Situation Analysis Bentiu, December 2014
Download this report
Bentiu is nationally significant as the capital of the only Nuer-majority state in South Sudan. The Bentiu Protection of Civilians (POC) site hosts about 45,000 IDPs and lies in one of the most persistent battlefield zones of the war. Fighting has completely destroyed Bentiu town and the Rubkona market, the largest pre-war marketplace in Unity State. A market half as large has grown inside the POC site, where prices have increased threefold from the pre-war norm. All Nuer subgroups live in the site and the position of the Bul Nuer is notable as the main subgroup politically and militarily engaged on both sides of the conflict. A civilian population living in outlying areas, perhaps around 15,000 in number, travel to and from the site to trade for food in the market. Customary law, in use by all Nuer subgroups in the site, is evolving to address wartime conditions. While generally effective, customary law does not adequately address gender-based violence. The most vulnerable groups in the site are women who face high levels of such violence, and disenfranchised rural youth belonging to gangs who lack education and income generating opportunities.