Table of Contents
List of Abbreviation
Chapter one : General Introduction
1.3 Research focus
1.4 Aims and objectives:
Chapter 2: Literature review
2.2 Background about South Sudan
2.2.1 Protection of Civilian sites (PoCs):
2.3 Causes of displacement:
2.4 Legal framework for IDPs protection
2.4.1 The Kampala Convention
2.5 Mechanism for Protection in light of the legal framework
2.5.1 Shelter and Housing
Chapter 3 Research methodology and methods
3.2 Research design
3.3 Research Strategy
3.4 Qualitative versus Quantitative
3.5 Data collection
3.6 Primary and secondary data analysis
3.7 SWOT Analysis
3.10 Ethical consideration
Chapter 4 Critical analysis and presentation
4.2 Key Findings:
4.2.1 Causes of displacement
4.2.2 Factors behind choosing current displaced areas
4.2.3 Push and pull factors
4.2.4 Enhancement of IDPs’ protection
4.2.5 Statement of Dr. Francis Deng
5.1 Research objectives and finding
5.3 Future work
The problem of displacement became severe in nature and a world’s concern. Africa is one of the continents most affected by this trend. This research is focusing on the protection of internally displaced people in South Sudan after the crises that erupted in 2013. It tries to identify challenges and gaps and sheets light on possible solutions. The research is carried through qualitative methods, data collected through semi-structure interview with key informants and observation. The finding of this study provides evident that contributes to process towards realization of internally displaced persons in post-conflict-affected situation. The finding here indicates that in the context of South Sudan, it is only when other factors are inter-connected with war, can displacement be induced. This dissertation sees the upcoming implementation of revitalized peace agreement as an excellent opportunity for realization of IDPs problems and working towards finding lasting solution in South Sudan. It recommends adoption of IDPs legal and normative framework.
Key words: South Sudan, protection, displacement, IDPs, armed conflict.
List of Abbreviation
ALNAP – Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance
ARCSS – Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan AU - African Union
CBO – Community-based Organization
CSO – Civil society Organization
ECOSOCC – Economic, Social and Cultural Council
IASC- Inter Agency Standing Committee
IDMC – Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre
IDP – Internally displaced person
IHL – International Humanitarian Law
IHRL – International Human Rights Law
INGO – International Non-governmental Organization
IOM – International Organization of Migration
DPKO – Department of Peacekeeping Operations
IGAD – Intergovernmental Authority for Development
IPU – Inter-Parliamentary Union
NGO – Non-governmental organization
NHRI – National human rights institution
OAU – Organization of African Unity
POC – Protection of Civilian Sites
SPLM – Sudan People Liberation Movement
SPLM/IO – Sudan People Liberation Movement in Opposition
SWOT – Strength Weakness Opportunities and Threats
R-ARCSS – Revitalization Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan
RSG on IDPs – Representative of the UN Secretary-General on the human rights of IDPs
UN – United Nations
UNHCR – United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
UNMISS – United Nation Mission in South Sudan
‘‘If Protection could be a human being, we would have try any means to bring him to stay with us here in PoC, because we are extremely distracted for extend that sleepiness run away from our eyes ’’.
Fatima, resident of PoC, Bentiu
Chapter one : General Introduction
The persistence of this dissertation is to identify critical aspects of the protection of internally displaced persons that may have positive influence during the dynamic of conflict and contributes to political process towards addressing displacement problem in postconflict-affected situation.
The five years of IDPs’ critical situation in South Sudan underlined importance of a research on how protection of these considerable groups of population could be endeavoured. In a study carried by UNHCR in July 2014, an estimate of 1.1 million of South Sudanese reported to be internally displaces due to an armed conflict that broke-out the capital city of South Sudan in December 2013, between soldiers loyal to President Kiir and others to his former vice president Dr. Riek. Rapidly the situation shifted to other regions and become a country’s full-scale conflict. Figures shows that 1.1 million of population were internally displaced, another 413,000 became refugees in neighbouring Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Sudan (UNMISS).
