HSBA Document Archive
Visit the archive section of the HSBA website for older updates and versions of HSBA documents.
Spreading fallout: The collapse of the ARCSS and new conflict along the Equatorias-DRC border
Issue Brief 28, May 2017
Remote-control breakdown: Sudanese paramilitary forces and pro-government militias
Issue Brief 27, April 2017
Policing in South Sudan: Transformation Challenges and Priorities
Issue Brief 26, March 2017
A State of Disunity: Conflict Dynamics in Unity State, 2013-15
Working Paper 42, December 2016
Legitimacy, Exclusion, and Power: Taban Deng Gai and the future of the South Sudan peace process
Issue Brief 25, December 2016
Broken Promises: The arms embargo on Darfur since 2012
Issue Brief 24, July 2016
Popular Struggles and Elite Co-optation: The Nuer White Army in South Sudan's Civil War
Working Paper 41, July 2016
Fields of Control: Oil and (In)secutity in Sudan and South Sudan
Working Paper 40, November 2015
Two Fronts, One War: Evolution of the Two Areas Conflict, 2014–15
Working Paper 38, August 2015
HSBA Facts & Figures: Latest Updates
The Facts and Figures section of the HSBA website is updated regularly. This page shows the latest updates, including revisions to existing pages based on new information as well as brand new pages. Check back frequently to keep current.
The most recently updated Facts and Figures include the following:
- A response to HSBA Issue Brief 24 (11 August 2016) A thoughtful analysis from Luuk van de Vondervoort, a former member of the UN Panel of Experts on South Sudan, arguing that an arms embargo on South Sudan may avoid some of the problems that have plagued implementation of the UN arms embargo on Darfur.
- Conflict in Western Equatoria State (25 July 2016) This report examines the South Sudan conflict as it has played out in Western Equatoria, including the involvement of militias that evolved from community defence militias, and situates these developments in the broader context of the national crisis, which continues up until today. Covers events through 17 July 2016
- Conflict Map, Western Equatoria State (25 July 2016) Highlights contested areas in the three new states partitioned out of Western Equatoria, including sites of clashes, as of July 2016.
- SAF Supply Chain (12 July 2016) This report, which accompanies the release of HSBA Issue Brief 24 on the Darfur embargo, highlights the foreign supply chains of aircraft and vehicles to the Government of Sudan, which are increasingly becoming a focus of the Darfur sanction regime.
The Conflict in Upper Nile State (with conflict map) (16 March 2016) Describing events through 8 March 2016. This extensive report details ongoing efforts by the Padang Dinka elite in Upper Nile to forcibly displace the Shilluk from the east bank of the Nile—with support from the Government of South Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). The campaign has included the killing of civilians, the razing of villages, and forced displacement as tools of war. The SPLA has collaborated by cutting off food and humanitarian access to the communities under attack. The report also discusses the attack on the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) protection of civilians (PoC) site at Malakal on 16–18 February, which was a carefully planned assault by the SPLA and Padang Dinka militia forces backed by the state government. According to the report, UNMISS is unable and unwilling to protect the Shilluk civilians at the PoC site and elsewhere in Upper Nile.
- Conflict Map -- Upper Nile State (16 March 2016) Stand-alone map showing major clashes and areas of control as of February 2016
- The Conflict in Unity State, February 2016 (4 March 2016) This update discusses developments related to the partition of Unity state by presidential decree into three new states, the increasing ethnicization of state politics there, and potential security implications
- This stand-alone map shows the partition of Unity state into three new states and the areas of control of the SPLA and SPLA-IO as of late February 2016.
Conflict in the Two Areas (17 February 2016) This detailed update on the conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile describes the security and political dynamics at the beginning of the fifth season of fighting, and reviews the course of the fourth season of engagement (from December 2014 to May 2015). It discusses the status of the forces party to the conflict, the regional dynamics, and humanitarian agreements.
- Two Areas Conflict Map (17 February 2016)
This detailed map shows the SPLA-N front lines and combat zones in the Two Areas as of January 2016.
Lord’s Resistance Army Update (5 October 2015) Discussing new reports of the LRA's involvement in ivory smuggling through Sudanese-controlled Kafia Kingi, where Joseph Kony is reportedly located, and recent LRA attacks in July, August, and September, mainly in DRC and CAR.
