South Sudan

‘South Sudan War Cost Could Hit Shs 70tn’

If the South Sudan conflict continues for another 1 to 5 years, site patient it will cost South Sudan between US$22.3 billion and $28 billion (Shs70 trillion), visit web decease a new report has revealed.

If the conflict’s effects are measured over 20 years to allow for flow-on effects, visit web the loss is even greater: between $122 billion and $158 billion.

The human costs of conflict – death, hunger and disease – also have significant longer term economic impacts.

Just taking the effects of hunger on labour productivity could mean a further $6 billion in lost GDP2 if the conflict were to last another 5 years.

Released on Wednesday morning, the report was prepared by Frontier Economics in collaboration with the Center for Conflict Resolution (CECORE) and the Centre for Peace and Development Studies (CPDS), one of Europe’s leading economic consultancies in conjunction with Centre for Peace and Development Studies (CPDS) at the University of Juba and Center for Conflict Resolution (Uganda).

The researchers said South Sudan’s spending on security could increase by a further $2.2 billion were the conflict to last another 5 years thus affecting vital areas including public service.

“The savings in military spending that would result from resolving the conflict within a year from now  would allow South Sudan to meet the internationally recommended target of allocating 20% of spending to  education,” the report reads in part.

Violent internal conflict broke out in the Republic of South Sudan in December 2013 when long-standing tensions within the county’s ruling party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), boiled over into armed conflict in the nation’s capital, Juba.


The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) split between forces loyal to the Government (President Salva Kiir) and forces loyal to former Vice-President Riek Machar. The violence spread rapidly amongst security forces in Juba, engulfing whole neighbourhoods and resulting in hundreds of civilian deaths within days.

Attempts to implement a cessation of hostilities were negotiated and signed in January 2014, but have largely proved ineffectual.

According to the United Nations, the consequences for the civilian population have been devastating. There have been attacks on hospitals, churches, mosques, and United Nations bases. There are reasonable grounds to believe that violations of international human rights and humanitarian law have been committed by both parties to the conflict.

These include extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, rape and other acts of sexual violence, arbitrary arrests and detention.

Almost 2 million people have been displaced by the violence. About a quarter of these people have fled to neighbouring Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda. About 100,000 people  have sought refuge inside UN bases and do not feel safe to return home.

Although there is no official death toll, the International Crisis Group estimates the figure could be between 50,000 and 100,000 people.

Reports suggest that the opposing sides are mobilising for renewed fighting.

Key findings for the region

The five countries considered in this report – Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda – could between them save up to $53 billion if the conflict were resolved within 1 year, rather than allowed to last for 5 years.

Countries in the region, most notably Uganda and Kenya, may incur substantial financial costs relating to security needs. Figures reported for Uganda suggest that defence expenditure incurred as a result of the conflict is around double the government’s projected capital investment budget for the health sector for the coming financial year, and close to the capital investment budget for education.

Researcher further said if the conflict ended within one year rather than 5, the international community could save nearly an estimated US$ 30 billion by reducing expenditure on peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance

The report advised that the international community insists on an inclusive approach to peace negotiations so that all South Sudanese people have a stake in their nation’s future.

“IGAD with the backing of the AU and the UNSC should continue to support the active participation of a broad range of South Sudanese religious leaders and civil society representatives in the peace process to ensure they have a central role in rebuilding their country,” the report noted in part.

“They should also secure the participation of the semi and fully autonomous armed groups operating in South Sudan so they are parties to any security arrangements and do not become spoilers.”

The research groups said accountability, reconciliation and healing processes must take root in South Sudan, adding, the culture of impunity in South Sudan fuels atrocities and must be tackled if the reoccurring cycles of violence are to end.

It was suggested that any peace agreement should exclude amnesty for those responsible for serious crimes and it should require that during the Transitional Period South Sudan publicly commits to fair, credible criminal investigation and prosecution of serious crimes committed during the current conflict. They said any peace agreement should also require South Sudan to establish a national body during the Transitional Period that will promote truth-telling, reconciliation and healing.

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