South Sudan is the world’s newest country and its most oil dependent. It is the midst of a violent crisis which has killed thousands and displaced almost 1 million South Sudanese citizens. Oil has been a key driver of the conflict, concentrating the worst of the fighting in the oil producing states of Unity and Upper Nile, and culminating in the massacre of hundreds of citizens in both state capitals. As a central part of the problem, oil has to be a key part of the solution.
Global Witness is calling on the government of South Sudan to issue a moratorium on all new contracts in their oil sector. This means suspending the issuing of any new contracts and calling a halt to any ongoing negotiations. This briefing paper explains why and how this step is critical to ensuring South Sudan will have a future after the conflict.