+   *    +     +     
About Us 
The Issues 
Our Research Products 
Order Publications 
Press Room 
Resources for Monitor Researchers 
Email Notification Receive notifications when this Country Profile is updated.


Send us your feedback on this profile

Send the Monitor your feedback by filling out this form. Responses will be channeled to editors, but will not be available online. Click if you would like to send an attachment. If you are using webmail, send attachments to .

South Sudan

Last Updated: 16 August 2014

Cluster Munition Ban Policy


The Republic of South Sudan has not acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

In May 2013, a government representative informed a regional seminar that South Sudan is committed to acceding to the Convention on Cluster Munitions Cluster Munitions.le cbut has been unable to do so until now due to competing priorities.[1] In September 2011, South Sudan said ntion on Cluster Munitions Cluster Munitions.o warned that there are many pressing issues to address not least to capacity build all departments of government and the judiciary.a[2]

South Sudan has engaged in the work of the Convention on Cluster Munitions since it became an independent state on 9 July 2011. It participated as an observer in 2011 and 2012 Meetings of States Parties, but was absent from the Fourth Meeting of States Parties in Lusaka, Zambia in September 2013. South Sudan attended the convention’s intersessional meetings in Geneva for the first time in 2013, but did not participate in intersessional meetings in April 2014. South Sudan participated in a regional seminar on the convention in Lomé, Togo in May 2013.

South Sudan acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 11 November 2011.[3] It is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Production, transfer, and stockpiling

The Monitor has no indication of any past production, export, or stockpiling of cluster munitions by the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A). In September 2011, South Sudan stated that it is not a user or producer of cluster munitions and a government official informed the CMC that South Sudan does not stockpile cluster munitions.[4]


In February 2014, evidence emerged showing that cluster munitions had been used in previous weeks during the conflict between the opposition forces loyal to South Sudan’s former Vice President Riek Machar and Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) government forces, with air-support for the SPLA provided by Uganda, a signatory to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. In the week of 7 February 2014, UN mine action experts found the remnants of at least eight RBK-250-275 cluster bombs and an unknown quantity of intact AO-1SCh submunitions by a stretch of road 16 kilometers south of Bor, the capital of Jonglei State, in an area not known to be contaminated by cluster munition remnants prior to mid-December 2013.[5]

Both South Sudanese and Ugandan forces are believed to possess the air power to deliver these types of cluster munitions, which are dropped by fixed wing aircraft or helicopters, but the opposition forces are not believed to possess these means of delivery.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon drew attention to the UN’s discovery of the cluster munition remnants near Bor and condemned the use of cluster bombs in the South Sudan conflict, but did not indicate who the UN believed was responsible or if an investigation would be undertaken.[6] The CMC condemned the instance of use of cluster munitions in South Sudan and called for an immediate investigation into this new use of cluster munitions.[7]

South Sudan has denied using cluster munitions in the conflict and also denied Ugandan use of the weapons.[8] In March 2014, a South Sudan government army spokesman said “South Sudan has no capacity to use or stockpile cluster bombs; neither do the Ugandan forces who have been assisting with security in South Sudan…The war is not intensive enough to require the use of cluster bombs.”

The commander of the Ugandan forces in South Sudan, Brig. Muhanga Kayanja, acknowledged in February 2014 that his forces used helicopters to provide close aerial support to ground troops, but denied the use of cluster bombs, or any bombs, during the conflict.[9] A UPDF spokesman told media on 19 February that the Ugandan army would not take part in any investigation into the incident as responsibility rests with the South Sudanese government and international experts.[10]

By 31 July 2014, 20 countries had expressed concern at the use of cluster munitions in South Sudan, including Zambia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wylbur C. Simuusa—in Zambia’s capacity as the President of the Convention on Cluster Munitions—and Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.[11] During the April 2014 intersessional meetings of the convention, Cambodia, the Netherlands, and New Zealand made interventions expressing concern at the reported cluster bomb use in South Sudan, while 15 other states unanimously endorsed a UN Security Council resolution on 27 May 2014 that noted “with serious concern reports of the indiscriminate use of cluster munitions” in Jonglei State and urged “all parties to refrain from similar such use in the future.”[12]

In previous years, numerous independent sources have documented the presence of cluster munition remnants, including unexploded submunitions, indicating that the armed forces of Sudan sporadically used air-dropped cluster munitions in southern Sudan between 1995 and 2000.[13]

Cluster Munition Monitor 2012 reported two allegations of cluster munition use by the armed forces of Sudan in the first half of 2012 in Troji and Ongolo in Southern Kordofan, a state bordering South Sudan that has seen fighting between the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army North (SPLM-N) and the Sudan Armed Forces since June 2011.


[1] Statement of South Sudan to the Loma Regional Seminar on the Universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Lomg, Togo, 23 May 2013. Notes by Action on Armed Violence.

[2] Statement of South Sudan, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 14 September 2011.

[3] In September 2011, a South Sudan representative informed the CMC that the government would address its accession to the Convention on Cluster Munitions after joining the Mine Ban Treaty. CMC meeting with South Sudan delegation to the Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 14 September 2011. Notes by the CMC.

[4] Statement of South Sudan, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 14 September 2011.

[5] UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS), “Conflict in South Sudan: A Human Rights Report,” 8 May 2014, pp. 26–27.

[6] Statement of UN Secretary-General on South Sudan, New York, 12 February 2014. In May 2014, the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) director informed the CMC that while cluster munitions had been used in South Sudan, it was not possible to determine who was responsible for the use. Email from UNMAS, 13 May 2014.

[7] CMC, “Cluster munition use in South Sudan,” undated, but 2014.

[8] See Jacey Fortin, “The Bad Bomb: Cluster Munitions, Cold Cases And A Case of Blame Game in South Sudan,” International Business Times, 12 March 2014.

[9] Human Rights Watch press release, “South Sudan: Investigate New Cluster Bomb Use,” 15 February 2014.

[10]Ugandan army won’t take part in cluster bomb investigation,” Sudan Tribune, 19 February 2014.

[11] Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement, “Norway condemns use of cluster bombs in South Sudan,” 22 February 2014; and statement by Wylbur C. Simuusa, President of the Fourth Meeting of States Parties of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, 14 February 2014.

[12] The 15 states were the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (China, France, Russia, UK, and US) and 10 non-permanent members: Argentina, Australia, Chad, Chile, Jordan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Nigeria, Republic of Korea, and Rwanda. See UN Security Council press statement, “Security Council, Adopting Resolution 2155 (2014), extends mandate of mission in South Sudan,” 27 May 2014. See also CMC, “Cluster munition use in South Sudan,” undated, but 2014.

[13] Virgil Wiebe and Titus Peachey, hey, eachey, f the UN Security Council (China, France, Russia, UKid=751685id=751685" to 014_E. Landmine Action photographed a Rockeye-type cluster bomb with Chinese language external markings in Yei in October 2006. Additionally, clearance personnel in Sudan have identified a variety of submunitions, including the Spanish-manufactured HESPIN 21, United States-produced M42 and Mk-118 (Rockeye), and Soviet-manufactured PTAB-1.5. Handicap International, Circle of Impact: The Fatal Footprint of Cluster Munitions on People and Communities (Brussels: HI, May 2007), p. 55.