Following the 2013, crises in South Sudan, over 200,000 civilians sought refuge in UN peacekeeping mission. This was unprecedented in the history of peacekeeping and humanitarian action. These “protection of civilians” sites most probably saved tens of thousands of lives at the start of the war. Just one week after the crises 35,000 people were counted in the PoCs (Briggs, 2017). Commenting on this unpredicted gathering of civilian on UN basis, the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) Hilde Johnson said: “We weren’t thinking five days, but maybe a week, maybe two, maybe three weeks was the assessment we had” (SUDD Institute, 2013).
The study of displacement shows that the situation could be instigate by various factors, population may have had to flee their homes because of natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes; or because of armed conflicts or generalized violence; or by situations of human rights violations. Displacement may also be caused by development projects that are regulated by states, such as urban development programs, the creation of industrial parks, infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges and dams, or industrial processes such as natural resource extraction.
When people are forced to flee their usually places of stay; they leave all their means of survival behind; find themselves in a very new desperate insecure and antagonistic environment. All the while, they are exposed to diseases, violence, and violation of their rights.
This study first presents a review of relevant literature on the protection of IDPs, summarized with some hypotheses that were tested using analysis of South Sudan context. Research strategy and methodology used are described with analytic procedures. Finally, obtained results are presented, future implications are envisaged and accordingly recommendations are expressed.
The research of IDPs topic proves that it is a complex topic. Over the past decade, humanitarian and human rights bodies had steadily grown in terms of variability and numbers. All actors agree on the need for greater professional competence and operational coordination. In line of this and its mandate to promote implementation of international humanitarian law, the ICRC In 1996, initiated a discussion on how different aspect of approaches to humanitarian endeavour could provide protection to civilian victims in a best manner. After four years of continues meeting of representatives of a large number of humanitarian and human rights organizations, a discussion was formulated on the meaning of the term “protection” and its operational consequence choices. As an outcome of this meeting, a term protection is defined as follows (ICRC, 2001):
“All activities aimed obtaining full respect for the rights of individual in accordance with letter and the spirit of the relevant bodies of law (i.e. International Human Rights Law (IHRL), International Humanitarian Law and International Refugee Law(IRL)).”
This definition looks to be comprehensive in including all approaches, which are possibly taken to preserve respect for this category of people. The definition in practice requires humanitarian actors to seek to prevent, mitigate and end any kind of risk that producing harm to affected persons, including violation of legal framework. It requires continues understanding of risks threatening affected people; their capacities to face that risks as well as analysing capacity of duty bearers responsible to mitigate that risk. This provides, evident-base programming, promotion and negotiation for the purpose of influencing and changing behaviour and policies in support of more favourable protection atmosphere (IASC, 2002).
Internal displacement is a universal concern and it is one of the great challenges facing the humanitarian community at large. Global population of forcible displaced that increased substantially in the past two decades, shows that it is raising from 37.3 million in 1996 to 65.3 million in 2015 – or a 75% (UNHCR, 2016). At the end of 2016, there were 31.1 million new internally displaced by conflicts and disasters (IDMC, 2016), one third of this figure are in Africa. The growth of forcibly displaced people in this century has generated severe humanitarian, economic and social costs around the globe. In addition, internal displacement had become more protracted in nature. This reflects the increasing duration of armed conflicts and the inability to find lasting solutions for hundreds of thousands of IDPs.
While displacement is not a new phenomenon in human history, According to United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA); an argument was raised by Greek government to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 1949 that people displaced internally by war should be treated the same as refugees, even if they did not need international protection. India and Pakistan repeated this argument after partition (OCHA, 2003). It was only after the cold war that international community start to discuss this topic. It was realized that if displacement is not addressed properly, it could ignite conflicts and aggravate peace-building process.
In contrast to IDPs, the refugees who are displaced people in nature but crossed borders of their states, they fall under protection of international law regime. Certain legal instruments were developed such as the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees 1951, and the African Union Convention known as OAU 1969 Convention Governing Specific aspect of Refugees in Africa.
