Mapping South Sudan’s Conflict: Leading up to Addis Ababa peace talks

(Visit our conflict mapping page for maps of the crisis in South Sudan that began in December and continued into January)

A video from a BBC report shows SPLA troops ambushed on the road to Bor. Three weeks after the initial fighting in Juba, defections have continued across the country: SPLA contingents in Morobo and Yei have allegedly left to join Machar’s forces, and a large SPLA force on their way from Maridi towards Central Equatoria appears to have split over an incident in Mundri that led to several deaths. Defectors reportedly looted towns between Mundri and Rokon on their way eastward to join Machar’s forces.

This week, sources reported that David Yau Yau accepted the government’s offer of a ceasefire, which may help put some pressure on Machar in Addis. Recognizing that this is not strictly an ethnic issue, a large percentage of Machar’s forces are made up of Nuer. Those loyal to Yau Yau are mostly Murle. Any rapprochement between Yau Yau and Kiir could put a degree of pressure on Jonglei. Yau Yau has come in and out of the SPLM/A camp a couple of times since his defection after 2010 elections, when he alleged that local elections had been rigged, depriving him of a post in Jonglei’s State Assembly to represent his home area of Gumuruk. He has been fighting the government since 2012.

Delegates representing President Salva Kiir and those representing Riek Machar are meeting in Addis Ababa and have agreed to a ceasefire, according to reports.


President Salva Kiir Mayardit. Photo by Jenny Rockett. Source: Wikimedia Commons

(note: some incidents from January 1 have been included as they were reported several days after they appear to have occurred)

Disclaimer: All events, descriptions, and locations reported below are based on media reports and other publicly available sources. Events, descriptions, locations, and mapped boundaries do not reflect the views of, those who manage the site, or any of its affiliates.

On each map, click on a box for a description of the events involved. Boxes that are black or yellow generally denote humanitarian and political events. Red boxes denote armed conflict events. Counties affected by the conflict between factions loyal to President Salva Kiir and those loyal to Riek Machar are highlighted. Scroll down for older maps.

The situation in Unity is very unclear based on reports. We may have to wait for more clarity on what exactly has been occurring there over the past week. There appears to have been conflict in Mayom and several other areas outside of Bentiu, but both sides consistently claim to have defeated each other.

What are your thoughts?