Millions of South Sudanese almost 70% of the entire population remain displaced a and the brink of starvation one ayear down the line after the signing of the revitalized peace agreement.

The country continues to face a humanitarian crisis and people fear that peace may not last after the signing of the September 2018 peace deal, according to a new report published today.

The report by Oxfam, Norwegian Refugee Council, Care Foundation, Danish Refugee Council, South Sudanese Organization, Nile Hope and Titi Foundation titled no Simple Solution highlights the plight of women refugees in transit to motherland.

 South Sudan Refugees in PoC UN Camps.

The new report says women, who lead the vast majority of displaced households, may be especially vulnerable, including facing the threat of sexual violence.While some women have begun returning to South Sudan, many are not going back to their homes but seeking a safer and better place to live,” the new report indicates.

After five years of conflict, more than seven million South Sudanese – over half the country’s population- are in need of humanitarian Aid.

The conflict created the largest displacement crisis in Africa with over 4.3 million people forced to flee their homes;1.8 million people are internally displaced and there are 2.3 million refugees in the region.

Since the signing of the revitalized peace deal, armed clashes between parties have reduced, bringing tentative hope to many. But because of the slow implementation of the deal, many women told us they are still not sure if lasting peace is at hand.”Elysia Buchanan, policy lead at Oxfam South Sudan, said:

Oxfam canoes transporting vulnerable people who could not make it by themselves to the mainland for the WFP food registration. Photo: Bruno Bierrenbach/Oxfam

The civil war also fuelled the rise of sexual violence, including rape as a weapon of war, and the abduction of women and girls who were forced into sexual slavery.

With the sheer scale of the crisis, and endemic levels of sexual and gender-based violence, a South Sudanese woman activist quoted in the report warned humanitarian agencies against rushing to support people to return home. “This would be like throwing people from one frying pan to another. Humanitarian actors should take things slow, until refugees and internally displaced people can move by themselves.”

The report above further states that due to the ongoing humanitarian crisis, people returning from neighbouring countries often find themselves in more difficult conditions than when they were displaced, including struggling to find aplace to live.

George* sits on his mother’s lap as health personnel takes his measurements to determine his nutrition level. There are 208 malnutrition cases in this hospital in Nyal, Unity State

Time and again, women spoke to us of the challenges they face in returning to their homes. They make the journey back, only to find that their houses and properties were completely destroyed, or had already been occupied by strangers, sometimes soldiers. Some of the women said that if they try to reclaim their properties, they have no means of support. They are more likely to be threatened or exposed to physical or sexual assault.”Connolly Butterfield, Protection and Gender Specialist of NRC, added

The report states some 60 percent of displaced South Sudanese have been displaced more than once, and one in 10 have been displaced more than five times.The report calls on humanitarian agencies to do more help to people caught in the endless cycle of movement.

Martha Nyakueka, Gender and Protection Coordinator of the national NGO Nile Hope, said: “After years of conflict, it will take time for the country to recover. The warring parties who signed the peace deal must ensure that the agreement leads to lasting changes on the ground, not just in terms of security, but also in terms of improving the lives of the South Sudanese people.”

South Sudan President Salva Kiir, opposition leader Riek Machar including a number of opposition figures signed the s called Revitalized peace deal in September 2018.

Despite modest progress its worth noting that a lot still needs to be done. This is coming at a time when there is concerted effort by the Igad and international community to have a face to face meeting between the two leaders in Juba.