Perceptions of Peace in South Sudan: Patterns in Perceptions of Safety since the 2018...

Authors: Sophia Dawkins, Christopher Oringa, David Deng, and Jan Pospisil

This paper presents patterns in perceptions of safety since the signing of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan in 2018. The survey was conducted in South Sudan at four points from 2021-2023, and the survey team recorded the experiences of 13,325 South Sudanese in 15 locations.

From 2018-2023 South Sudanese, on average, have experienced a steady improvement in their perceptions of everyday safety. This positive trend overlays contrasts between genders, age groups, locations and marital statuses:

  • Women in IDP camps have experienced a worrying regression in their safety from 2022-2023. Movement outside the home has become riskier.
  • Respondents in the Equatorias and Pibor feel acutely unsafe and have not experienced the improvements seen elsewhere in South Sudan. Unlike other locations, men feel more unsafe than women in Yei and Pibor.
  • Women feel safer than men between the ages of 18-35 years. This pattern flips for respondents over 35 years of age, when women feel less safe.
  • The divorced, separated or widowed feel much less safe compared to the married or never married, though the never married older than 35 years feel similarly unsafe.
  • Conflict histories and prior exposure to violent events does not entirely account for the correlation between experiences of safety and marital status. This suggests that family units play a role in sustaining individual safety.

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