05/07/2015
lisa monaghan

Anon (2015). South Sudan Macro-Conflict Analysis: Informing Operating Assumptions of Humanitarian Action

As the conflict in South Sudan continues and expands and international mediation efforts fail to produce a peace agreement between conflicting parties, the humanitarian crisis deepens and civilians – especially children – continue to face horrific human rights abuse. Estimates put the total number of IDPs at over 1.5 million and refugees at more than half-million. Recent fighting has put another 650,000 at heightened risk.

The capacity of the humanitarian community to provide much needed aid and protection is being stretched to the limit, as populations grow desperate in a context of serious food insecurity, shrinking aid budgets and increasingly complex and difficult operational realities. The allocation of only US $270 million to humanitarian action in the June High Level Conference on South Sudan is a reflection of the increasingly limited financial and political attention being given to the South Sudan crisis.

In addition, humanitarians perceive and experience a negative trend in their own safety and security in remote field environments, as well as the capital and humanitarian country headquarters, Juba. This – coupled with an increasingly restrictive NGO regulatory landscape and a spiraling economy – deepens the concerns of humanitarians regarding their ability to effectively and efficiently deliver life-saving aid until the end of 2015 and into 2016.

On 13-14 May 2015, a group of humanitarian and protection actors held a workshop on context and conflict analysis in South Sudan focused on key critical issues currently facing the humanitarian and protection community, the changing dynamics over the past six months, key assumptions for the next 3-6 months, and implications on the work of humanitarian and protection actors.

The purposes of the workshop were to update previous analyses for the use of NGOs and other actors in South Sudan and to ensure that issues critical to the humanitarian and protection community could be articulated for engagement

with various similar processes being carried out by donor countries’ offices, the UN, etc.

This report is the outcome of this discussion. While not offering a definitive analysis of the context in South Sudan, this discussion paper offers reflections on context, politically and operationally, which can be used by the broader humanitarian community to consider when conducting strategic planning exercises. To facilitate an open fluid discussion on sensitive topics, the workshop employed a Chatham House approach. The participants generously agreed to make a summary of this discussion and analysis publicly available.

This report briefly reviews key contextual highlights in section 2, follows with operational assumptions based on the group’s discussion of context (section 3), and concludes with the implications for humanitarian and protection actors (section 4).

Category: Conflict, International Assistance and Interventions