South Sudan has now been at war for five of its seven years of existence, and there is no end in sight. This internal conflict, which has been raging since 2013, has already driven 4.5 million people from their homes—the same number of southern Sudanese displaced during the entire three-decade Sudan civil war. The humanitarian crisis is entirely manmade, with displacement escalating in tandem with increases in violence.
- Seven million people—nearly 60 percent of the population—require humanitarian assistance. The 4.5 million people displaced by the conflict is up from 4 million in October.
- A cessation of hostilities agreement signed on December 21, 2017, has not interrupted violent clashes between government and opposition forces in Central Equatoria, Western Equatoria, and Unity states. Unity state has also seen an increase in cattle raids due to the resurgence of some armed groups. Meanwhile, inter-communal tensions remain high in Jonglei, Lakes, and Warrap states.
- This crisis reflects a steady deterioration since 2013 when the conflict began.
- In previous years, only a scattering of counties faced famine and only for certain months of the year.
- Today, all regions of South Sudan are currently experiencing either crisis or emergency levels of hunger.
- Two-thirds of the counties have suffered famine and acute levels of food insecurity are persisting throughout the year.
- During 2017, 28 aid workers were killed, and there were 1,159 incidents that impeded humanitarian access.
- The humanitarian situation in 2018 is expected to be worse than 2017 as conflict persists, farming is disrupted, humanitarian access is restricted, the economy is further destabilized, and household coping capacity dwindles.
- Africa Center for Strategic Studies, “South Sudan Conflict Drives Massive Population Movement,” Infographic, October 31, 2017.
- Kate Almquist Knopf, “The Path to Justice in South Sudan,” Africa Center for Strategic Studies, Spotlight, July 1, 2017.
- Kate Almquist Knopf, “Salvaging South Sudan’s Sovereignty (and Ending Its Civil War),” Council on Foreign Relations, April 24, 2017.
- Africa Center for Strategic Studies, “Humanitarian Need and Displacement in South Sudan,” Infographic, March 14, 2017.
- Kate Almquist Knopf, “Ending South Sudan’s Civil War,” Council on Foreign Relations, November 28, 2016.
- Kate Almquist Knopf, “South Sudan: Options in Crisis,” Congressional Testimony, September 21, 2016.
- Paul Nantulya, “Getting to the Root of the South Sudan Crisis,” Africa Center for Strategic Studies, Spotlight, August 1, 2016.
- Africa Center for Strategic Studies, “UN Commission Calls for Investigation into South Sudan Violations,” Spotlight, March 1, 2016.
- Kate Almquist Knopf, “Fragility and State-Society Relations in South Sudan,” Africa Center for Strategic Studies, Research Paper No. 4, September 30, 2013.