Current and Past Recommendations to the UN Security Council (Monthly Action Points)
South Sudan (September 2022)
In its discussion on the situation in South Sudan, Security Council members and senior UN officials must mainstream gender-sensitive conflict analysis, including of the drivers of both the drivers and impacts of intercommunal violence and the climate crisis. Further, the barriers to advancing women’s meaningful participation in the peace and political process must be highlighted as particular priorities for the UN in its efforts to advance the process. The situation in South Sudan continues to erode in the face of documented violations and abuses of international human rights and humanitarian law, glacial progress in implementing the peace agreement, and a complex humanitarian crisis encompassing floods, famine and displacement, putting humanitarian needs at the highest level since 2011. Over the last three months, 60% of civilian deaths can be attributed to community-based militias and self-defense groups formed in response to raids on cattle herds; the militarization of cattle raiding, bolstered by proliferation of weapons, erosion of institutions, lack of accountability, and exacerbated by the climate crisis means that violence at the local level, including gender-based violence, has increased. At the same time, humanitarian access is constrained by attacks against humanitarian workers, and security forces in South Sudan pose increasing restrictions against civil society leaders, human rights defenders and journalists. As civil society briefers (March 2022, September 2021, June 2021, April 2021, March 2021, September 2020, June 2019, March 2019, September 2018, May 2018) have emphasized, since the signing of the R-ARCSS over three years ago, there has been limited to no progress in implementing crucial provisions on security sector reform, constitutional and electoral reform, and transitional justice. Although major towns – including the capital Juba – remain calm, violence in rural areas has increased, partially due to the exclusionary nature of political and peace efforts. Meanwhile, impunity prevails, communities do not feel represented by officials, and there is a lack of accountability for misuse of authority. Increased efforts must be made to ensure the inclusion of diverse voices, including women from diverse communities, in the peace process and their representation in the government, national ministries and as state governors. However, women’s involvement in these institutions falls short of the 35% quota required in the R-ARCSS.