The problem of displacement becoming a world concern that is severe in nature. Africa is one of the continent’s most affected by this. In 2015, it was home to an estimated 12 million IDPs, (IDMC, 2016) that is, nearly a third of the total number of people displaced worldwide because of armed conflict and other violence. IDPs often have particular needs and vulnerabilities, which may exacerbate the difficulties they face living in a conflict or violent environment. They are often deprived of their livelihoods and their assets. Families, particularly children are often separated, and lose safety and support that comes with living in their communities. Women and girls are especially vulnerable to sexual violence and exploitation (UNMISS, 2014: UNHCR, 2014). Poor access to essential goods and services, such as health care or education, is commonplace in displaced communities. While protection of internally displaced people lays as a primary responsibility of their national government, those authorities in most times lack enough capacity or willingness to address challenges facing these uprooted people.
The protection of IDPs emerged in international agenda since 1990s when Dr. Francis Deng, a special representative of the UN secretary General was assign by UN Commission on human rights to conduct study on displacement and make necessary recommendations. Dr. Francis and his legal expert team examined available legal framework and its applicability to displaced person. Consequently, the UN General assembly in 1998, adopted a first ever and a non-binding instrument; The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (Guistiniani, 2011). For effectiveness of this non-binding instrument, states were asked to incorporate the guiding principles in their domestic legal framework on displacement.
In a recent development, the states member of the African Union (AU) singed the first international legal instrument on displacement in 2008 at Kampala. The African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistant of Internally Displaced People in Africa known as ‘’The Kampala Convention’’, is a remarkable development because it reflect AU’s strong intention to address problem of displacement in Africa.
Although definition is a necessary step towards identifying the category of people in-need and formulate laws and policies to address their humanitarian needs (Mooney, 2005). The most commonly used definition of IDPs derived from the United Nation (UN) Guiding Principles on Internally Displaced Person. According to the guiding principles (GP), an IDP is defined as: ‘ ’Persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situation of generalized violence, of human rights of natural or human made disasters and who have not crossed an internationally recognized State border ’’ (UNHCR, 1998).
The definition of displaced person provided by the UN guiding principles, adopted later by the Kampala convention, presents a dilemma as many vulnerable people does not fall under the criteria of this definition. For instance homeless and refugee who are returning back home will not met the condition of ‘’fleeing home’’ although they face same suffering. However, as members of civilian at large they are liable to protection afforded to civilian.
1.3 Research focus
The current rising figures among IDPs put its among international priority agenda. In many cases efforts to address IDPs problems are tainted, as they are not grounded on facts. There is a vital need to get clarity about root cause and drivers of displacement as expressed in expert opinion by Internally Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC, 2015).
Despite the strong legal foundation presented in the UN guiding principles, the Kampala Convention and other international legal regimes, implementation of these legal frameworks remain a critical issue. The research had taken displacement as a concern topic with focus on drivers of displacement in South Sudan as a case study. It provides critical analysis of the vulnerability situation that IDPs faces in South Sudan in order to envisage what could be done to enhance protection of IDPs.
1.4 Aims and objectives:
The overall objectives of this research is to analyse the situation of IDPs in South Sudan following the 2013 crises and identify necessary steps towards enhancing their protection.
In 2013, an armed conflict erupted in the capital town of the republic of South Sudan. As a result of political tension between President Salva Kiir and his Vice President Dr. Riek Machar, and rapidly escalated in almost all the country; it resulted in displacing over 5 million out of 11 million, now over half of the population in South Sudan are facing hunger (OCHA, 2016).
In our analyses of the situation, we tried to understand if the armed conflict was the only cause of displacement of civilian or if other factors are inter-connected. That will enable us to have overall understanding of why displacement occurred in other villages that did not witnessed armed confrontation. The objective of this research are set as follows:
1. To describe, identify and evaluate the status of IDPS following 2013-armed conflict in South Sudan.
2. To assess available legal framework in protection of IDPs area and assess its implementation. This will be determining by utilising SWOT analysis, which is a technique, used for understanding strength and weakness, and identifying available opportunities and threat.