Abyei Update (13 July 2015) Covering events through 1 July 2015, this update describes ongoing Missiriya raiding in the south of Abyei, which UNISFA cannot effectively contain; recent unsuccessful efforts to bring Ngok Dinka and Missiriya communities together to improve relations; and pressure on Deng Mading, South Sudanese co-chair of the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee, to agree to a joint administration.
- The Conflict in Unity State -- with conflict map (3 July 2015) Describing in detail the SPLA’s offensive in April-June 2015, which has driven the SPLA-IO militarily from the state—though large numbers of SPLA-IO forces remain in the bush. The SPLA’s campaign, assisted by Bul Nuer youths, armed and trained by Matthew Puljang, was characterized by widespread razing and raiding, and threatens to set up another war within the war, this time within the Nuer community.
Weapons Destroyed by UNMISS in Malakal, Upper Nile, December 2014 (22 May 2014)
This HSBA Arms and Ammunition Tracing Desk report, co-published with Conflict Armament Research, describes and analyzes weapons collected from fleeing SPLA, SPLA-IO, and civilians seeking refuge in UNMISS Protection-of-Civilians sites across South Sudan, and destroyed in December 2014. The heterogeneous sample included knives, machetes, pistols, shotguns, rifles, assault rifles, machine guns, and one mortar.
- LRA Update (23 April 2015) Describing the identification of the remains of LRA commander and ICC indictee Okot Odhiambo; a reported increase in LRA attacks on the border between CAR and DRC following the defection of commander Dominic Ongwen; and other recent LRA activity in southwestern CAR, DRC, and in the border areas of DRC and Western Equatoria, South Sudan.
The Conflict in Upper Nile State – with conflict map (16 April 2015) Describing military and political developments in the conflict through 9 April, including the SPLA's dry season campaign to drive the SPLA-IO out of Manyo, Mathiang, and Maiwut, the SPLA-IO's attack on Jamam from rear bases in Blue Nile, and the fallout stemming from Johnson Olonyi’s conscription of youths into the ranks under his command.
- Conflict map -- Upper Nile (16 April 2015)Showing clashes from January through March 2015 and areas of control as of early April 2015.
- The Conflict in Unity State - with conflict map (14 April 2015)
Describing military and political developments in the conflict through 9 April, including clashes in Mayom and Bentiu, the intensification of the conflict following the collapse of talks in Addis Ababa, increasing divisions with the SPLM/A in Unity, and the breach of a UN protection of civilians site in Rubkona by the SPLA.
- Conflict map - Unity (14 April 2015) Showing clashes from January through March 2015 and areas of control as of early April 2015.
- Reviews the products on display from Sudan's Military Industry Corporation (MIC) at the 2015 IDEX convention in Abu Dhabi, UAE in late February. The majority of arms and ammunition on display reflected Chinese and Iranian design. Sudan is now the third largest weapon producer in Africa, behind Egypt and South Africa, and its high profile at IDEX 2015 is suggestive of a push to attract international buyers for its military products.
- Conflict in the Two Areas (30 January 2015)Provides an update on the beginning of the dry season campaigns in South Kordofan and Blue Nile since late 2014, the state of political negotiations in Addis Ababa, and the growing alignment of the Sudan Revolutionary Front and the unarmed political opposition in Sudan
- The Conflict in Unity State (29 January 2015) This significant new fieldwork-based report provides a detailed update on the situation on the ground in Unity state at the end of the rainy season, and a prognosis for the expected dry season military campaigns of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the SPLA-in-Opposition (SPLA-IO)
The 14-Mile Area (3 November 2014) Describing events through 25 October. SPLA-IO troops have been moving through the 14-Mile Area and are massing in East Darfur in preparation for dry season ground operations in Northern Bahr el Ghazal (NBeG). Rizeigat militias have attacked the SPLA-IO in East Darfur, concerned that the rebel’s presence in their territory will threaten Rizeigat relations with the Malual Dinka and the NBeG administration. The Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism has begun conducting minimal aerial reconnaissance of the east of the 14-Mile Area. However, its findings—absent force protection and ground patrols—are not definitive
- The Conflict in Northern and Western Bahr el Ghazal States (16 October 2014)
Provides an analysis of conflict dynamics in Bahr el Ghazal as of October 2014, including Aturjong's rent-seeking revolt and emerging political discontent with the NBeG government following Kuel Aguer Kuel's appointment as caretaker governor. Discusses large-scale desertions of Nuer SPLA soldiers of the 3rd and 5th divisions over nonpayment of wages and fear of ethnic retribution. These dynamics do not pose a threat to state forces as much as indicate a general political and economic crisis in governance
- Conflict map - Bahr el Ghazal States (16 October 2014) Showing locations of major clashes and areas of control as of October 2014, as well as routes followed by SPLA deserters towards East Darfur in April and June 2014.
