1983: Civil war in Sudan


What had begun has an armed uprising in the south of Sudan against the government in Khartoum transformed over the course of several years into a complex conflict characterized by frequent shifts in alliances. Whole communities had to leave their homes to flee from the fighting. Their fields were abandoned, their cattle killed and their houses burnt.

To meet needs the ICRC set up emergency surgical services, improved access to basic health care and drinking water, and worked to restore links between family members who had become separated.


The ICRC opened a delegation in Juba, the largest city in South Sudan, when the country became independent on 9 July 2011.

South Sudan acceded to the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols on 16 July 2012. This means that every single country in the world has now signed up to the Geneva Conventions.

Facts and figures

  • From 1987 to 2006 the ICRC ran the hospital in Lokichokio, Kenya, which cared for wounded brought in from Sudan.
  • For 14 years, until 2007, the ICRC supported the university hospital in Juba.
  • In 1999, 8,000 Red Cross messages were exchanged in Sudan every month.
  • Lokichokio hospital

    Arrival of war-wounded people at Lokichokio, Kenya from Rier, South Sudan.
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  • Wau, Agok camp.

    Wau, Agok camp. An ICRC delegate talks to malnourished children.
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  • Struggle for health care

    South Sudan: Desperate struggle for health care.
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    > Video 2
    > Video 3