South Sudan likely to witness second-order conflict – group

South Sudanese soldiers in an unidentified area (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

August 9th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – The Armed Conflict Location and Events Dataset (ACLED), an international crisis mapping project, has warned that continued violence between the SSPDF forces and the National Salvation Front (NAS) forces coupled with communal violence throughout the country will not lead to lasting peace and stability.

“In 2019 thus far, violence in South Sudan has been marked by two trends: violence between dissident military commanders and state forces and their paramilitary allies, and persistent communal violence,” said the ACLED in its mid-year report seen by Nyamilepedia.

Adding that, “One of the most notable trends associated with the civil war in 2019 has been the intensive counter-insurgency campaign in parts of the former Central Equatoria. This violence involves fighting among the National Salvation Front (NAS), government forces (including the military and intelligence services), and associated paramilitary forces. ”

The group indicated that the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) and NAS fighters have engaged in violence targeting unarmed civilians in Yei River state and that thecountry’s media outlets fell short of reporting the gravity of the crimes committed by the armed forces.

“This conflict is accompanied by violence targeting civilians by belligerents on both sides of the civil war and their respective militias. Yei, in particular, continues to be a hotspot for such violence. This violence is likely under-reported, as organizations like Human Rights Watch and UNMISS are some of the only outlets to circumvent the effective media blackout in the region” said the ACLED.

The ACLED spelled it out that, the violent events have significantly reduced, however, thecampaign is most likely to resume during the dry season.

“Since the start of the rainy season in May, violent events associated with that campaign have declined dramatically; however, the potential for such violence to return will loom over the dry season set to begin at the end of the year” it said.

The ACLED concluded that, “The violence of the past few months suggests the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) will not put an end to the violence, even if the risk of large-scale violence between the government and various factions of the SPLM-IO rebellion has diminished.”

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