3. To establish necessary recommendations that contributes positively in protection of IDPs in South Sudan.
The three objectives are interconnected to each other’s, while objective 1 is focusing on understanding the situation by reflecting on facts. It gives answers to questions of what motivate civilian to leave their villages, in particular those areas where civilian did not face armed confrontation. The objective as well will clarify if there are other drivers caused displacement rather than armed conflict. Objective two will serve as a tool to identify available legal framework for the protection of IDPs and assess its implementation. Objective 3 of this research is devoted to make significant contribution in the field of protection of IDPs in different manner: by providing critical issues related to causes of displacement in South Sudan; by critically examining available legal framework including communities coping mechanism, this will be done by exploring different views of all stockholders including displaced people. Lastly, the research will formulate recommendation for enhancement of IDPs protection; these recommendations will be articulated in different ways to help authorities and humanitarian actors on how to better enhance protection of IDPs. This piece of work will contribute to academic field for further researching in the same topic.
Chapter 2: Literature review
To examine the movement of civilian following 2013 crises, this chapter had looked into available sources mainly INGOs reports and academic literature that provides background about South Sudan. The country had a long experience of armed struggling and civil war, this had left the country without basic infrastructure. The country got its independent after 21 years of fighting, two years only after its independence, South Sudan back again into war abruptly following tensions between the President and his former vice president. Fighting escalated in towns and cities pushed civilian to flee their lives. Civilian move in flux to different UN peacekeeping basis for protection.
This chapter as well described status of IDPs after the 2013 crises wither in protection of civilian sites or in any other protection of civilian camp. Causes of displacement were as well identified.
Although South Sudan is a party to certain International Human Rights law and international humanitarian law; the Kampala Convention for the protection of internally displaced people. Available literature on legal framework was discussed through SWOT analysis that identifies strength, weaknesses, opportunity and threats. Finally, emerging issues from the extensive are reveal.
2.2 Background about South Sudan
South Sudan is the world newest nation that got its independent from Sudan on July 9, 2011, through an overwhelming vote on a referendum exercise of the right to selfdetermination.
The country had a long experience of armed struggling and civil war. The first civil war recorded in 1956 right away when the country (Sudan) got its independent from the British colonized regime. A historical agreement of Addis Ababa in 1972 marked the end of war by proposing some changes to the marginalized people of southern part of the country. 11 years later, the Addis Ababa peace agreement broke down as a new rebellion emerged in the Southern Sudan called Sudan People Liberation Movement with its army wink (SPLM/A). Unlike previous movements, SPLM/A emerged with strong political view arguing that the discriminative regime doesn’t affect Southerners alone but in fact the majority of Sudanese people are marginalized.
After 21 years of political and armed confrontation between SPLM and Sudanese government, a Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed in 2005. As one of the major principles agreed upon in CPA, the people of Southern Sudan will decide through referendum whither they will like to form their own country or they should remain as part of Sudan. The referendum results favoured independent of South Sudan as world newest nation. Prior to the outbreak of the 2013 crises, conflict and displacement continued in the country, with an estimated 180,000 internally displaced due to several causes including inter-ethnic fighting, food insecurity, drought and flooding (IDMC, 2012). The country was born with multiple interconnecting crises including armed conflict and inter-communal violence (UNOCHA, 2016). Since December 2013, various armed groups emerged in support of conflicting parties, thousands of civilians reported to have been targeted and killed (International Crises Group, 2015). The largest recorded spikes in displacement occurred between December 2013 and January 2015. Accordingly, humanitarian situation was declared a Level 3 emergency, which is the highest level of humanitarian crisis (REACH, 2015; UNHCR, 2015).
