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
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.