Conflict

South Sudan From Fragility at Independence to a Crisis of Sovereignty

Year of Publication
2014
Document Publisher/Creator
Lauren Hutton
Institution/organisation
Clingendael Institute
Topic
NGO associated?
Source URL
https://www.clingendael.nl/publications
Summary
What started as a political conflict in South Sudan in December 2013 has created a community security crisis drawing in a range of uniformed, community and foreign security actors. At the heart of the crisis, are fundamental questions about democratic values, about accountability and justice, and about overcoming narratives of marginalisation, impunity and ethnic bias.

This conflict is a contest between social orders in which the authority of the prevailing order is being challenged. The relevance of the systems through which resources are accumulated and dispersed is also being challenged. This is a crisis of the legitimacy of the state. The state represents the formal expression of a range of highly subjective interfaces and partnerships through which power is shared and order finds expression.

This paper outlines some of those interfaces and partnerships, and the dynamics that affect them. It is by no means an exhaustive analysis but rather a tracing of threads of interaction at local, national and regional levels as a way of mapping some of the webs that connect across space and time in South Sudan. The overall approach is one that seeks to understand how South Sudan moved from fragility at independence to a full-blown crisis of internal and external sovereignty in December 2013. The paper is divided into sections addressing different aspects of state behaviour – the search for internal legitimacy; the search for security; and the search for economic growth and development. These sections provide an overview of the domestic context and key dynamics determining the national agenda. After the internal focus, the paper provides an overview of regional relationships that affect South Sudan’s internal and external political behaviour.

The main argument presented here is that the current crisis in South Sudan is the result of challenges to the internal legitimacy of the SPLM as part of the state formation process and the expression of sovereign authority. The current configuration of power in Juba has proven an astute capacity to build and break alliances across different interests and to dominate the narrative in a way that limits response options. This is not a nascent government anymore but one which is demonstrating how it wants to run internal affairs and how it will exercise sovereign authority. The narrative of this internal legitimacy is based on overcoming the threat of rebels and a coup; it is a narrative firmly rooted in the politics of ethnicity and the focused use of coercion, and which seeks to reinforce the centrality of the party as liberator and guarantor of order. But for the South Sudanese state (and by extension the ruling SPLM), the ability to exercise sovereign authority remains dependent on managing increasingly competitive external relations.

When the dust has settled on this latest crisis, the question that remains will be one of the level of violence which is acceptable for a state to employ against its citizens under extreme circumstances. The current crisis in South Sudan is reshaping not only internal relationships between the organs of state and the people but also the parameters of relationships between the government and international actors in the region and beyond. These are highly lucrative relationships at all levels leaving much still to be fought over. This crisis has become a civil war in which the state is beginning to deal with its legitimacy and sovereignty issues within a deeply fragmented country and highly competitive regional political economy.

Pastoralism and Conflict in the Sudano-Sahel: A Review of the Literature

Year of Publication
2020
Document Publisher/Creator
SEARCH FOR COMMON GROUND
NGO associated?
Source URL
https://www.csrf-southsudan.org/repository/pastoralism-and-conflict-in-the-sudano-sahel-a-review-of-the-literature/
Summary
Across the African continent, 268 million people practice pastoralism, both as a way of life and a livelihood strategy, contributing between 10 to 44 percent of the GDP of African countries. In recent years, this adaptive animal production system has faced growing external threats due to issues such as climate change, political instability, agricultural expansion, and rural ban-ditry that have transformed the rangelands in which they operate. From Mali to South Sudan, governments, regional bodies, peacebuilders, development agencies, environmentalists, economists, and security forces are actively attempting to address the sources of violence and instability that affect both pastoral communities and the rural societies with whom they share resources and landscapes.

These interventions are often shaped by differing assumptions about the source and nature of these conflicts, despite the avail-ability of extensive research and analysis. Though the local dynamics of conflict vary across different contexts, a number of trends and debates appear throughout the literature on pastoralism and conflict. This review draws on several hundred sources to synthesize the major points of consensus and divergence in the existing literature and identify relevant research gaps. This anal-ysis presents data from across Sudano-Sahelian West and Central Africa, to link comparable findings that are often presented in isolation.

