b,c,e a,b,c,d,f
Justice and Equality Movement (JEM)*~ a a,b,d a a a a a a a a
Justice and Equality Movement (Peace Wing) a,b,c a a a a
Police forces (camel police) a
Police forces, including the Central Reserve Police & Border Intelligence Forces* a,b,c a,b,c a a a a a a
Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) a,b,e,f a,b,c,d,f a,b,c,d a
Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) a,b a,c a a a
Joint Integrated Units of the Sudan Armed Forces and SPLA a
The White Army (Lou Nuer) a,b
Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) a a a,b,c a,b,c
Chadian opposition forces a a,b,c a,b a a
Popular Defense Forces (PDF)*~ a,b,c a a a a a a a
Sudan Liberation Army (SLA)/Abu Gasim/Mother Wing a,b,c a a a a a
Sudan Liberation Army (SLA)/Free Will a,b,c a a a a
Sudan Liberation Army (SLA)/Abdul Wahid* a,e a a a a a a a a a
Sudan Liberation Army (SLA)/Shafi a,e
Sudan Liberation Army (SLA)/Unity a a a a a
Sudan Liberation Army (SLA)/Historical Leadership a a a
Movement of Popular Force for Rights and Democracy a a a
Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF)*~ (including Sudan Police Forces) a,c a,c a a a a a a a
South Sudan Defence Forces, including the forces of Major-General Gabriel Tang Ginyi a,b,c
Pibor Defence Forces a,b,c

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.