The recent flooding in South Sudan is the worst in over 60 years.
South Sudan is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, including droughts and flooding. Both long-term climate change, such as the gradual increase in temperatures, and short-term extreme climate events, like increased flooding, have indirect and interlinked implications for peace and security in South Sudan.
• Unpredictable annual variations in extreme weather events, like flooding and droughts, affect agriculture-dependent communities and influence pastoralist mobility patterns and routes. Such changes may intensify the risk of tensions between herders and farmers, often in connection with land, grazing, water and communal affairs.
• Transhumance, including cross-border migration from Sudan through the Greater Upper Nile in particular, exacerbates the spread of veterinary diseases and fuels environmental degradation and competition over scarce resources.
• Women and girls continue to bear the brunt of the effects of climate change; female-headed households are especially vulnerable.
• Climate-related livestock losses compounded by pre-existing rivalries increase the risk of cattle raiding, which can trigger retaliation, communal conflict, displacement, deepening intercommunal rivalry and the formation of armed groups.
Ongoing conflict, governance deficits, insufficient resources, knowledge gaps and low technical expertise and capacity have weakened the ability of the Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity of South Sudan (R-TGoNU) to integrate climaterelated security risks into its efforts to manage communal and natural resource conflicts, as well as conflicts over land ownership and rights.
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) should continue to invest in knowledge and expertise in the areas of climate, peace and security, and strengthen the R-TGoNU’s capacity to adapt to climate change and integrate climate-related security risks into its early warning, prevention, mitigation and preparedness efforts.