Non-signatory South Sudan has expressed interest in the Convention on Cluster Munitions since 2011, but has not completed the internal steps necessary to accede. South Sudan last participated in a meeting of the convention in May 2022. It voted in favor of the key annual United Nations (UN) resolution promoting the convention in December 2021.
South Sudan has provided annual voluntary Article 7 transparency reports for the convention since 2020, which state that it has not used, produced, or stockpiled cluster munitions.
The Republic of South Sudan has expressed interest in joining the convention since it became an independent state on 9 July 2011, but has yet to complete the internal process required 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 was still before the National Assembly.
South Sudan has participated as an observer at formal meetings of the convention since 2011, most recently attending the Second Review Conference in September 2021. South Sudan also attended the convention’s intersessional meetings held in May 2022.
South Sudan voted in favor of a key United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution in December 2021 that urged 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.” South Sudan is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).
Production, transfer, and stockpiling
South Sudan provided voluntary transparency reports for the convention in 2020 and 2021, 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 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 South Sudan becoming an independent state.
There have been no reports or allegations of South Sudanese government forces using cluster munitions.
Uganda denied using cluster bombs near Bor, the capital of South Sudan’s Jonglei state, in early 2014, when it was providing air support to the government of South Sudan during an operation against opposition forces. Remnants of Soviet-era RBK 250-275 AO-1SCh cluster bombs, including intact unexploded submunitions, were found near a major road, 16km south of Bor.
South Sudan denied using cluster munitions during the conflict, and also denied any Ugandan use of the weapons. South Sudan has also described the use as an “unfortunate incident” and pledged not to use cluster munitions.
No other use has been documented in South Sudan, although its voluntary Article 7 transparency report submitted in April 2020 alleged that the government of Sudan used cluster munitions in 2012.
The Article 7 report also listed areas contaminated by cluster munition remnants and identified unexploded submunitions that had been cleared, including air-dropped (Chilean-made PM-1 and PM-2, Soviet-made AO-1SCh, and United States (US)-made Mk-118 Rockeye) and ground-launched (M42, M85, M20G, and Type-81) dual-purpose improved conventional munitions (DPICM). Prior to independence in 2011, cluster munition remnants, including unexploded submunitions, were documented in what is now South Sudan.
 Statement of South Sudan, presented 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.
 South Sudan Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (voluntary), 29 April 2021; and South Sudan Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (voluntary), 30 April 2020. See, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Database. 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.
 South Sudan participated as an observer at the convention’s Meetings of States Parties in 2011–2012, 2014, and 2017–2019, as well as the First Review Conference in 2015 and regional workshops on the convention.
 “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 76/47, 6 December 2021. South Sudan was absent from the vote on the annual UNGA resolution promoting the convention in 2016, 2018, and 2020, but voted in favor 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.
 South Sudan Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (voluntary), Form B, 30 April 2020. The report states “not applicable” under Form E, on the status and progress of programs for the 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 (HRW), “South Sudan: Investigate New Cluster Bomb Use,” 15 February 2014.
 The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) report noted that “UNMAS [United Nations Mine Action Service] found physical evidence of the use of cluster munitions in the Malek area of Bor County, approximately 16 kilometers 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. See, UNMISS, “Conflict in South Sudan: A Human Rights Report,” 8 May 2014.
 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 stated that a joint investigation conducted with the UN could not determine which party used the cluster munitions found in Bor. Statement of South Sudan, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fifth Meeting of States Parties, San José, 3 September 2014. On 27 May 2014, the 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.” Security Council, “Security Council, Adopting Resolution 2155 (2014), Extends Mandate of Mission in South Sudan, Bolstering Its Strength to Quell Surging Violence,” 27 May 2014.
 South Sudan Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (voluntary), Form B, 30 April 2020.
 Ibid., Forms B and F.
 Virgil Wiebe and Titus Peachey, Clusters of Death: The Mennonite Central Committee Cluster Bomb Report, (Akron: Mennonite Central Committee, July 2000), chapter 4. Landmine Action photographed a Rockeye-type cluster bomb with Chinese language external markings in Yei in 2006. Clearance personnel in Sudan have also identified a variety of submunitions, including the Spanish-manufactured ESPIN 21, the US-produced M42 and Mk-118 (Rockeye), and the Soviet-manufactured PTAB-1.5. Humanity & Inclusion (HI), Circle of Impact: The Fatal Footprint of Cluster Munitions on People and Communities(Brussels: HI, May 2007), p. 55.