In response to the IGAD mediation’s latest proposal at the South Sudan High Level Revitalization Forum, the United States Institute of Peace published commentary by Susan Stigant and I on the pitfalls of power sharing, and how the proposal could be improved. Read more here.
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.
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.
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
- January 23, 2014: Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and creation of a Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (MVM)
- May 5, 2014: Recommitment on Humanitarian Matters in the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement
- May 9, 2014: Re-dedication of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement.
- August 25, 2014: Cessation of Hostilities implementation matrix signed by the GRSS; circumstances of the SPLM/A (IO)’s signature are disputed.
- November 9, 2014: Re-dedication of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and agreement of implementation modalities matrix by the GRSS and SPLM/A (IO).
- February 1, 2015: Recommitment to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and its implementation matrix
- August 2015: Permanent Ceasefire agreed