South Sudan

UNMISS: Quarterly brief on violence affecting civilians (January – March 2020)

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This brief presents an overview of trends in violence affecting civilians between January and March 2020, by assessing four major forms of individual harm experienced throughout the conflict (killing, injury, abduction and sexual violence). While the impact of violence extends beyond these forms of harm, they have been the most common incidents documented throughout the conflict in South Sudan.

Since the signing of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) in September 2018, the overall number of civilian1 casualties (defined as killed and injured civilians) attributed to conventional parties to the conflict has declined. At the same time, entrenched patterns of violence affecting civilians have persisted. This includes incidents commonly referred to as “intercommunal violence.” Although this violence is rooted in the history of South Sudan, over the years it has taken on an increasingly militarized character, with the involvement of elements of conventional parties to the conflict. It therefore cannot be dissociated from local and national military dynamics.

The UNMISS Human Rights Division (HRD) has developed an incident-based tracking mechanism to document conflict-related violations and abuses. This data is disaggregated by the sex and age of victims. Sources of information include victim and eyewitness accounts, as well as reports from secondary sources identified during HRD field missions. All reported incidents, particularly those involving intercommunal violence, are deconflicted with incidents documented by the UNMISS Civil Affairs Division (CAD).