Children and armed conflict in South Sudan - Report of the Secretary General (S/2018/865) [EN/AR]
The present report, submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 1612 (2005) and subsequent resolutions, is the second report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in South Sudan. It contains information on the six grave violations against children that occurred between 1 October 2014 and 30 June 2018, the context in which they took place and identifies, where possible, the perpetrators.
The report documents alarming levels of all six grave violations against children committed by all parties to conflict throughout the reporting period, as well as the intensification of the impact on children as conflict progressively expanded from the greater Upper Nile region to the greater Equatoria region.
Recruitment and use, killing and maiming, rape and other forms of sexual violence and abductions by all parties to conflict were documented at particularly worrisome levels. Numerous incidents of attacks against schools and hospitals were verified throughout the reporting period.
In addition, high levels of denial of humanitarian access to children were documented, levels which were exacerbated after the crisis of July 2016. That, in parallel with a worsening security situation, impeded the ability of the United Nations to document and respond to violations against children.
The report provides a series of recommendations to end and prevent grave violations against children in South Sudan and to improve their protection.
1. The present report, submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 1612 (2005) and subsequent resolutions on children and armed conflict, is the second report of the Secretary-General on the situation of children affected by armed conflict in South Sudan and covers the period from 1 October 2014 to 30 June 2018. It describes the trends and patterns of grave violations committed against children since the previous report (S/2014/884) and outlines challenges and progress in improving the situation of children since the May 2015 adoption of the conclusions of the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict (S/AC.51/2015/1). Perpetrators of grave violations are, where possible, identified in the present report. In that regard, in the annexes to my most recent annual report on children and armed conflict (S/2018/465), the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), pro-Taban Deng Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (pro-Taban Deng SPLA-IO), pro-Machar Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (pro-Machar SPLA-IO) and the White Army was listed for the recruitment and use of children. SPLA was also listed for killing and maiming, rape and other forms of sexual violence, attacks on schools and hospitals and the abduction of children, and pro-Machar SPLA-IO and pro-Taban Deng SPLA-IO were listed for the killing and maiming of children.
2. The reporting period was marked by severe and persistent violations committed against children, including widespread killings, massive recruitment and use, sexual violence and abductions. The greater Upper Nile region witnessed gross human rights violations and abuses, including of children, as well as serious breaches of international humanitarian law, fuelled by inter-ethnic tensions, often emanating from historical disputes over land and resources and exacerbated by environmental change. The impact on children was devastating and had far-reaching consequences on individual lives and the social fabric.
3. Owing to the persistent denial of access, in particular in remote areas, resulting from bureaucratic impediments imposed mainly by the Government and security constraints, information collection was hampered throughout the reporting period and exacerbated after July 2016. That was illustrated by the increase in the number of denials of humanitarian access from 2016 (408) to 2017 (613), in parallel with a decrease in the number of verified violations from 2015 onwards and of incidents that the United Nations was unable to verify (1,008). It is therefore estimated that the violations committed against children were higher than reflected in the present report. However, the data herein provide an indication of the scale and nature of the grave violations against children in South Sudan.