South Sudan

  1. Sudan conflict hitting neighbouring economies

    Nicola Mandil

    BBC News, Juba

    The ongoing conflict in Sudan has created a regional crisis that has security and economic repercussions, a senior official with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Geneva, has warned.

    “The impact of this crisis on South Sudan is multiple – there is an economic impact which is very serious because good parts of the northern part of South Sudan were very much dependent on the economy of Sudan," said the UNHCR's Assistant High Commissioner for Operations Raouf Mazou.

    "So, it is a regional crisis having security considerations, but also very important economic considerations,” Mr Mazou continued, adding that Chad had echoed similar concerns.

    Since the start of the conflict in Sudan in April, refugees have fled across the border to South Sudan, the majority of whom are South Sudanese returnees who are now coming back to the country they had once been forced to flee.

    They are arriving alongside refugees from Sudan and various other countries.

    The number of new arrivals into South Sudan this week has surpassed the 100,000 mark, the UNHCR says.

    Mr Mazou told reporters in the capital, Juba, on Tuesday that about 7,000 registered refugees had entered South Sudan since the conflict in Sudan began.

    Among them were 3,500 Sudanese refugees, 2,600 Ethiopians, 1,800 Eritreans and other nationalities.

    Mr Mazou said in total, 400,000 Sudanese refugees had fled Sudan to neighbouring countries.

    Read more: The Eritrean refugees caught between two crises

  2. UN extends sanctions on South Sudan for a year

    Nichola Mandil

    BBC News, Juba

    The UN Security Council has renewed an arms embargo and sanctions imposed on South Sudan for an additional year, including asset freezes and travel bans on some individuals.

    The council voted on Tuesday with 10 votes in favour and five members abstaining.

    It directed all UN member states to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer of arms to South Sudan.

    The arms embargo was extended until May next year, with the council expressing concern over “the continued intensification of violence prolonging the political, security, economic, and humanitarian crisis in most parts of the country”.

    The countries that abstained were China, Russia, Ghana, Gabon and Mozambique.

    Ambassador Akuei Bona Malwal from South Sudan protested against the vote, saying “it was done in bad faith, and ill intention”.

    Despite a peace accord signed in 2018, violence continues and as of April of this year 2.3 million people in South Sudan were classified as internally displaced.

  3. South Sudan may unravel if Sudan war continues - UN

    Nichola Mandil

    BBC News, Juba

    Sudanese greet army soldiers, loyal to army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, in the Red Sea city of Port Sudan on April 16, 2023.
    Image caption: The fighting between rival forces in Sudan is now on its sixth week

    The UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (Unmiss) has warned that the situation in the country could unravel if the war in neighbouring Sudan continues.

    Nicholas Haysom, the head of Unmiss, told reporters in the capital, Juba, that South Sudan "will unravel as a result of what is happening in Sudan" noting that the war's negative effects would be felt beyond the country.

    He said a disruption of South Sudan's oil pipeline to Sudan - through which the landlocked country exports all its crude oil - would have an immediate impact.

    He said South Sudan and its citizens' capacity "to simply get by" would be affected "because 90% of the services and salaries all come from the oil money".

    "So in that regard, we would certainly want to argue - loudly, strongly, repeatedly - that the war has to come to an end,” Mr Haysom added.

    The fighting between the Sudan army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), now on its sixth week, has displaced nearly one million people, according to the UN.

    The number of South Sudanese returnees who have fled the conflict and returned home has exceeded 70,000, according to Unmiss

  4. Sudan crisis: Family stranded at border for a month

    Priya Sippy

    BBC Focus on Africa radio

    A family who fled the fighting in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, say they have been stuck on the border with Egypt for nearly a month waiting for visas.

    Nakapi Samba, a 24-year-old university student, arrived in Wadi Halfa with her three siblings and parents on 30 April.

    The family are originally from South Sudan and had settled in Khartoum after fleeing the civil war back home in 2015.

