Dialogue Online No2 of 2017- “The Role of the International Community in South Sudan” by Ms Emmaculate Asige, 19 July 2017

As shown by cases such as the Rwandan Genocide, the international community’s reaction to African civil wars has often been too weak, too little and/or too late. However, since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005, the presence of international actors in pursuit of peace in South Sudan has been recorded as overwhelming. Even so, the question remains whether the international community will learn from past mistakes in their efforts toward achieving peace and eventually rebuilding South Sudan.

Download PDF here: The Role of the International Community in South Sudan

South Sudan’s million-strong refugee crisis is a test for the World Bank

“Around half a million of the refugees that have crossed the border into Uganda from South Sudan are children. They have been fleeing at the rate of one a minute for the past year, putting additional strain on an already stretched Ugandan education system. They are being educated in classes of up to 150, without text books and by teachers who speak a different language.

Western countries, including Britain, talk persuasively about how the only real way to reduce the flow of economic migrants out of Africa is to provide them with an incentive to stay where they are. That means providing them with hope, which in turn means giving them a decent start in life through a decently funded education.”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jul/02/south-sudans-million-strong-refugee-crisis-is-a-test-for-the-world-bank

Policy Brief No 7 of 2016 “Women in Peace-Building: Lessons from South Sudan” – 30 June 2016

In July 2016, almost a year since the signing of the ARCSS in August 2015 between President Salva Kiir, and Vice-President Riek Machar, within the Government of National Unity, the agreement had failed to stem the perpetual violence in Juba, while felt this raised questions relating to the leadership and credibility of the Transitional Government of National Unity, the ongoing tensions caused yet more trauma for women and children. The exclusion of women from reconciliation and decision-making processes had left them vulnerable to horrendous human rights abuses. With a 60% majority, South Sudan’s population has more females than males, which is a consequence of decades of civil war. The African Union’s Commission of Inquiry Report (2015) highlighted the systemic sexual and gender-based violence and discriminatory gender biases in society, which continued to prevent women from accessing their economic and political rights. Various stakeholders had in the past attempted to address gender issues in South Sudan, enunciated again in the ARCSS. However, the inability of the world’s newest nation to embrace an inclusive and gender-sensitive style of governance in practice was not a unique situation. The domestication of international instruments such as the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (1979) and the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women and Peace-building (2000), remains problematic across the globe. In the precarious phase of postconflict reconstruction and development, South Sudan was confronted with the dilemma of whether the women’s agenda should be considered as secondary to the execution of the ARCSS in relation to other issues and if so, how the exclusion of women affected the prospects for peace. In exploring the South Sudanese experience with peace-building, specifically relating to the women’s agenda, state actors and civil society could draw significant lessons for application in interventions elsewhere.

Read full Policy Brief here:international-relations-dialogue

 

South Sudan: A country captured by armed factions

30 July 2016

Since August 2015, the gravest challenge to the South Sudan transitional process and to the viability of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) is posed by President Salva Kiir’s recent appointment of General Taban Deng Gai as first vice president, replacing Riek Machar.

The possibility of the transitional process’ collapse comes as no surprise to close observers of the region.

Rather, there has been a clear understanding that the peace process was brittle. The agreement was, at the same time, the least bad among other bad options that South Sudanese people have to endure.

To read this article in full on the Al Jazeera website, please click here.

International Crisis Group – De-escalating South Sudan’s New Flare-up

12 July 2016

Violent clashes in the capital of South Sudan have soured the country’s fifth anniversary of independence. Hundreds of soldiers and civilians were killed in the four days after 7 July, including two Chinese peacekeepers. The confrontation threatens to destroy the fragile progress made toward implementing a 2015 peace agreement to end a two-year civil war. The deal had allowed some opposition soldiers back into the capital, Juba, and the clashes have been between them and units of the national army and presidential guard. The UN is protecting tens of thousands of civilians in its compounds around the city, one of which has been repeatedly hit.

In this Q&A, senior analyst for South Sudan, Casie Copeland, explains what is behind the fighting in Juba and what can help prevent the conflict spiralling out of control.

To read this Q&A on the International Crisis Group website, please click here.

