Crisis in South Sudan persists after 10 years of independence

UN helicopters UN helicopters Photo by Unsplash

13 September 2021

South Sudan is affected by the continued forced displacement of its population, and a worsening  conflict-driven food crisis.

South Sudan achieved its independence from Sudan in 2011; however, various internal conflicts began emerging soon after. In December 2013, a civil war broke out between the forces that supported President Salva Kiir and those who supported Vice President Riek Machar, and the fighting has escalated in recent years. In July 2016 clashes took place in the capital, Juba, and a major opposition faction returned to war, with rebel groups proliferating in general. Although the conflict has greatly subsided since its peak in 2014, the consequences of it are still very much present.

During the conflict, armed groups mainly targeted civilians: they were victims of rape, sexual violence, murder, and loss of property, among others. It is estimated that 400,000 people have died during this conflict, and that it led to approximately 2.7 million refugees and asylum seekers. In addition, millions of civilians have suffered from hunger as a result of the conflict, with the UN officially declaring a state of famine in some areas of the country in 2017.

In 2018, a peace agreement meant to end the civil war in South Sudan was implemented; nevertheless, attacks against civilians and human rights violations have persisted. Furthermore, although the peace agreement has been maintained during the intervening years, the famine has worsened, in particular due to attacks taking place on the main roads of the country as well as an ongoing health crisis linked to COVID-19. International organizations such as the UN and the Geneva International Committee have sent multiple missions in attempts to try to alleviate the situation, but significant impacts have yet to be observed.





Author: Dulce María Hernández Márquez; Editor: Maxime Grenier

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