Overview of the political transition on the first anniversary of the unity government – South Sudan Special Report


  • It has been one year since the transitional government was formed in February 2020, during which there has been limited progress in advancing political The transitional parliament has not been formed, which is critical to launching or funding nearly all other aspects of the government.
  • The major accomplishment since signing the peace agreement was to delineate and allocate the states, reverting to a 10-state However, disputes over the governor of Upper Nile risks serious rifts within the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – In Opposition (SPLM-IO) and raises the potential for violence within the former rebel coalition.
  • Despite registering 87,000 soldiers and rebels to be part of the joint army, none of these troops have fully integrated or deployed due to a deadlock over political questions regarding command and unification. This has led to erosion within the ranks and growing discontent, particularly among the SPLM-IO, heightening the chance of defections and
  • The ceasefire between the government and SPLM-IO has been notably durable, though other ethnic and subnational conflicts have persisted throughout the country. There is evidence that both parties are supplying arms to various militias and groups, though their involvement remains relatively concealed, and thus the ceasefire can be officially maintained while conflict
  • Due to the pandemic, other regional troubles, and domestic concerns, the foreign countries heavily involved in mediating the peace process are expected to remain distracted. The status quo of postponements and armed conflict will likely continue as long as the central agreement between President Salva Kiir and SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar does not


  • We advise against nonessential travel to South Sudan given the instability associated with the current political and military situation, while sporadic clashes continue between the armed opposition and pro-government troops as well as repeated instances of intercommunal violence.


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