Conflict in Upper Nile (13 October 2014) Describing developments from May through early October 2014, including the SPLA-IO's struggle to retake Nasir, the conflict in Renk county, and the ethnic targeting of Nuer civilians and soldiers by local Maban militias. There is increasing evidence of GoS backing for the SPLA-IO, and it seems very likely that following their attacks on Renk in September 2014, the SPLA-IO withdrew to Sennar and Blue Nile states in Sudan.
- Conflict map - Upper Nile (13 October 2014) Showing locations of major clashes since May 2014 and areas of control as of October 2014.
- Conflict map - Unity State (2 October 2014) Showing locations of major clashes since May 2014 and areas of control as of October 2014.
- The Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (24 September 2014) After withdrawing from the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mission in November 2012, the GRSS announced in May 2014 that it would rejoin. While aerial reconnaissance recommenced on 16 June, the mission has not found any troops in the SDBZ and aerial patrols are unable, in fact, to determine if the SDBZ is militarized. The JBVMM bases are still not built. The UNISFA protection force has still not deployed.
- Darfur Peace Process and Chronology- overview (2 September 2014) Updates the status of the implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur, the positions and activities of the non-signatory opposition groups, and the security situation on the ground in Darfur—highlighting mounting inter-tribal violence and the increasing role of pro-government militias.
Darfur Peace Process Chronology – 2014 chronology (2 September 2014) A chronology of events on the ground in Darfur and new developments in the peace process in 2014 (through 30 June).
- Small arms ammunition documented at the Bentiu mosque, May 2014 (24 July 2014)
Providing details on the type, country, and year of manufacture of small arms ammunition documented at the scene of the massacre of civilians at the Bentiu mosque in April 2014.
- Sudan's Military Industry Corporation (3 July 2014)
Sudan has become a significant arms manufacturer in Africa but the full extent of its capacities remains unknown. This report documents what is known about Sudan's Military Industry Corporation (MIC), a complex of seven manufacturing plants, based on an open source review and some fieldwork in Khartoum. It also discusses cooperation and technical assistance to the MIC from China, Iran, and (previously) Bulgaria.
- South Sudan Crisis Timeline (27 June 2014)
Describing the events leading up to the outbreak of renewed conflict in South Sudan, and key military and political developments through the end of May 2014.
- The 14-Mile Area (18 May 2014)
Describes the current status of the 14-Mile Area, a strategically important area on the border between Northern Bahr el Ghazal, South Sudan and East Darfur, Sudan. The area has been peaceful recently but it has not been demilitarized, as both governments agreed in October 2013.
- The Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (16 May 2014)
Summarizes the status of the proposed border zone as of mid-May, including reports of JEM's activities in the area, and noting that 'it remains impossible for either government to demilitarize the border, as neither is in full control of it'.
- The SPLM-in-Opposition (2 May 2014)
An analysis of the background and development of the political and military leadership of the opposition that has coalesced around Riek Machar, highlighting its various components, objectives, and activities through 1 April 2014.
- The Conflict in Upper Nile (2 May 2014)
Reviews the conflict dynamics in the state, including the battle over Renk and the oil fields that are the opposition forces’ primary military objectives in the state.
- The Conflict in Jonglei (2 May 2014)
Details fighting, leadership, and dynamics at play in the conflict in Jonglei as of 31 March 2014.
- Weapons captured from David Yau Yau's militia, Jonglei, July 2013
(21 August 2013)
Describing weapons and ammunition captured from Yau Yau's militia by the SPLA in the first half of 2013. Many weapons had their serial numbers and factory markings deliberately removed to inhibit tracing.