When the conflict broke-out in Juba in December 2013, the situation rapidly shifted to other regions and become full-scale conflict. The violence was reported in greater upper Nile region in Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity states. Figures shows that 1.1 million of population were internally displaced including some 97,000 sheltered in protection of civilian site inside UNMISS compounds in different states. At the same time, over 413,000 became refugees in neighbouring Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Sudan; large majority of them are women and children including 14,000 unaccompanied children (UNMISS, 2014: UNHCR, 2014).
The two decades of civil war (1983-2005) brought devastation and human displacement, disruption of economic and lack of investment in basic infrastructure. By 2012, only 4% of South Sudan’s land was being cultivated (UNMISS, 2014).
2.2.1 Protection of Civilian sites (PoCs):
Although The UN mission in South Sudan is not a first mission to establish designated areas for civilian safety, protection of civilian Sites ‘’PoC’’ established in South Sudan remain a unique one. For example in Bosnia similar approach was deployed when a security council declared six areas as ‘’Safe areas’’ which were placed under the care of the UN protection forces UNPROFOR (UN, 1996). While the safe areas ostensibly offered some physical protection, these same areas later had witnessed intensified direct attack more frequent and culminated in one of the worst massacres in recent history. The fall of the Srebrenica and Zepa safe areas, where over 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed in a short period (Human Rights Watch, 1995).
Before 2013 crises erupted, experts and observers were anticipating violence from ongoing political tensions between the president and opponent Dr. Riek. However no one at the same time predicted that civilian could resort to UN compound seeking protection. Just one week after the crises, 35,000 people were counted in the PoC (Briggs, 2017). Commenting on this unpredicted gathering of civilian on UN basis, the Special
Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) Hilde Johnson said: “We weren’t thinking five days, but maybe a week, maybe two, maybe three weeks was the assessment we had” (SUDD Institute, 2013). In 2015, it become a policy for UN missions that prepared with protection of civilian mandate to prepare in extremist situations to host displaced person within their bases.
To provide urgent needs of IDPs, special mechanism need to be deployed, According to OCHA (2017, p.6):
“Populations in need are affected by conflict situations for which respect and adherence to International Humanitarian Law (IHL) is of particular concern. Across conflict-affected areas, there have been incidences of assault, robbery and genderbased violence, as well as forced displacement and constrained access to humanitarian assistance and basic services. The influx of displaced or returning population further triggers inter-communal tension and conflicts. Affected populations, particularly children, are also vulnerable to family separation, recruitment into armed forces/groups, trafficking, early marriage and abuses. Determination of status, registration and documentation of asylum seekers, refugees and IDPs supports the provision of life- saving assistance. Despite the high level of needs, access to protection services and capacity to address needs remain limited. Hence, due to humanity, the internal displaced persons need different mechanism for protection”.
2.3 Causes of displacement:
Causes of displacement may be categorized into root causes and proximate causes. Root causes are those which initiate a conflict and its displacement, most of today’s conflicts must be understood as self-perpetuating and their resulting displacement can be seen not only as an effect of the conflict but also eventually as a cause of its continuation’’ (Brun, 2005).
Most conflicts that produced internal displacement are result of either internal disturbances or combination of internal fighting and direct foreign military intervention, most often linked to civil war (IDMC, 2005). The causes are driven by deep structural problems, often rooted racial, ethnic, religious and/or cultural cleavages including social inequality within a country (Deng, 2003). Available studies on causes of IDPs proved that an immediate triggering cause of displacement is war. Though, other factors can trigger displacement i.e. deterioration of land and restricted access to food and other necessities caused displacement in the Angolan highland region of Huambo (Birkeland, 2003).
Internally displaced people (IDPs) may have had to flee their homes because of natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes, or because of armed conflicts or generalized violence, situations of generalized violence or human rights violations. Displacement may also be caused by projects that are regulated by states, such as urban development programs, the creation of industrial parks, infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges and dams, or industrial processes such as natural resource extraction (IDMC, 2010).
