People's Peacemaking Perspectives: South Sudan

Conciliation Resources/ Saferworld Brief, March 2012

Challenges of inter-communal violence and militia mobilisation are miring the early optimism about the new country's prospects.

Challenges of inter-communal violence and militia mobilisation are a recurrent problem in South Sudan and are miring the early optimism about the new country’s prospects. Escalating problems between Juba and Khartoum have added to a growing sense of uncertainty, and stand to take away crucial revenues from South Sudan at a time when development and security priorities cannot go under-resourced.

The fact that Jonglei State yet again witnessed hundreds of deaths over the past few months, as well as the abduction of women and children and the theft of thousands of cattle, raises troubling questions for the Government of South Sudan (GoSS); as it does for international actors who have supported and continue to support the prevention of violence in conflict-affected states. And beyond Jonglei, many communities have yet to transition from a state of conflict and continue to suffer insecurity and poverty.

This policy brief pools research findings from three states experiencing serious insecurity  – Jonglei, Warrap and Unity – to unpack from local perspectives the issues underlying violence in the affected areas. The research provides the European Union and its partners with the opinions, concerns and recommendations of a cross-section of citizens in each state; perspectives which can inform their support. Beneath the destructive cycles of raiding and looting, deep grievances about politics, governance, severe poverty and hunger are festering. Scant progress in guaranteeing security and removing weapons from society add further dimensions to crises for which there are no quick fixes. The challenges are putting enormous pressure on the newly elected GoSS, and could tip the country into more severe instability, if they remain continuously unaddressed.


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Recommended resources:

Truth and Dignity Commission South Sudan Law Society, Deng

National dialogue in Sudan: experiences and challenges Sudan Democracy First Group, El-Battahani

From recovery and state building to a new humanitarian emergency Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium, Maxwell & Santschi

From Liberation Movement to Government The Brenthurst Foundation, Clapham

Why is South Sudan where it is today? Luka Biong Deng

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