In 2011, South Sudan gained independence from Sudan, marking an end to Africa's longest-running civil war. Two years later, however, violent conflict broke out in South Sudan after political disagreement between the President and his Deputy. The civil war led to the death of almost 400,000 people between 2013 and 2018. A revitalised peace agreement was signed in September 2018 but since then the parties have missed two deadlines to form a government of national unity.
The current ceasefire offers hope and opportunities but poverty and humanitarian needs remain high. Of the estimated 11 million South Sudanese, more than 7 million need emergency aid. The civil war has led to more than two million refugees in the region and two million displaced persons within the country.
The Netherlands has always used its voice to support the people of South Sudan. During its membership of the UN Security Council, for example, the Netherlands contributed to resolutions that addressed political as well as socio-economic challenges in South Sudan. Developments in South Sudan and the issue of gender-based violence are still on the Security Council’s agenda.
Dutch commitment was shown through its development programmes in the fields of security, peace building, rule of law, access to clean water, food and nutrition security, humanitarian aid and climate adaptation. The Netherlands focuses its resilience activities on local initiatives in regions where there is a reasonable and tenable degree of stability; so-called hubs of stability.