Communiqué of the 611th Meeting of the PSC on the situation in South Sudan

The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 611th meeting, held on 11 July 2016, adopted the following decision on the situation in South Sudan:

Council,

Takes note of the briefing provided by the Commissioner for Peace and Security, as well as of the statements made by the representatives of South Sudan  and Ethiopia, in its capacity as the Chair of Inter-governmental Authority for Development (IGAD);

Recalls its previous communiqués and press statements on the situation in South Sudan, in particular communiqué PSC/AHG/COMM.1(DXXVII) adopted at its 547th meeting held on 26 September 2015, in New York;

Strongly condemns the recent ceasefire violations, by whomsoever, which caused the fighting in Juba, resulting in dozens of people killed and many injured, including civilians, as well as the displacement of persons and destruction of property;

Deplores the loss of lives at the time when South Sudanese parties, with the support of the IGAD, the AU and the larger international community, should be scrupulously implementing the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS);

Calls for an immediate ceasefire, without any pre-conditions. In this regard, Council warns those who commit any further violations of the ceasefire that they will be subjected to stern measures, including targeted sanctions.

Condemns the attacks on the African Embassies and the United Nations (UN) compound, which led to the death of four peacekeepers and the injuring of several others, as well as the destruction of UN property and material. In this context, Council urges the South Sudanese parties to assume full leadership and responsibility of their respective forces as spelt out in the Addis Ababa Agreement;

Calls upon the Transitional Government of National Unity to take urgent measures to establish conditions conducive for the return of all displaced persons and to establish a corridor for the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the affected civilians;

Urges the parties to desist from any actions that may escalate the security situation and calls for the immediate start of the process of national reconciliation and healing in South Sudan with a view to promoting confidence building measures and building trust amongst the South Sudanese;

Welcomes the convening, on 11 July 2016, in Nairobi, Kenya, of an IGAD ministerial meeting on the situation in South Sudan. In this regard, Council endorses the Communiqué issued by the meeting, particularly the recommendations in it for revision of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) mandate in order to enable establishment of an African-led Intervention Brigade and for increasing the number of troops to, inter-alia, provide protection to civilians, security in Juba and in the whole country;

Commends the sterling efforts, in very challenging circumstances, of the AU High Representative for South Sudan, former President Alpha Oumar Konare and the Chairman of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), former President Festus Mogae and encourages them to persevere in their work in support of the peace efforts in South Sudan;

Calls urgently upon the parties to the ARCSS to embrace mutual trust, put the interest of their country and its people above everything else and to scrupulously implement the Agreement;

Reiterates its decision to undertake a field mission to South Sudan to engage with the stakeholders and consider what more Africa can do to speed up the implementation of the ARCSS with a view to finding lasting peace in the country;

Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

END

To read more on the African Union Peace and Security website, please click here.

 

South Sudan Joint Letter to the UN Security Council

10 July 2016

In response to what appears to be a resumption of all-out conflict in South Sudan over the weekend, Crisis Action supported a coalition of 20 South Sudanese organisations to write a joint public letter to the UN Security Council ahead of their emergency meeting.

This letter is calling on the Council to:

  1. Publicly condemn the ongoing armed hostilities in Juba and elsewhere in South Sudan, and urge the warring parties to ensure that civilians are protected from harm as a matter of top priority.
  2. Work closely with President Salva Kiir and First Vice-President Riek Machar, together with the AU Special Envoy to South Sudan and Chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, to achieve an immediate cessation of hostilities.
  3. Authorise all means necessary to achieve a ceasefire, in tandem with the UN Security Council, to protect the civilian population and civil society and humanitarian agencies working in South Sudan, hold accountable those who are found responsible for the current violence and to deliver consequences to signal that further breaches of the ceasefire, and of the peace agreement as a whole, will not be tolerated.

The full letter is available to read here.

 

JMEC Chairman’s statement to the Extra-Ordinary Session of the IGAD Council of Ministers on the situation in South Sudan

11 July 2016

JMEC LOGO

The Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) for the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan has released the statement delivered by the Chairperson of JMEC, H. E. Festus G. Mogae, to the “Extra-Ordinary Session of the IGAD Council of Ministers on the situation in South Sudan” on 11 July 2016 in Nairobi.

To read the statement in full, please click here.