The Current Conflict:
December 2013 - February 2019
On December 15, 2013, President Salva Kiir accused First Vice President Riek Machar of attempting a coup. Fighting broke out between the SPLA (government) and the SPLA-IO (opposition). The first cease-fire agreement was reached in January 2014, but fighting continued until another agreement was reached in 2015. Riek Machar returned to Juba and his position of First Vice President in 2016.
Fighting again broke out between the SPLA and the SPLA-IO centering in the Equatorial region of South Sudan, a previously peaceful region. Fighting in the “breadbasket” of South Sudan led to more than 6,000,000 South Sudanese facing severe food insecurity while millions fled their homes, many to nearby countries. The conflict has cost 400,000 South Sudanese their lives, sent 1,500,000 into other countries and displaced 2,500,000 more.
Multiple Peace Agreements Timeline:
January 2014: Addis Ababa with little effect.
August 2015: The Compromise Peace Agreement returned Riek Machar to Juba in his role as First Vice President. Continued fighting caused President Kiir to replace Riek with Tabang Deng Gai and the SPLA-IO moved its operations to the Equatorial region. Riek eventually fled to DRC and eventually took up safety in South Africa.
March 6, 2017: Bishop Elias Taban and the EPC peace desk and partners facilitated the signing of the first of several Grassroots Peace Agreements between the SPLA and SPLA-IO in Kampala, Uganda. These local agreements were a reaction to the call for a national dialogue beginning at the local level. Starting in Yei River State, grassroots peace agreements were signed in Maridi, Mundri, Western Lakes and Gogrial.
September 2018: The current national peace agreement called the Revitalized Agreement On The Resolution Of The Conflict in South Sudan was introduced and signed.
The Revitalized Agreement On The Resolution Of The Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) has proven successful in drawing the many players to the table. The one major group that has refused to sign the agreement is NAS, National Salvation Front, which has now signed an agreement with the government to cease hostilities. This agreement was organized by the EPC Peace Desk on February 19, 2019. South Sudan cannot move forward without the basics, food, water, medicines, a well-trained military, national forgiveness, and trauma healing. South Sudan must have partners to fund and implement the full peace agreement.
DRC: Democratic Republic of Congo
EPC: Evangelical Presbyterian Church
NAS: National Salvation Front
NGO: Non-Governmental Organization
R-ARCSS: Revitalized Agreement On The Resolution Of The Conflict in South Sudan
SPLM/A: Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement/Army
SPLM/A-IO: Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement/Army – in Opposition