National actors working in small arms control and on women, peace, and security (WPS) share commitments to reduce suffering, maintain peace and security, and contribute to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Yet, while these cross references are increasingly commonplace in the international policy framework, this does not often translate into harmonized references in national action plans (NAPs) on WPS and small arms control.
Mali has faced more than a decade of armed violence perpetrated by extremists, resulting in thousands of victims among national and international armed forces, UN peacekeepers, and civilians.
Following the Taliban’s assumption of control in Afghanistan in August 2021, uncertainty has persisted about the scale, scope, and specific elements of the arsenal it captured from the previous regime. A new report from the Small Arms Survey, based on hitherto unpublished official data, provides the most refined picture to date of the arsenals captured by the Taliban.
Situation Update: Ukraine
The previous intensive phase of the Russo-Ukrainian conflict (2014–15) triggered a short-lived but discernible upswing in violent criminal incidents in Ukraine. This causes concern for a potential greater future increase resulting from the current full-scale war. New analysis shows that Ukrainians are already experiencing increased crime levels—and are arming themselves for security.
Rin Tueny has achieved success in pacifying parts of Lakes state, including the Greater Rumbek area. His methods, however, have prioritised security and deterrence over human rights and legal norms. Consequently, there is little meaningful institutional oversight. While Lakes state may appear to be a ‘success’ story, a relapse into turmoil is possible.
Situation Update: Warrap state, South Sudan
Warrap is the birthplace of President Salva Kiir and the seat of his power. The state is home to many of the leading generals and politicians in his coalition, including—most notably—Akol Koor Kuc. Akol Koor controls Warrap state, and Governor Manhiem Bol Malek wields power by remaining in Koor’s good graces. Manhiem has used many of his predecessor’s methods and, like his predecessor, he has not been successful in quelling dissent and intercommunal clashes.
Situation Update: Western Equatoria, South Sudan
Since 2021, politics in Western Equatoria has become increasingly ethnicized, with heightening tension between the Azande and Balanda. The situation has been inflamed by the political strife between Jemma Nunu Kumba, the speaker of South Sudan’s Transitional National Legislative Assembly, and the opposition-party governor of Western Equatoria state, Alfred Futuyo Karaba. Tensions are high as armed troops from both the government forces and SPLA-IO patrol the state capital, Yambio, and state politicians amass war chests.
Though elections are now postulated for next year, South Sudan remains in crisis. Conflict continues to scar the country, and climatic shocks exacerbate already acute resource scarcity, leaving approximately 76 per cent of South Sudan’s population surviving on humanitarian assistance. The regime of South Sudanese President Salva Kiir survives by diverting revenues in three key areas—oil production, humanitarianism, and loans from international financial institutions—to the benefit of an elite class in Juba, but at the cost of the immiseration of the people of South Sudan.
Situation Update: Western Bahr el Ghazal, South Sudan
Sarah Cleto’s tenure as the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLA-IO) governor of Western Bahr el Ghazal is in trouble. Despite her grassroots popularity, members of the opposition are calling for her removal. Attempts to replace Cleto, however, have been stalled by internal power struggles—highlighting the complexities of Western Bahr el Ghazal’s ethnic politics.
Situation Update: Unity, South Sudan
Nguen Monytuil Wejang is one of the longest serving governors in South Sudan. In Unity state, he has maintained his rule by fragmenting the opposition, violently displacing the population, and assembling a diverse political coalition.