- Justice and Equality Movement (21 August 2013)
An updated summary of the group's origins, evolution, leadership, and its current military engagements and areas of operation.
- Lord's Resistance Army Update (21 August 2013)
Describing the stalled state of AU military operations against the group since the overthrow of the Central African Republic regime in March 2013.
- Darfur conflict - summary (24 July 2013)
Summarizes the state of the conflict as of July 2013, including emerging trends such as resource conflict in the Jebel Amir area of North Darfur over control of artisanal gold mining and trade.
- Darfur Peace Process (24 July 2013)
Provides an overview of current challenges to the Darfur peace process, including the non-inclusion of SRF-aligned groups, poor implementation of the Doha peace agreement, and the significant deterioration of security across Darfur in 2013.
- JEM-Bashar (24 July 2013)
Describing the emergence of JEM-Bashar, the death of Mohamed Bashar Ahmed, and the assumption of the group’s leadership by Bakheit Abdallah Abdel Karim (Dabajo).
- Darfur Peace Process Chronology 2013 (24 July 2013)
A detailed timeline of significant events in the Darfur conflict and peace process in 2013.
- Darfur Peace Process Chronology 2006-13 (24 July 2013)
Complete chronology of significant events in the Darfur conflict and peace process, 2006 though June 2013
- Eastern Sudan (9 July 2013)
Summarizing the status of power sharing arrangements and regional development efforts almost seven years after the Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement between the Eastern Front and the Government of Sudan.
- DDR in South Sudan (9 July 2013)
Assessing the current planning for and donor perspectives on phase II of DDR in South Sudan.
- Weapons and ammunition of returning SSLA forces, Mayom, Unity state,
May 2013 (3 July 2013)
An HSBA Arms and Ammunition Tracing Desk report describing the types of small arms, light weapons, and other conventional weapons in the hands of South Sudan Liberation Army forces under the command of Gen. Bapiny Monytuil upon their return from South Kordofan to Mayom, Unity, in April 2013 following acceptance of President Salva Kiir's amnesty offer.
- DDR in Sudan (21 June 2013)
A detailed account of DDR planning and roll-out in Sudan since the end of the CPA period, and describing the shift to a 'community-based' approach in the face of ongoing mobilization for counter-insurgency operations, this report also assesses future prospects for DDR in Sudan.
- David Yau Yau's Rebellion (4 June 2013)
Describing Yau Yau's activities since his return to rebellion in 2012, the expansion of his support base beyond the Murle, the SPLA's counterinsurgency, and civilian impacts.
- Southern Dissident Militias (4 June 2013)
Providing an update of ongoing militia activities in Jonglei, the SPLA's counterinsurgency campaign, civilian impacts, and the status of reintegrating rebel forces.
- Sudan Revolutionary Front (4 June 2013)
Updated summary of the leadership, areas of control/activity, status, and alliances of this coalition of armed opposition groups.
- Comparable SPLM-N arms and ammunition stocks in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, April 2013 (14 May 2013)
An HSBA Arms and Ammunition Tracing Desk report documenting similarities and sources of weapons stocks among SPLM-N forces in the two states.
- Weapons in service with David Yau Yau's militia, Jonglei state, February 2013
(12 April 2013)
Detailing weapons and ammunition in the hands of defectors from David Yau Yau's militia, now awaiting integration in Pibor, Jonglei. The report also relates militia commanders' specific and detailed claims about alleged airdropping of materiel organized and orchestrated by Khartoum from August 2012 to January 2013.
- Lord's Resistance Army (8 March 2013)Reviews the drop in LRA-related killings and attacks in 2012; the death of Lt. Col. Vincent Okumu, the LRA's overall commander in DRC, in January 2013; the dwindling number of Ugandan LRA members; allegations of ivory poaching, challenges to the UN and AU regional strategies, and ongoing US involvement in anti-LRA efforts.
- SPLA-N weapons and equipment, South Kordofan, December 2012
(28 February 2013)
Documenting a range of weapons and equipment in the hands of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North (SPLA-N) in December 2012 in South Kordofan, including: anti-tank guided weapons never before identified in Sudan; anti-aircraft ammunition; mortars; cannons; and recoilless rifles. Some of these items were captured from Sudan Armed Forces during the battle of Daldoko 10–12 December.