In most displacement situation, conflict is the main driver for leaving due to either destruction of people’s homes or fear for their personal safety (REACH, 2015). South Sudan is recognized to be ethnically polarized. According to Zambakari and Kang (2016), the causes of 2013 crises was a tension between president Kiir, a Dinka by ethnic and his former vice president Dr. Machar, who hail from Nuer tribe; and it was mainly about politics and power struggle. Following this tension, the national army ‘SPLA’ encompass of unprofessional ethnic militias dominant by Dinka and Nuer; blindly loyal to leaders rather than institutions split accordingly (DeWaal, 2016). This has shifted the trend of the conflict from political to ethnic. To enhance their fighting capacity, both leaders mobilized their own tribes to join the fighting. Consequently, both parties of the conflict attacked civilian based on their ethnicity (Kulish, N. (2014). Apparently, tribal influence on leadership of South Sudan caused its failure and risk to the country and its citizen, leaders in South Sudan favoured their tribal affiliation more than professional, according to a policy arranged by the national security, expressed that: ‘‘ political calculation are determine by ethnic affiliation as politician has prioritized communal over national interest , undermining effective government . As a result, ethnic and tribal identity has undermined national unity and been a principle source of instability in South Sudan ’’ (National Security, 2012 p. 9).
Additionally, the fighting had prevented people from farming; as a result, more than 80% of the people in South Sudan are reported to be severely food and nutrition insecure than the year before (Relief web, 2017). In this regards, a lack of food, water and basic services, are reasons for leaving home, according to IDPs in Wau Shilluk Informal Settlement Site (UNMISS, 2014).
In the case of South Sudan, violence is equally discriminative in nature. The armed group, militias attack and displaced civilian in rural population to control their land and to stop what they consider as support to their enemy. Another aspect that needs to be consider is the movement of people for other reason such as economic reasons.
2.4 Status of IDPs following 2013 crises
In a study carried by UNHCR in July 2014 revealed that 1.1 million of South Sudanese reported to be internally displaces. When the conflict broke-out in Juba in December 2013, the situation rapidly shifted to other regions and become full-scale conflict. The violence was reported heavily in upper Nile region in Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity states. Figures shows that 1.1 million of population were internally displaced including some 97,000 sheltered in protection of civilian site inside UNMISS compounds in different states. Another 413,000 became refugees in neighbouring Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Sudan (UNMISS).
Despite diplomatic efforts to end the hostilities, sporadic and sustained incidents of violence across the country continue to produce civilian casualties and fuel mass displacement. The politico-military tensions are likely to persist throughout 2014 and into 2015, leading up to the general elections slated for 9 July 2015. The resulting insecurity is making conditions for interventions to protect and assist both IDPs and refugees extremely challenging for humanitarian workers.
More than a year after crises started, security situation had stable in some areas while the overall situation remain insubstantial. An estimated 1.5 million remain displaced from their homes. Despite the fact, there were efforts to relocate civilian from PoCs sites. This move was faced with reluctant from IDPs (IOM, 2015). Integrated efforts are made by humanitarian actors to assist IDPs, there are many challenges affected smooth flowing of humanitarian aid. A major challenge is a volatile security situation with a negative impact on the affected populations, staff security and logistics. The living conditions of the displaced change on daily basis due to luck of food addition to the main insecurity threat (UNHCR, 2014).
2.4 Legal framework for IDPs protection
These paragraphs try to assess available legal framework and its implementation in the protection of IDPs. Several regimes apply in the context of South; the armed conflict situation necessitates application of International humanitarian law as well international human rights. Although relevant South Sudanese laws are applicable including customary international rules.
