South Sudan Civil War


“I was born into Sudan’s civil war, and before I
could read or write, I was using an AK47.”

– Ger Duany




               South Sudan


               12 million (pre-war)


               Estimates between 50,000 and                             300,000 since 2013

      Refugees/Displaced People:

               4 million (half internally displaced,                     half fled South Sudan)


              Government forces representing the                 majority Dinka population and                            rebel Nuer forces. 17,000 child                              soldiers have become involved                              on all sides



The world’s newest country, South Sudan, has been embroiled in a civil war since December 2013. The conflict has erupted along ethnic lines after President Salva Kiir (a Dinka, the county’s ethic majority), removed Vice-President Reik Machar (a Nuer, the largest minority group). Formed after gaining independence from Sudan in 2011, the civilian population of this young republic are overwhelmingly the victims of this conflict, suffering the most significant refugee crisis in Africa. Famine and ethnic cleansing has displaced a third of the population.

                 Key Actors:

  • Government forces loyal to President Kiir and the Dinka tribe, accused of targeting civilian groups of all non-Dinka minority groups
  • Rebel Nuer forces, loyal to former Vice-President Machar
  • Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an eight-country African trade bloc, is mediating peace talks between parties
  • The United Nations has a significant presence in South Sudan, through the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)  –  Approximately 15,991 peacekeepers.
  • The United States, led by Trump’s White House has been indifferent to South Sudan compared with previous administration’s, US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, has been deployed to the region.


  • January, 2011 – the people of South Sudan vote to become independent of Sudan, with independence day declared on July 9th
  • 18th of August, 2011 – More than 600 people are killed in the Uror massacre in an armed tribal attack in Jonglei state
  • 23 December, 2011 to 4th January, 2012 – The Pibor Massacre (Estimates of between 900 and 3000 people killed)
  • December, 2013 – Civil War ignites after President Kiir dismisses his entire cabinet and Nuer Vice-President Machar in July.
  • January, 2014 – a ceasefire orchestrated by IGAD lasts only a few days before fighting resumes
  • April, 2014 – Hundreds are killed in the Bentiu massacre
  • April, 2015 – civilians are raped and killed in huge numbers as the government launches an offensive on rebel-held Unity state, with 100,000 displaced
  • April, 2016 – Reik Machar returns to Jaba after months in exile and is again sworn in as Vice-President. However, more conflict follows when he is sacked in July and returns to exile, enflaming the conflict.
  • December, 2016 – UN Commission on Human Rights Declares that ethnic cleansing is taking place across the country
  • February, 2017 – the UN declares a man-made famine in the republic caused by the conflict and a collapse of economic infrastructure.
  • Currently – The conflict rages on and continues to fuel the worst refugee crisis in Africa. Famine grips the country and peace talks show little sign of ending the fighting.

Latest posts by The Organization for World Peace (see all)