    The latest conflict means their lives have been uprooted once again. Since the end of April they have been living in a mosque in Wadi Halfa as they wait for their visas to be granted.

    “The situation here is not easy. We are laying on the floor. There is no access for good water,” Ms Samba told BBC Focus on Africa radio.

    With no income, she says her family will soon run out of money - and everything comes at a price in border town, including going to the toilet.

    “If you want something you have to pay for it.

    “We can buy things in the market but we have no access for firewood to cook. We only buy ready food and snacks.

    “The money [my parents] have saved won’t be enough for us for a long time. Only God can help us.”

    Listen to the full interview:

    Video content

    Video caption: Families who fled Khartoum are still waiting for entry into Egypt
  5. Sudan army chief's envoy holds talks with Kiir

    Nichola Mandil

    BBC News, Juba

    Dafalla al-Haj Al speaks in Juba

    The special envoy of Sudan's army chief Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan has met South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir to discuss ways to end the war in Khartoum.

    President Kiir was chosen by the regional bloc, Igad, to spearhead mediation efforts to end the fighting between Sudan's army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

    But the decision of the warring parties to attend ceasefire talks in Saudi Arabia has fuelled speculation that the regional mediation effort has been ignored.

    At a press conference in South Sudan's capital Juba, Dafalla al-Haj Ali tried to address the concern, saying he wanted to say "high and loud" that Igad was not being side-lined.

    “We have full confidence in President Salva Kiir,” he added.

    Mr Kiir stressed the importance of the conflict ending, and said that no country should take advantage of it to weaken Sudan.

    Read: Sudan mediators face tough choices

  6. UN warning over refugee resources in South Sudan

    Catherine Byaruhanga

    BBC News, Renk

    People in Renk, South Sudan
    Image caption: Renk is currently hosting thousands of refugees from Sudan

    A BBC team has arrived at a transit centre in Renk in South Sudan, where staff from UN agencies say they lack the required resources to help those fleeing across the border from Sudan.

    They told the BBC have had to set up operations almost from scratch, though basic services like water, food and tarpaulin tents are being provided.

    Renk is close to the border with Sudan, where more than 4,000 people are living after fleeing the conflict that erupted nearly three weeks ago.

    Refugees in Renk

    Around 30,000 people in total have come to South Sudan from Sudan in that time - most are South Sudanese, but some are Sudanese and other nationals.

    Many are staying with family or local communities, others have made it to the capital, Juba.

    Here in Renk groups of families and friends, some with toddlers, are living out in the open in makeshift tents while others are camping out in abandoned buildings at a former university campus.

    South Sudan has already been impacted by years of conflict, and its broken economy is struggling to provide support for those coming across the border.

    Trade with Sudan has already been cut because of the conflict as government ministers warn of long-term impacts should the fighting continue.

  7. Sudan rivals agree 'in principle' to a week's truce

    Kalkidan Yibeltal

    BBC News

    Sudan’s warring generals have agreed “in principle” to a week's ceasfire to start from Thursday, the foreign ministry in neighbouring South Sudan, one of the countries leading peace efforts, has said.

    While there is currently a three-day truce in place fighting has continued, with a major humanitarian crisis looming.

    The violence between the army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) is now in its third week - with each side accusing the other of breaching previous truces.

    South Sudan's President Salva Kiir stressed the importance of having a longer ceasefire to allow each side to name representatives for peace talks, the Reuters news agency reports the statement as saying.

    US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has spoken to leaders from neighbouring countries to find ways to resolve the violence in Sudan while the African Union urged the two factions for sustained ceasefire.

  8. South Sudan in good position to mediate Sudan conflict


    Nichola Mandil

    BBC News, Juba

    As fighting continues in Sudan, despite the temporary ceasefire, neighbouring South Sudan has shown an interest in mediating peace talks between the bitter rivals – army chief Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the leader of Rapid Support Forces, Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, better known as Hemedti.

