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Community engagement with armed actors in South Sudan: reducing violence and protection risks

Case/country studies

Written by Gemma Davies, Leigh Mayhew, The Bridge Network

Image credit:Tim Harcourt-Powell

South Sudan has a complex multilayered history of violence and conflict. The impact on civilians has been devastating, with widespread and horrific killings and violence, state-sponsored extrajudicial killings, systematic sexual violence against women and girls, and the use of children as combatants by state and non-state armed groups.

This research seeks to understand how communities in South Sudan develop and shape their engagement with armed actors in order to strengthen their protection, and the factors, actions and actors that affect the terms of this engagement. It goes on to assess the opportunities, challenges and risks for national and international peace, protection and humanitarian actors, to adapt their approaches based on a strengthened understanding of community engagement with armed actors, as well as exploring opportunities for greater complementarity between humanitarian (protection) and peacebuilding action.