Protecting civilians in armed conflict

South Sudan

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Since armed conflict again erupted in South Sudan in December 2013, clashes between government and opposition forces, particularly the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO) continue unabated.

Confrontations have killed or injured tens of thousands of people. Targeted killings, sexual violence, the destruction and looting of property and other violations of humanitarian norms are rampant and committed by weapon bearers from all sides.

Reports have described more than 1.6 million internally displaced person (IDPs) and over 1 million refugees hosted in neighbouring countries. In only three days in July 2016, hostilities caused many casualties, 40,000 additional IDPs and massive violations of humanitarian norms. Security and logistical constraints continue to limit humanitarian agencies’ abilities to assist communities at risk.


Thematic areas of work in this country
Humanitarian_norms_dark Gender_issues_dark Child_protection_dark
Humanitarian norms Gender issues Child protection

Initial work by Geneva Call in South Sudan dates back to 2001, during its independence-related armed conflict. Since 2015, Geneva Call has been considering developing a programme in South Sudan within the context of the armed conflict that started again in December 2013. After an initial assessment in 2016 in Juba, Geneva Call decided to explore further whether the conditions were suitable for engagement with the SPLM-IO and other ANSAs regarding humanitarian norms.  Geneva Call primarily investigated issues of registration in the country, the possibility of field access and possible monitoring options.

Main Achievements 

  • In 2015, a planned assessment of potential engagement with ANSAs in South Sudan was carried out around Juba.
  • In 2015, regular exchanges were maintained with an array of contacts in Juba.
  • In 2015, despite several attempts, contact with the leadership of the SPLM-IO had to be postponed.
  • In 2015, due to an extremely volatile context, a more in-depth assessment of field access and monitoring options was deemed necessary to explore whether the conditions were suitable for an initial engagement with the SPLM-IO and other ANSAs on humanitarian norms.