- Weapons seized from the forces of George Athor and John Duit (13 December 2012)
Documenting weapons collected by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) from the forces of George Athor Deng and John Duit Yiech.
- Southern Dissident Militias (8 November 2012)
Updating the status of armed militia activities in Jonglei and the North-South border areas, and the reemergence of David Yau Yau.
- Darfur Armed Opposition Groups (8 October 2012)
Updating the status of military operations and areas of control of the Darfur rebel groups, as well as partnerships.
- Liberation and Justice Movement (8 October 2012)
Noting defections from the alliance as the LJM navigates the implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur.
- The Conflict in Blue Nile (20 August 2012)
Reviewing the background and current status of the military conflict and political negotiations as of August 2012.
- Further weapons seized from SAF in South Kordofan (July 2012)
Documenting SAF arms and ammunition seized by the SPLM-N after battles around Tolodi, South Kordofan, February-March 2012.
- Conflict in South Kordofan (5 July 2012)
Summarizing the origins, battles, and dynamics of the conflict as of the end of June 2012.
- Weapons identified in Hejlij/Panthou and Bentiu (5 June 2012)
Documenting weapons captured from SAF, including anti-personnel mines, 60 mm mortars, and an 80 mm air-to-ground rocket.
- Common weapon holdings among armed actors in Sudan and South Sudan (map) (Issue Brief 19, April 2012)
- The conflict over Heglig (26 April 2012)
Describing the context, dynamics, and effects of the SPLA's capture of Heglig and its subsequent withdrawal in March-April 2012.
- Abyei-Heglig map (from Working Paper 26, June 2011)
- SAF weapons documented in South Kordofan (24 April 2012)
Documenting large-calibre rockets, cluster bombs, and anti-personnel (AP) landmines used by SAF against SPLA-N in South Kordofan in 2012.
- Women and armed violence (23 April 2012)
Highlights the changing impacts of armed conflict in South Sudan on women, including the gradual erosion of norms prohibiting the targeting of women and children in inter-tribal conflict.
- White army arms and ammunition (22 March 2012)
Linking the late George Athor and members of the SPLA to the white army.
- Anti-tank and anti-personnel mines in Unity and Jonglei states (5 March 2012)
Detailing landmines planted by rebel militia groups in 2011.
- Threats in the home (17 January 2012)
Provides an overview of a number of important threats to the security of South Sudanese women, including childbearing risks, food insecurity, domestic violence, and widowhood.
- Women's security in South Sudan (13 January 2012)
Introduces a new thematic focus of the HSBA project on the security threats facing South Sudanese women, as well as the responses by the government, the international community, and South Sudanese women themselves.
- Further arms and ammunition seized from Peter Gadet's forces (13 January 2012)
Describing weapons viewed in June 2011, reportedly captured by the SPLA in clashes with Gadet's forces in Mankien in May.
- Former SAF Joint Integrated Unit displays its weapons (December 2011)
Describes weapons of elements of the Malakal-based SAF Joint Integrated Unit that defected in February 2011.
- Arms and ammunition captured from SAF in South Kordofan (November 2011)
Documenting SAF weapons reportedly seized by SPLM-N forces in al Hamra, South Kordofan in July 2011.
- Arms and ammunition captured from SAF in Blue Nile (November 2011)
Documenting SAF weapons reportedly seized by SPLM-N forces in Blue Nile and displayed in Kurmuk in early October 2011.
- Approximate areas of SPLM-North control in South Kordofan, October 2011 (21 November 2011)
Highlighting SPLM-North areas of control and supply routes.
- Conflict in South Kordofan/Nuba Mountains (18 November 2011)
Updated to cover developments in the conflict since 15 September.
- A guide to Sudanese ammunition (1954-present) (11 November 2011)
Describes the key markings and other characteristics of sample Sudanese ammunition casings by year of manufacture.
- Arms and ammunition tracing desk page (20 October 2011)
Providing a description of the HSBA's new Tracing Desk initiative.
- Materiel seized from George Athor's forces (20 October 2011)
Web report describing details and possible sources of weapons retrieved from forces loyal to George Athor.
- Materiel seized from Peter Gadet's forces (20 October 2011)
Web report describing details and possible sources of weapons retrieved from forces loyal to Peter Gadet.