Ethiopia and the South Sudanese Civil War

The journal e-International Relations published my article, ‘Ethiopia and the South Sudanese Civil War,’ which identifies and discusses Ethiopia’s strategic interests in South Sudan.  Read more here.

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The need to outline expectations: how the international community should support South Sudan’s revitalization forum

Without setting clear expectations for the upcoming peace forum, the international community risks allowing the regional mediation to fail, exacerbating the conflict in South Sudan.

South Sudan faces an existential crisis. More than four million people – between a third and half of the population – are displaced from their homes. Nearly eight million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.  The economy is in tatters. After almost four years of civil war, conflict has devolved into fighting across multiple fronts.

In an attempt to address the ongoing crisis, the Horn of Africa’s regional organisation, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), initiated the High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) in June. The forum is intended to revive an effectively defunct 2015 peace accord, the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS), which collapsed following fighting in Juba in July 2016 between government forces and the armed opposition loyal to former First Vice President Riek Machar.

 

Read more at: https://www.chathamhouse.org/expert/comment/how-support-south-sudan-s-high-level-revitalization-forum

Why doesn’t South Sudan’s refugee exodus spur East Africa to action?

Migration crises in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa reconfigured global politics. So why – as the millionth South Sudanese took refuge in Uganda earlier this year, and with the total number of South Sudanese refugee and asylum seekers now more than two million – is there no comparable shift in the political posture of East African states?

Read more here.

Identifying Conditions for Success: the Revitalization Forum

The United States Institute of Peace published my briefing on the High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF), intended to revive the stalled 2015 peace agreement in South Sudan.  I offer recommendations for the international community in anticipation of the launch of the HLRF, suggesting its success hinges on clarifying serious ambiguities that exist in its design, including the questions of who will participate and the extent of the agenda.  Read more here.

Accountability in South Sudan requires engagement: a critique of the Heritage Foundation’s recommendations

The premise of Joshua Meservey’s recent Heritage Foundation report is sound.  It is high time for the United States to hold accountable those responsible for the conflict in South Sudan.  In Washington and around the world, there is and should be immense frustration with South Sudanese elites presiding over the collapse of their country.  In response, that collapse demands practical, urgent realism, if the priorities of saving lives, reducing suffering, and ensuring regional and international security interests, including those of the United States, are to be advanced.

Meservey makes 19 recommendations.  While his analysis is generally accurate, many of the recommendations that follow are problematic.  The most radical proposals are: Continue reading

A ceasefire in South Sudan?

Last week, African Arguments published my article on the perils and limitations of the recent international call for a comprehensive ceasefire in South Sudan.

I argue that:

The achievement of peace in South Sudan is not, and has never been, dependent on demands made from New York, Washington, Addis Ababa or Nairobi. It has always depended on the South Sudanese. But as the fighting in the country continues, international actors should be aware that even an apparently uncontroversial policy such as the demand for a ceasefire can have complex, and potentially adverse, implications.

Read the full text here.