“Those Who Could Not Run, Died”:  Civilian Perspectives on the Conflict in South Sudan

The armed conflict that erupted in South Sudan in December 2013 has been devastating for civilians, as forces on both sides have repeatedly and deliberately targeted them, including through killings, sexual violence, the destruction of homes, and the looting of property. Based on field research undertaken between August and December 2015, this report examines civilians’ experience of the conflict as well as their perspectives on what 
is needed to avoid further violence.

The scale and nature of civilian harm during the conflict has aggravated communal tensions and led to deeply divided opinions of the government and security forces. Yet, across the politico-ethnic divide, civilians overwhelmingly identify similar priorities and expectations. Whether and how the government responds to these needs—particularly in terms of improving civilian protection and responding appropriately to the harm caused by all armed actors—will likely play a critical role in determining whether the peace process succeeds.



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