International Humanitarian Law (IHL) known also as laws of armed conflict or laws of war is a set of rules that applies for humanitarian reason in times of armed conflict to protect those people who are or no longer participating in armed conflict. In contemporary legal development, the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, and its two additional protocols of 1977 presents core IHL treaty. IHL makes critical distinction between international armed conflicts that takes place between two or more states; non-international armed conflict whereby armed confrontation is within boundary of one country between states armed forces and other armed group as well as when armed groups are confronting each other’s. While the four Geneva Conventions and additional protocol I are meant to apply in situation of International armed conflict, article 3 common to Geneva conventions together with additional protocol II are applicable to conflict of non-international character. Though threshold of applying additional protocol II is considerably higher, According to article 1(2) non-state armed group are required to be under responsible command; exercise control over a territory that allow it carry military operation and apply the protocol. Current South Sudan conflict is classified as non-international armed conflict that reached criteria required in Additional Protocol II; intensity of confrontation resulted in toll death and organization requirement that qualified armed opposition to be a party to conflict in light of AP II (Geneva, 2018). Furthermore, IHL encompass many provisions related to prevention of displacement and allowing civilian to return back to their places of origin these provisions are basically found in the Geneva Conventions and its Additional Protocols.
South Sudan is a signatory to numbers of international conventions lying obligations towards IDPs protections, as well there are domestic legislation affirm those rights. For example the South Sudan Geneva Convention Act 2012, domesticates the four Geneva Conventions and its Additional Protocols. The state armed forces (SPLA) had an obligation to respect the rights of civilian according to common article 3 and additional Protocol II that are applicable in situations of non-international armed conflict. Common article 3 provides for a minimum standard which SPLA should respect at all times without any adverse distinction; people who are no longer participating and those who are primarily not taking part in hostilities including displaced people should be disperse from fighters and should be protected as provided by common article 3 and additional protocol II. Opposition armed forces have similar obligations because IHL is biding upon all parties to the conflict whatever their status. Furthermore, IDPs are civilian and should entitle to all rights and protection afforded to civilian (UNHRC, 1995).
2.4.1 The Kampala Convention
In its efforts to consolidate peace among its member states, the AU has taken a number of initiatives including initiation of peacebuilding, peacekeeping missions and mitigation of conflicts. In doing so, AU encourage states members and mobilize for international support to collaborate for effective achievement of its mission. The AU as well has adopted conventions and strategic policies that help peace to take deeper roots, address the root causes of conflict and consolidate reconciliation. In light of this, the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa, also known as the Kampala Convention was adopted in 2009 as a means of addressing the protection and assistance needs of IDPs across the continent. South Sudan signed this convention in 2013, ratification and domestication yet to see the light. Technically speaking, a state is not bound by a convention provision prior its ratification. However, South Sudan should refrain from doing any act against the spirit of the convention.
The Kampala Convention is the first regional instrument addresses internal displacement generally but comprehensively. It deals with all aspect of displacement ranging from prevention, protection, rehabilitation and durable solution. In the same path of the guiding principle, The Kampala Convention notably echoes on existing international and AU legal framework, including international humanitarian law and human rights together with pragmatic standard for humanitarian work . By reinforcing these norms and bringing them together into one instrument, the AU provides a strong legal basis for IDPs protection and other aspect of needs (IDMC, 2012). The definition of an IDP according to the Kampala convention is broadly framed in a non-discriminative feature in terms of rights bearer by referring to any displaced person regardless of his legal status in the state. This definition is provided in article 1(k) of the convention reads as follows:
“Internally Displaced Persons” means persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized State border”.
In addition, the Kampala Convention lies down clear obligation to all stockholders including; states parties, humanitarian actors and IDPs. I.e. States obligation related to humanitarian protection and assistance are dealt with in article 5 of the convention. This provision seems to be precedent in IHL, as in international armed conflict that states are bound to allow passage of humanitarian assistance if civilian in their control area are in need. Additionally, it is bound as well to allow rapid flowing of relief consignment, personnel and equipment’s.
Humanitarian professional standard rules such as sphere’s humanitarian charter requires humanitarian actors to carry their role in a manner to protect IDPs. Furthermore, each organization has its one code of conduct, which should be followed in all time by it saff. In fact reviving humanitarian aid is a vital right of affected population according to international humanitarian law.
