South Sudan

Thematic areas: Humanitarian Norms – Landmine Ban

Despite the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCISS) signed in September 2018, parties failed to implement some key provisions on security arrangements and the number of states and their boundaries, which led to two postponements of the beginning of the transition period. International pressure put on the parties to be able to close the pre-transitional period was to no avail in 2019. Hostilities between the two main signatories -Sudan People’s Liberation Movement. In Opposition In Government (Taban Deng); Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (Riek Machar) – nevertheless decreased. However, fighting continued between the army and armed groups that were not part of the agreement (NAS), mainly in Central Equatoria and Upper Nile. Intercommunal clashes, often ethnically based, also increased, leading to a total rise of nearly 200% in the civilian casualties compared to 2018. Armed actors continued to commit serious abuses such as indiscriminate attacks against civilians including aid workers, unlawful killings, beatings, arbitrary detentions, torture, sexual violence, looting and destruction of property. All sides restricted access provided to United Nations, ceasefire monitors, and aid workers. This situation led to additional internal displacement, jeopardizing even further the already very fragile leaving conditions of the affected civilian population.

Geneva Call’s activities in South Sudan

  • Increased awareness: Geneva Call raised awareness on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts using ‘Fighter Not Killer’ campaign posts on Facebook. The campaign included video scripts on protection of medical mission which reached 33 752 viewers; prohibition of sexual violence (54 719 viewers) and prohibition of child recruitment and protection of education (50 494 viewers). Comments from the viewers clearly showed a deep interest on the prohibition of sexual and gender-based violence, which continues to be a main concern for the civilian population of South Sudan.                   
  • Strengthened knowledge: Geneva Call conducted a workshop on IHL and its 15 main rules to 12 ANSA officers in Juba. The participants were drawn from the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (Riek Machar branch), the South Sudanese Public Defence Forces, the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) and other signatory armed actors to the R-ARCISS, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, National security and the South Sudanese National Disarmament Demobilization Reintegration Commission. As a result, Geneva Call was invited to conduct training sessions at field level in 2020 and engagement with parties that are not R-ARCSS signatories was initiated.
  • Reinforced conflict-monitoring and community outreach: Geneva Call established a partnership with the Centre for Strategic Conflict Analysis (CESCA) in order to monitor the conflict situation on the ground and to implement awareness raising and training sessions targeting the communities.
  • In August 2020, Vice-President and general commander of Sudan People’s Liberation Army-in-Opposition (SPLA-IO) Riek Machar, granted Geneva Call access to all of his troops, and following this, Geneva Call held three training sessions with SPLA-IO troops and affiliates (Agwelek forces, White Army, Arrow Boys). Most of the participants lauded the initiative as crucial as they have never directly received such training. In fact, some of the senior SPLA-IO commanders in Maiwut recommended continuing such training with other sectors and divisions to improve their knowledge about IHL.
  • 2020: Selected Civil Society Organizations (CSOs)/ Community Based Organizations (CBOs) working in areas affected by conflict were capacitated by Geneva Call on international humanitarian norms. Participants acquired good knowledge which Geneva Call sees as a first step to strengthen their work towards enhancing the protection of civilians in their respective areas and ultimately to become the forefront responders to IHL violations when they occur.


1 ANSA (SPLA from 2001 – 2005) engaged on anti-personnel mines and one Deed of Commitment signed

AT LEAST 5 WORKSHOPS organized with SPLA (2001 – 2005)

3 NEW ANSAS have been approached for humanitarian engagement since 2017

19,000 NEW CHILDREN recruited to armed groups since December 2013

ABOUT 2 MILLION people displaced internally

Total groups engaged 4

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