Although conflicts over land and water resources in the Sudano-Sahel have long been a political concern and were a major point of contention in the colonial and post-independence eras, they have gained prominence in recent years due to the ongoing spread of violence, instability, and displacement across the region. Latent tensions over resource access and control, which his-torically only occasionally led to violence, have now erupted in some cases into cycles of mass killings and reprisals. In Nigeria, escalating rural banditry and reprisal violence between farmers and pastoralists has left thousands dead and many more dis-placed. In central Mali, the escalation of these conflicts culminated in the massacre of 160 members of the Fulani ethno-linguis-tic and traditionally pastoralist group in Ogossagou in March of 2019, as well as ensuing reprisal violence. And, across Sudan, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic (CAR), conflicts relating to livestock migration and cattle theft have played a critical and destabilizing role in internal insurgencies and cross-border conflict. For these reasons and more, conflict dynamics relating to pastoralism and pastoral communities have become a shared policy priority throughout the region.
Date of Publication
04/09/2020

South Sudan’s Changing Tastes: Conflict, displacement and food imports

Year of Publication
2020
Document Publisher/Creator
Deng Kuol, Edward Thomas and Et al
Institution/organisation
The Rift Valley Institute
NGO associated?
Source URL
https://riftvalley.net/sites/default/files/publication-documents/South%20Sudan%27s%20Changing%20Tastes%20-%20RVI%20X-Border%20Project%20%282020%29_0.pdf
Summary
Over the past four decades, most South Sudanese people have begun buying staple foods rather than eating self-grown grains and tubers. This is part of a wider move towards markets, closely connected to South Sudan’s first encounters with modernity in the nineteenth century, as well as the conflicts and mass displacements of the past fifty years.

This move has deeply affected food systems, diminishing the availability of indigenous grains and impoverishing many people’s diets. South Sudanese farmers are growing cereals and tubers commercially, while traders are importing grain across its borders from neighbouring countries, deepening South Sudan’s integration into a regional grain economy. These imported staples are diversifying South Sudanese diets, as well as changing consumption habits and food preparation methods.

This report examines how South Sudanese tastes and imports are changing from the perspective of consumers and traders living in the capital, Juba. Going beyond issues of food security and crises, it scrutinizes the religious and cultural significance of food, as well as how shifting tastes and imports can provide clear, unspectacular explanations for everyday suffering and violence
Date of Publication
07/09/2020

Gender as a causal factor in conflict

Year of Publication
2019
Document Publisher/Creator
Jenny Birchall
Institution/organisation
K4D (Knowledge, Evidence and Learning for Development)
NGO associated?
Source URL
https://opendocs.ids.ac.uk/opendocs/handle/20.500.12413/14393
Summary
This rapid review synthesises evidence on gender as a causal factor in different inter and intra state conflicts. It focuses on evidence from the year 2000 onwards, identifying specific case examples and describing how gender acted as a causal factor in each case. This may include, for example, the influence of the impact of ‘thwarted masculinities’, gender based violence (GBV) as a driver, or the influence of hegemonic masculinity in motivations for joining armed groups. The case studies presented in the report (Iraq, Northern Uganda, Colombia, Nepal. Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Sudan and South Sudan, and Kosovo) are the best evidenced in the literature identified to demonstrate the links between gender norms and conflict, and the ways that gender drivers are linked with causal factors.
Date of Publication
09/09/2020

‘No one can stay without someone’ Transnational networks amongst the Nuer-speaking peoples of Gambella and South Sudan

Year of Publication
2020
Document Publisher/Creator
Freddie Carver, Duol Ruach Guok and Et al
Institution/organisation
The Rift Valley Institute
NGO associated?
Source URL
http://riftvalley.net/publication/no-one-can-stay-without-someone
Summary
Over the last 50 years, the various conflicts afflicting South Sudan have caused massive displacements of people. Latest estimates suggest there are more than 1.5 million internally displaced people (IDPs) within the country’s borders, with another 2.2 million refugees displaced outside the country, as a result of the most recent conflicts. Policymakers generally see these populations as highly vulnerable—being less able to provide for themselves and their families away from their original homes—and at risk of involvement in cross-border conflict dynamics. Thus, responses by state actors to these movements tend to focus on managing potential conflict, providing humanitarian assistance for displaced communities, and supporting, facilitating or (in some cases) forcing populations to return to their home areas.

