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The Parties to the 2018 Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) began the process of forming a unity government in South Sudan’s capital city of Juba on February 22 and 23. Relief actors lauded the event as a positive development, but stressed the severity of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in South Sudan and the need to address key drivers of the protracted conflict. An estimated 7.5 million people—approximately 64 percent of South Sudan’s population—are currently in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the UN.
Since mid-February, escalating intercommunal violence has displaced thousands of people, resulted in hundreds of casualties, increased risks to relief actors, and disrupted humanitarian programming across South Sudan’s Jonglei, Lakes, Unity, Warrap, and Western Bahr el Ghazal states. Clashes between armed youth in Jonglei’s Pibor County resulted in the displacement of at least 8,500 people in early March and temporarily cut off road access to the Greater Pibor area, hindering the delivery of humanitarian assistance.