    Despite South Sudan and Sudan's bitter past of a long civil war leading to secession in 2011, recently relations between the two countries have been cordial.

    Ties grew stronger following the signing of the 2018 deal that ended five years of conflict in South Sudan as Sudan was one of the guarantors of the agreement.

    Juba also has a history of mediating between various Sudanese rebel groups and the government led by Gen Burhan.

    The two generals have been to Juba together on a number of occasions to sign peace deals with rebel groups from Sudan.

    Hemedti also played a key role in mediating between South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and his former rival, Riek Machar, who is now the First Vice-President.

    Now Juba is trying to reciprocate.

    President Kiir understands the nature of politics in Sudan very well and is also well acquainted with the two generals.

  9. Sudan conflict affects South Sudan economy – Minister

    Nichola Mandil

    BBC News, Juba

    South Sudan’s Minister of Petroleum Puot Kang Chol has expressed concerns that the ongoing fighting in Sudan will have a dire consequence on the economies of both countries if it continues.

    Deadly fighting between Sudan’s army and the paramilitary group, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), has entered its sixth days.

    “The Ministry of Petroleum is deeply concerned over the continued military clashes between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces in the Republic of Sudan, and we express our regret for the loss of lives and injuries, including amongst civilians,” Mr Kang told reporters in the capital, Juba, on Thursday.

    “We urge all the warring parties to immediately cease hostilities, restore calm, and call on all actors to return to dialogue and resolve the current crisis in Sudan which directly and equally affects the economies and social welfare of both of our beloved countries,” he added.

    He also said the violence had not yet affected production and exportation of South Sudan’s oil.

    “All our old-field facilities such as pipelines, pump stations, field processing facilities, field surface facilities and export marine terminal in the Republic of Sudan are well protected and safe from any damage and we continue to produce and export an average of 196,141 barrels of crude oil per day from all our oil fields in South Sudan as I speak,” Mr Kang said.

    But he said all South Sudanese personnel and assets based in Sudan could be relocated to safer locations if necessary.

    South Sudan continues to transport its crude oil to the international market through a port in eastern Sudan. Sudan in return receives transit and processing fees from South Sudan.

  10. South Sudan sends more troops to DR Congo

    Nichola Mandil

    BBC News, Juba

    South Sudanese soldiers at Juba international airport

    The government of South Sudan on Monday dispatched additional 300 soldiers to neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) under the banner of a regional bloc.

    They will be part of the East African regional force fighting the M23 rebel group.

    It brings the total number of South Sudan troops in the country to over 1,000, according to Defence Minister General Chol Thon Balok.

    The 300 soldiers will be deployed to Goma - the headquarters of the regional force. They will be replaced after a year.

    “You are going in the name of South Sudan and under its flag, go and protect civilians in DR Congo, respect every man and woman of that country,” Gen Santino Deng Wol, the chief of defence forces, told the departing troops at Juba international airport.

    South Sudan is the latest country to join the seven-nation regional force created in June last year to try to stabilise eastern DR Congo.

  11. South Sudan leader's lost passport handed over

    Salva Kiir
    Image caption: Salva Kiir survived the plane crash that killed one British national

    A Kenyan family on Sunday handed over a passport belonging to South Sudan's President Salva Kiir, which got lost in a 1993 plane crash.

    The travel document had been kept by the family - along with those belonging to other passengers who were on board the plane that crashed in Kenya's north-western Baringo County.

    The family in Sawmill village had also collected President Kiir's armlets from the scene of the accident.

    South Sudan's Presidential Affairs Minister Barnaba Benjamin led a delegation that received Mr Kiir's travel documents and armlets at a ceremony attended by villagers on Sunday.

    The event was largely symbolic - the family gave the passport to the South Sudanese embassy last year, but formally hand it over to the visiting delegation on Sunday.

