Non-signatory South Sudan has expressed interest in the convention since it became an independent state in July 2011, but has yet to complete the internal steps needed to accede. South Sudan last participated in a meeting of the convention in September 2019. It was absent from the vote on a key United Nations (UN) resolution promoting the convention in December 2020.
South Sudan provided voluntary Article 7 transparency reports in 2020 and 2021 that state it has not used, produced, or stockpiled cluster munitions.
The Republic of South Sudan has expressed its interest in joining the convention since it became an independent state on 9 July 2011, but it has yet to complete the internal steps needed to accede.
In 2017, the executive Council of Ministers unanimously approved a proposal that South Sudan accede to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. In 2020 and 2021, South Sudan reported that a legislative proposal to approve its accession to the convention was still before the National Assembly.
South Sudan has participated as an observer in meetings of the convention since 2011, most recently the Ninth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in September 2019, where it reiterated its desire to join the convention. South Sudan was invited to but did not attend the first part of the convention’s Second Review Conference held virtually in November 2020.
South Sudan voted in favor of a key UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution in December 2019 that urges states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible.”
South Sudan joined the Mine Ban Treaty on 11 November 2011 through the rarely used process of “succession.” It is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).
Production, transfer, and stockpiling
South Sudan provided voluntary transparency reports for the convention in 2021 and 2020, which state that “South Sudan does not have any cluster munitions and explosive sub munitions stockpiled under [its] jurisdiction and control.” Previously, in 2014, South Sudan stated that it “does not produce nor possess any cluster munitions” and declared, “we do not intend to acquire or use cluster bombs.” South Sudan also stated in 2011 that it does not stockpile cluster munitions.
The Monitor has seen no evidence to indicate past use, production, export, or stockpiling of cluster munitions by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) prior to the country becoming an independent state.
Uganda has denied using cluster bombs outside of Bor, the capital of South Sudan’s Jonglei State in early 2014, when it was providing air support to an operation by the government of South Sudan against opposition forces. Remnants of Soviet-era RBK 250-275 AO-1SCh cluster bombs, including intact unexploded submunitions, were found by a major road 16 kilometers south of Bor.
South Sudan denied using cluster munitions during the conflict and denied any Ugandan use of the weapons. It has also described the use as an “unfortunate incident” and pledged not to use cluster munitions.
No other cluster munition use has been documented in South Sudan, although the April 2020 voluntary transparency report alleges that the government of Sudan used cluster munitions in 2012. South Sudan’s voluntary transparency report also lists areas contaminated by cluster munition remnants and identifies unexploded submunitions that it has cleared, including air-dropped (Chilean-made PM-1 and PM-2, Soviet-made AO-1SCh, and US-made Mk-118 Rockeye) and ground launched (M42, M85, M20G, Type-81) DPICM-type. Prior to independence, numerous independent sources documented cluster munition remnants, including unexploded submunitions, in what is now South Sudan.
 Statement of South Sudan, made by Jurkuch Barach Jurkuch, Chairperson of National Mine Action Authority of South Sudan, Convention on Cluster Munitions Seventh Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 4–6 September 2017; and Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC), “South Sudan Bans Cluster Munitions,” 5 September 2017.
 Convention on Cluster Munitions voluntary Article 7 report, 29 April 2021; and Convention on Cluster Munitions voluntary Article 7 Report, 30 April 2020. Previously, in September 2018, South Sudan told States Parties that the National Assembly was considering a legislative proposal to approve its accession to the convention. Statement of South Sudan, Convention on Cluster Munitions Eighth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 3 September 2018.
 Statement of South Sudan, Convention on Cluster Munitions Ninth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 2 September 2019. South Sudan participated as an observer in the convention’s Meetings of States Parties in 2011–2012, 2014, and 2017–2018 as well as the First Review Conference in 2015 and regional workshops on the convention.
 In April 2020, South Sudan expressed interest in attending the convention’s milestone Second Review Conference and said that “a decision to finally accede to the convention will have to be made later.” Letter from Amb. Dr. Mawien Makol Ariik, Permanent Mission of the Republic of South Sudan to the United Nations in Geneva, to Hector Guerra, CMC, 6 April 2020.
 “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 74/62, 12 December 2019. South Sudan was absent from the vote on the annual UNGA resolution promoting the convention in 2016, 2018, and 2020, but voted in favor of the UNGA resolution in 2015 and 2017.
 According to the UN Office of Legal Affairs, the Mine Ban Treaty took effect for South Sudan on 9 July 2011, the date of state independence and succession. In 2011, a representative of South Sudan told the CMC that the government would consider 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, in Beirut, 14 September 2011. Notes by the CMC.
 Convention on Cluster Munitions voluntary Article 7 Report, Form B, 30 April 2020. The report states “not applicable” under Form E on the status and progress of programmes for conversion or decommissioning of production facilities.
 In February 2014, evidence emerged showing that in the period since mid-December 2013, cluster munitions were used outside of Bor during a conflict between 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. Human Rights Watch, “South Sudan: Investigate New Cluster Bomb Use,” 15 February 2014.
 The UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) report noted “UNMAS found physical evidence of the use of cluster munitions in the Malek area of Bor County, approximately 16 kilometres south of Bor along the Juba-Bor Road.” The remnants of at least eight RBK 250-275 cluster bombs and an unknown quantity of intact unexploded AO-1SCh fragmentation submunitions were found in an area that was not known to be contaminated before. UNMISS, “Conflict in South Sudan: A Human Rights Report,” 8 May 2014.
 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. Both South Sudanese and Ugandan forces are believed to possess fixed wing aircraft and helicopters capable of delivering air-dropped cluster munitions, such as the RBK-250-275 AO-1SCh cluster bomb, while South Sudan’s opposition forces are not believed to possess these means of delivery.
 South Sudan said that a joint investigation conducted with the UN could not determine who used the cluster munitions found in Bor. Statement of South Sudan, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fifth Meeting of States Parties, San José, Costa Rica, 3 September 2014. On 27 May 2014, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2155, which noted “with serious concern reports of the indiscriminate use of cluster munitions” in Jonglei State in February 2014 and urged “all parties to refrain from similar such use in the future.” See, UN Security Council, “Security Council, Adopting Resolution 2155 (2014), extends mandate of mission in South Sudan,” 27 May 2014.
 Ibid., Forms B and F, 30 April 2020.
 Virgil Wiebe and Titus Peachey, Clusters of Death: The Mennonite Central Committee Cluster Bomb Report, (Akron: Mennonite Central Committee, July 2000), ch. 4. Landmine Action photographed a Rockeye-type cluster bomb with Chinese language external markings in Yei in 2006. See also, clearance personnel in Sudan have identified a variety of submunitions, including the Spanish-manufactured ESPIN 21, US-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.