Finding peace in uncertain times: South Sudan and the revitalised peace process

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir (R) shakes hands with First Vice President Riek Machar as he attends his swearing-in ceremony at State House in Juba, South Sudan on February 22, 2020. Image: Getty, Alex Mcbride/AFP
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir (R) shakes hands with First Vice President Riek Machar as he attends his swearing-in ceremony at State House in Juba, South Sudan on February 22, 2020. Image: Getty, Alex Mcbride/AFP

South Sudan’s latest peace deal has been lauded as a milestone in the country’s long road to peace and stability.

Summary

  • The civil war in South Sudan, which broke out in 2013, has cost an estimated 400 000 lives, displaced millions and plunged the nascent country into chaos.
  • While the peace process has been hailed internationally, it has been marked by numerous delays and setbacks.
  • This paper traces the South Sudanese peace process, examining how it has been weakened by the neglect of key issues relating to state boundaries and security arrangements.
  • The role of leadership contests in shaping the resulting civil conflict is documented, showing that they played a significant role in lengthening the conflict and delaying its resolution 
  • External actors in the peace process are key to both the continuation of the conflict and its possible resolution.
30 Sep 2020

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Research by
Series
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 312, September 2020
Country
South Sudan
SAIIA Programme
African Governance and Diplomacy
Tags
Civil War, Conflict

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