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The Sudan conflict has been one of the longest running in contemporary African history. This paper provides an update on the current crisis in South Sudan.

Executive summary

  • In mid-December 2013, the newly formed country of South Sudan erupted into violence, creating a significant humanitarian crisis.
  • Violence spread rapidly across the country, mainly along ethnic lines, and thousands were killed.
  • The United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) came under attack with two Indian peacekeepers killed.
  • The UN Security Council adopted a resolution on 24 December 2013 to significantly increase the military and police contribution to UNMISS.
  • Australia contributes military personnel (and previously policing personnel) to UNMISS and provided additional support through strategic airlift operations during the initial stages of the crisis.
  • Despite a peace agreement being reached on 23 January 2014, which included terms for a ceasefire, the violence continues.
  • In the last year, the number of internally displaced people has risen from 709,000 to 1.5 million and those who have sought refuge in neighbouring countries increased from 249,000 to 646,883.
  • Peace negotiations, backed by the United Nations (UN) and the African Union are ongoing, but are yet to produce a sustainable solution to the crisis.
  • In February 2015, an agreement was reached to establish a transitional unity government—however, efforts to progress beyond this point have been continually frustrated by parties on both sides of the conflict.
  • The UN Security Council has threatened to impose sanctions unless progress is made towards establishing the transitional unity government by the 9 July 2015 deadline.
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