This report aims to better inform those working on humanitarian assistance, particularly to populations on the move, peace and development in South Sudan and the region, particularly international actors less familiar with these dynamics. Billions of dollars are spent on humanitarian and peacekeeping programmes globally every year, yet, despite being critical to the lives of millions of ordinary people, transnational networks are missing from most analyses. The report’s concluding section includes a set of recommendations intended to help international policymakers formulate an informed response to these transnational dynamics.
Date of Publication
10/09/2020

Comprehensive Analysis of South Sudan Conflict: Determinants and Repercussions

Year of Publication
2020
Document Publisher/Creator
FREDERICK APPIAH AFRIYIE AND ET AL.
NGO associated?
Source URL
. https://nbn-resolving.org/urn:nbn:de:0168- ssoar-67602-7
Summary
South Sudan, which separated from Sudan in 2011 after nearly 40 years of civil war, was embroiled in a
new devastating conflict at the end of 2013. This happened when political disputes coupled with preexisting ethnic and political fault lines became brutal. This conflict has mostly targeted civilians and most often, ethnic groups, and warring parties have been accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The conflict has resulted in a major humanitarian crisis, mass displacement and mass atrocities against South Sudanese citizens. Notwithstanding, instability in South Sudan has made the country one of the most dangerous countries for humanitarian aid workers in the world, especially as majority of them have lost their lives during their operation. In view of this, the article seeks to interrogate the main driving forces that triggered the deadly conflict and also the ramifications brought upon the population as well as the country.
Date of Publication
11/09/2020

THE ROLE OF TRANSNATIONAL NETWORKS AND MOBILE CITIZENS IN SOUTH SUDAN’S GLOBAL COMMUNITY

Year of Publication
2018
Document Publisher/Creator
Freddie Carver, Cedric Barnes and et al
Institution/organisation
The Rift Valley Institute
NGO associated?
Source URL
https://riftvalley.net/publication/role-transnational-networks-and-mobile-citizens-south-sudans-global-community
Summary
South Sudan’s political culture, including its current civil war, is international. This is due to the country’s history of mass migration and displacement, particularly during the last two civil wars from the early 1960s. By the end of the last century, approximately four million of its roughly ten million estimated residents had fled across South Sudan’s borders. Although many regional refugees returned to South Sudan following the CPA in 2005 and independence in 2011, the renewed conflict that began in December 2013 and was reignited in the centre of Juba in July 2016, has forced at least 1.5 million residents to flee once more.

As such, every community across South Sudan is part of a regional and global network. Many politicians, NGO workers, businesspeople and civil servants are themselves returnees or dual nationals. South Sudan’s communities and families have long moved money and goods through international and internal networks. Today, however, as the current civil war spreads and fragments, this transnational network is under significant stress.
South Sudan’s refugee communities have, and have always had, considerable influence on the way that the country’s civil wars evolve. In this study, through research undertaken both in South Sudan and in one of the most active global South Sudanese communities in Australia, the team has attempted to take a broader perspective to understand the nature of this impact—and the mechanisms through which it is felt—more comprehensively.
Date of Publication
18/09/2020

Conflict in Western Equatoria - Describing events through 17 July 2016

Year of Publication
2016
Document Publisher/Creator
Small Arms Survey
Institution/organisation
HSBA
Topic
NGO associated?
Source URL
http://www.smallarmssurveysudan.org/fileadmin/docs/facts-figures/HSBA-Conflict-Map-WES-July-2016.pdf
Summary
Political tensions in former Western Equatoria state rose steadily throughout South Sudan’s 2013–15 civil war, culminating in clashes during the months and weeks leading up to the August 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) between President Salva Kiir and the opposition leader, Vice President Riek Machar. During the war, Western Equatoria’s populist governor, and frequent Juba critic, Joseph Bakosoro, flirted with defection from Kiir’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) but remained in his governor post until Kiir sacked him in the run-up to the accord. In the months following the peace deal, full conflict erupted across the state (see map).

