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South Sudan: Situation Overview: Western Equatoria, South Sudan, July – September 2018

Source: REACH Initiative
Country: South Sudan


Following the outbreak of violence in Juba in early 2016, the conflict in South Sudan and especially the Greater Equatoria region escalated (Western, Central and Eastern Equatoria states). Many areas of Western Equatoria State are largely inaccessible to humanitarian actors due to insecurity. As a result, only limited information is available on the humanitarian situation outside of a few large towns and displacement sites.

In order to fill these information gaps and facilitate humanitarian programming, REACH began collecting monthly data on hard-to-reach areas in Western Equatoria from June 2017 through interviews with Key Informants (KIs).

Between July and September 2018, data was collected through KI interviews, which were conducted in person in Yambio town and through phone calls out of Juba with KIs who had direct or remote knowledge of the situation in a hard-to-reach settlement of Western Equatoria. From July to September 2018, REACH interviewed 247 KIs who had knowledge about 184 settlements in all ten counties of Western Equatoria State (Map 1).

Findings were triangulated with 4 Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) on displacement and food security and secondary data, including other assessments conducted by REACH in Western Equatoria State over the reporting period. Map 2 also highlights the assessment coverage attained for Western Equatoria during this quarter.

This Situation Overview provides a summary of displacement trends in addition to access to food and basic services for both internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host community members across Western Equatoria State from July to September 2018.

Population Movement and Displacement

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During the third quarter of 2018, the security situation in most of Western Equatoria improved, with fewer incidents of insecurity enabling people and humanitarian actors greater freedom of movement, which could be in relation to the signing of the revitalised peace agreement in September.

However, this has not been the case across the whole of Western Equatoria as insecurity has restricted movement in Tambura and Nagero due to insecurity.2 Moreover, crimerelated insecurity persisted. For instance, in August and September, there were fewer incidents of armed conflict but more crimerelated insecurity.3 According to ACLED, most incidents of crime-related insecurity were reported in July and mainly on the main road within Western Equatoria in Mundri West and East, which restricted humanitarian access.4 Other constraints to humanitarian access included logistical factors, as the road between Maridi and Mundri was blocked due to poor conditions and broken down vehicles.

Ongoing and New Displacement

The proportion of assessed settlements reporting the presence of IDPs rose from 69% in August to 84% in September.5 The largest share of assessed settlements reported that the most recent IDPs had arrived between 3 to 6 months ago (47% of assessed settlements that reported the presence of IDPs), which is relatively recent displacement. The most frequently reported origin of IDPs was Yambio County (21% of assessed settlements with presence of IDPs), Ezo County (15%) and Maridi County (14%), which implies that most of the displacement is internal within certain counties.

As can be seen in Map 3 below, the counties of Ezo (100%), Tambura (89%), Nzara (86%) and Yambio (83%) were the counties where the largest proportion of assessed settlements reported the presence of IDPs.

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The high proportion of assessed settlements hosting IDPs in these counties highlights that even though the security situation appears to be calmer than the previous reporting period, there are still incidents of insecurity and the impact of prolonged conflict has caused IDPs

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