    At the time of the crash, Mr Kiir was the chief of general staff of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).

    Onboard the plane were five other people including the pilot, Mr Kiir's bodyguard, two Norwegian medics and a British national, who is said to have died on the spot.

    Villagers rescued survivors who were trapped in the debris and organised for their transportation to the hospital.

    As part of its appreciation, the South Sudan's government said it would build a modern hospital in the area, which will be named after President Kiir.

    The crash site will also be transformed into a tourist attraction.

  12. Senior South Sudan officials accused of abuses

    The Newsroom

    BBC World Service

    UN human rights experts have accused senior government officials and military officers in South Sudan of committing serious abuses, including widespread attacks against civilians, killings and rape.

    A new report says the state continues to fail in its duty to protect civilians and to ensure accountability for violations.

    Amongst those recommended for prosecution are the governor of Unity State, Joseph Monytuil, and Lieutenant General Thoi Chany Reat of the South Sudanese military.

    They are accused of state sanctioned extrajudicial killings carried out last August. They deny the allegations.

    The UN report says sexual violence against women and girls remains systematic in South Sudan. (It says impunity for serious crimes is a central driver of the violence and misery that civilians face.)

  13. South Sudan troops deployed to DR Congo

    The Newsroom

    BBC World Service

    Members of the South Sudan People's Defence Forces (SSPDF) army arrive for deployment at the International Airport in Goma, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, on April 2, 2023

    More than 40 South Sudanese soldiers have arrived in the Democratic Republic of Congo to join an East African force fighting a rebel group.

    It is not clear when the rest of the 750 troops promised by South Sudan will be deployed.

    They are part of a seven-nation regional force created last June to try to stabilise eastern DR Congo by supervising a withdrawal of M23 rebels.

    Rwanda denies it backs the group which has seized large parts of North Kivu province, triggering a humanitarian crisis.

  14. South Sudan VP rejects new defence minister

    BBC Monitoring

    The world through its media

    Riek Machar
    Image caption: The mistrust between President Kiir and Vice-President Machar (pictured above) has slowed the implementation of the peace deal

    South Sudan's Vice-President Riek Machar, who is also leader of the opposition SPLM-IO party, has rejected the appointment of Gen Chol Thon Balok as the new defence minister.

    The general is from the President Salva Kiir's party and replaces Angelina Teny, Mr Machar's wife, who was sacked a few weeks ago.

    A peace deal that ended a brutal five-year civil war splits cabinet posts between Mr Kiir's and Mr Machar's parties.

    The SPLM-IO has urged Mr Kiir to revoke Gen Thon's appointment, saying the president should not take such unilateral decisions until the row over the sacking is resolved with his deputy.

    The developments threaten the fragile agreement signed in 2018 that is intended to pave the way for elections next year.

  15. South Sudan leader appoints new defence minister

    Nichola Mandil

    BBC News, Juba

    South Sudan's President Salva Kiir
    Image caption: President Kiir fired the defence minister last month

    South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has appointed a new defence minister to replace Angelina Teny, whom he sacked earlier this month.

    The appointment of Gen Chol Thon Balok was announced in a presidential decree read on the national broadcaster, the South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC), on Wednesday night.

    Gen Thon is from the president's Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party. Prior to his appointment, he served as deputy defence minister.

    Ms Teny belongs to the party of Vice-President Riek Machar, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO).

    The two parties are part of a unity government formed after Mr Kiir and Mr Machar signed a peace agreement to end a brutal six-year civil war.

    The deal splits cabinet posts between the parties.

    The SPLM-IO says Mr Kiir's "unilateral" decision to effectively swap the defence and interior portfolios between the parites is a violation of the agreement.

    Mr Kiir and Mr Machar met a few weeks later to discuss the dismissal of Ms Teny, but failed to reach a solution.

    They promised to meet at a later date but have not done so since then.

    The SPLM-IO has not officially commented on the latest appointment.