This report examines the extent to which the Juba Declaration's primary objective of unity between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the South Sudan Defence Forces (SSDF) has been achieved. In so doing, it describes what institutional obstacles remain to the further integration of the two groups, discusses which particular former SSDF groups and leaders are resisting integration, and suggests how security has improved or deteriorated as a result of the Juba Declaration.
The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) is engaged in a process of transfor-mation: it is undergoing a conversion from a guerrilla force into an affordable, professional, and disciplined regular force designed to operate under democratic civil control of the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) or, at an appropri-ate future date, as part of a national army under a government of national unity or its unified successor.1 The milestones for this process are outlined in the SPLA White Paper on Defence, which the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly endorsed in June 2008 (GoSS, 2008
Previous Sudan Issue Briefs have reviewed the process of integration of important so-called Other Armed Groups (OAGs) into the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and post-Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) violence between armed groups and SPLA forces during civilian disarmament campaigns. Allies and Defectors: An Update on Armed Group Integration and Proxy Force Activity updates the state of knowledge about the status of armed groups in South Sudan as of March 2008, and focus
Fighting for Spoils: Armed Insurgencies in Greater Upper Nile reviews the roots of the armed insurgencies led by George Athor, Peter Gadet, and other Southern commanders—all of whom have claimed to seek systemic changes to the Juba-based government or to overthrow it. It assesses the current approach of the SPLA and the government of the Republic of South Sudan (RoSS) to containing them, concluding that it is both ad hoc and unsustainable.
On 11 July 2016, government forces stormed Terrain, a residential compound in Juba, South Sudan. Systematic violence, looting, and vandalism ensued—including one fatality, multiple incidents of rape and torture, as well as destroyed property.