Initially, the task of providing protection and humanitarian assistance to IDPs remains a task that states cannot get-rid-of. To meet this international law obligation, states have to translate into way that is more pragmatic by adopting national laws, policies and implementation strategies. It is also essential for national legal framework to layout foundation for other actors such as NGOs, CSOs and other humanitarian bodies to advocate National legislation and policy can in turn provide a powerful basis for CSOs and IDPs to advocate for the protection of IDPs’ full range of rights – economic, social, cultural, civil and political.
2.5 Mechanism for Protection in light of the legal framework
International Organizations and world governments are obligated to ensure protection for people who have been uprooted and displaced from their settlements by conflicts, violations of human rights and any other shocking events. These displaced people are suffering from cruel deprivation, hardship and discrimination. Therefore, the International Law recognizes the responsibility of the international community to provide protection and assistance to those who may not be able to avail themselves of the same from their governments (Crossley, 2016). The negative impacts of the lack of a specific institution or convention with a global mandate to address the challenge of IDPs have been a significant (Cohen el.t. Deng, 1998, p.1- 8). The International Community should provide protection when governments do not have the capacity or willingness to protect their uprooted populations (Roberta Cohen, 2004).
The displaced persons need protection from neighbouring states and international community the bodies that provides effective safety and protection in complementarily manner in case of incapability or unwilling of the local government. The conflict is usually followed by brutal human rights mistreatment against civilians, especially women and children. Sexual Based Violence spread out during conflict and commonly practices by warring parties in the country. Due to these factors, thousands of displaced population took shelters in PoC sites which are safest areas for their protection. The continuous fighting which result in displacement continue to cause family separation and desperation with the country.
Therefore, the displaced persons need protection from persecution, sexual based violence, assault and robbery within the PoC sites. They also need protection from natural disasters and any emergencies of unexpected threat. However, international organizations need to provide protection to the displaced persons through education, health, shelter, housing and food.
2.5.1 Shelter and Housing
Provision of shelter and housing is primary need of any displaced persons in the first place. number of displaced persons whom need shelter in South Sudan according to UNICEF annual report (2017, p.20) estimated of 827,000 people will require direct Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) services in 2018. This includes nearly 300,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) of whom about 210,000 reside in UNMISS Protection of Civilians sites, more than 27,700 in informal settlements, and more than 58,000 in collective centres. In addition to already recognised sites, CCCM will contribute to community stabilization for 527,000 IDPs and surrounding host communities in other camp-like settings in Central Equatoria, Jonglei, Unity, Upper Nile and Western Bahr el Ghazal. Furthermore, an estimated 304,560 refugees will be in need of CCCM services by the end of 2018. Affected people totalled of 827,000 IDPs in camps and camp-like settings and surrounding host communities in Central Equatoria, Jonglei, Unity, Upper Nile and Western Bahr el Ghazal will remain of concern to CCCM Cluster throughout 2018. Unity, Upper Nile and Western Bahr el Ghazal continue to host the highest number of displaced people in need of CCCM services in camp and camp like settings. However, the expansion and intensification of the conflict at different times and in different locations in the country continue to cause people to seek refuge in recognized sites as well as in other camp-like settings where perception of safety is gained by living together.
Another report provided in Handbook for the Protection of Internally Displaced Persons says, “where IDPs are not able to find shelter for themselves, IDPs should be provided with emergency shelter through the use of available collective centres or, in the worst case, tented encampment at an appropriate location as possible”(UNHCR, 2009). Security concern is recommended to monitor, displaced persons activities through camp leaders formed within the camp. Principle 18(2)(b) of the Guiding Principles reflects the need to respect IDPs’ rights to adequate housing through the provision of safe, habitable emergency and transitional shelter during displacement and assistance that meets their own housing needs in the context of durable solutions.
IDPs have the right to an adequate standard of living, regardless of the circumstances, and without any adverse discrimination. Authorities shall provide internally displaced persons with and ensure safe access to basic shelter and housing. UNCESCR, General (Comment 4) argues that “discrimination on the basis of displacement is forbidden in the provision of adequate housing, camps and IDPs should be recognized as a disadvantaged social group entitled to particular consideration in the implementation of national housing policies”.