The Western Equatoria war theatre consists of three primary armed groups with independent command and control. All of the groups share some origins in the Arrow Boys, a network of community defence militias mobilized to combat the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and unwanted cattle herders. Two factions—one in Mundri under Wesley Welebe, the other, more dispersed, under Alfred Fatuyo—have declared their allegiance to the SPLM-in- Opposition (SPLM–IO). After the peace accord, Machar appointed both Welebe and Fatuyo major generals. A third group, led by defected security officers, rejected the SPLM–IO and signed a peace deal aimed at reintegration into the armed forces in April 2016.

The ambiguous and unresolved inclusion of the armed groups in the ARCSS—or their exclusion from it—continues drive the conflict. Both Fatuyo and Welebe maintained links to the SPLM–IO throughout the war. Whereas Fatuyo clearly did not join the opposition movement until after the peace accord, Welebe’s ties to the group were stronger.

Anti-government grievances are widespread and often expressed as opposition to the Dinka ethnic group, and its political elite, specifically. While partially rooted in longstanding animosities, such sentiment has intensified since independence, with accusations that the SPLM’s Bahr al Ghazal Dinka elite promised shared power but then championed tribal interest. Equatorians primarily cite redirected national revenue, impunity for incursions by armed cattle herders, land-grabbing, and political marginalization. (According to the paramount chief of the Azande, Wilson Hassan Peni, the Azande did not have an officer at the rank of major general at the beginning of 2015. The Azande are one of several ethnic groups claiming to be the third-largest in South Sudan behind the Dinka and Nuer.) Western Equatoria is an opposition stronghold, but the armed groups are poorly supplied and often retreat in the face of government counter-insurgency. Some early community support for the armed leaders has waned even as government military abuses amplify resentments. Community elites are divided on the wisdom and feasibility of seeking an armed solution or aligning politically with Machar. Humanitarian consequences in the war theatres have been devastating, since the counter-insurgency strategy of security hardliners seeks to punish entire communities and depopulate rebel strongholds. Armed-group withdrawals from government attack have left civilian populations vulnerable.

In the aftermath of the peace deal, Western Equatoria in particular turned into a stage for contesting the new disposition of power in the country; the conflict must be understood in the context of the new power framework created by the ARCSS.

Patchwork States: The Localization of State Territoriality on the South Sudan–Uganda Border, 1914–2014

Year of Publication
2020
Document Publisher/Creator
CHERRY LEONARDI
NGO associated?
Source URL
doi:10.1093/pastj/gtz052
Summary
This paper takes a localized conflict over a non-demarcated stretch of the Uganda–South Sudan boundary in 2014 as a starting point for examining the history of territorial state formation on either side of this border since its colonial creation in 1914. It argues that the conflict was an outcome of the long-term constitution of local government territories as patches of the state, making the international border simultaneously a boundary of the local state. Some scholars have seen the limited control of central governments over their borderlands and the intensification of local territorialities as signs of African state fragmentation and failure. But the article argues that this local territoriality should instead be seen as an outcome of ongoing state-formation processes in which state territory has been co-produced through local engagement and appropriation. The paper is thus of wider relevance beyond African or postcolonial history, firstly in contributing a spatial approach to studies of state formation which have sought to replace centre–periphery models with an emphasis on the centrality of the local state. Secondly it advances the broader field of borderlands studies by arguing that international boundaries have been shaped by processes of internal territorialisation as well as by the specific dynamics of cross-border relations and governance. Thirdly it advocates a historical and processual approach to understanding territory, arguing that the patchwork of these states has been fabricated and reworked over the past century, entangling multiple, changing forms and scales of territory in the ongoing constitution of state boundaries.
Attachment
gtz052.pdf805.49 KB
Date of Publication
03/09/2020