Decrease in Political Violence after Signature of Peace Agreement in South Sudan

Men wave South Sudanese flag amid 2018 peace negotiations Men wave South Sudanese flag amid 2018 peace negotiations Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

11 February 2019

A peace agreement signed in September 2018 has brought a significant drop in political violence in South Sudan.

In September 2018, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and former vice-president Riek Machar, leader of the main rebel group, the SPLM-IO, signed a Peace Agreement to end the violent conflict in South Sudan. In the months following the signing of the agreement, South Sudan has experienced a significant drop in political violence. On 5 February 2019, David Shearer, head of the UN Mission in South Sudan reported on the apparent success of the September Agreement, declaring that many “positive things” had developed in South Sudan after its signing.

Shearer’s statement on the conditions in South Sudan was delivered on the same day the International Organization for Migration (IOM) appealed to the UN for funding for its 2019 programs in South Sudan. Although stability is returning to some parts of the country, poverty, intermittent famine, and lack of access to basic services threaten the longevity of peace in South Sudan. The IOM is requesting USD 122 million to fund water and sanitation projects, health initiatives and psychosocial support as well as aid the return and reintegration process for internally displaced persons (IDPs).

The international community has supported the signing of the Peace Agreement and is cautiously optimistic about its outcome. Although political violence has declined, ethnic and gender-based violence continues in South Sudan. Although many IDPs are returning to their homes and villages, Jean-Philippe Chauzy, the IOM’s Chief of Mission for South Sudan, warns that many IDPs will remain in displacement sites through 2019.



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