Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) interrupts the violence by providing a protective presence in vulnerable communities. It accompanies groups and individuals facing threats, and provides training to communities on managing conflict, protecting themselves, and building peace. Women’s Protection Teams encourage women to participate in peace and security efforts affecting their communities.
South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011 but it faced many challenges: Its borders weren’t secure, there were internal disputes and rogue militias, and it had oil revenue issues with Sudan. Its economy weakened, and, in 2013, widespread violence broke out in Juba, the capital. It involved various ethnic groups as well as internal disputes within the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement (the ruling party). Through 2017, some 4 million people have been displaced.
As the widespread violence, political instability, and the unstable economy in South Sudan continue, the humanitarian crisis has intensified and expanded. The food crisis is at its highest level ever; two-thirds of the population is at risk of severe food shortages. People have been forced to flee their homes, many of them multiple times. The deliberate targeting of civilians, widespread human rights abuses, forced recruitment of civilians (including children), and the destruction of property and infrastructure are urgent protection issues.
NP is the largest organization to provide protection on the ground. The pressing needs of the country have dramatically increased NP’s scope and scale of its work since the first team was established in Mundri County. Across the country, there are now close to 200 national and international staff. Some of our teams are in areas heavily affected by the conflict, while some are in areas largely untouched by the conflict but facing other challenges. NP staff have been exposed to high levels of stressful experiences. NP’s focus is on emergency response and the protection of civilians in areas of active conflict. Its teams increase the safety and security of civilians in a number of ways, including direct protection, community engagement and training, and providing safe spaces for civilians. With women and children particularly affected, Women’s Protection Teams are helping women prevent gender-based violence and participate in peacebuilding and the political processes. Unarmed Civilian Protection is reducing violence and creating the opportunity for people to peacefully resolve their own conflicts and advocate for improved security.
"I used to be afraid to be a leader, but now I lead a Women's Protection Team. I dream of being a Minister of Gender and I want to make sure girls' rights are respected and they have access to education."
Since 2010, NP teams working in South Sudan have provided:
women training to form 66 Women's Protection Teams to help women prevent gender-based violence and participate in peacebuilding and the political processes.
Our Teams in South Sudan
Head of Mission: Aseervatham Florington Established: 2010
Offices: Juba, Bentiu, Rumbek, Aburoc, Wau, Mobile Teams