South Sudan

People's Peacemaking Perspectives

Challenges of inter-communal violence and militia mobilisation are a recurrent problem in South Sudan and are miring the early optimism about the new country’s prospects. Escalating problems between Juba and Khartoum have added to a growing sense of uncertainty, and stand to take away crucial revenues from South Sudan at a time when development and security priorities cannot go under-resourced.

The fact that Jonglei State yet again witnessed hundreds of deaths over the past few months, as well as the abduction of women and children and the theft of thousands of cattle, raises troubling questions for the Government of South Sudan (GoSS); as it does for international actors who have supported and continue to support the prevention of violence in conflict-affected states. And beyond Jonglei, many communities have yet to transition from a state of conflict and continue to suffer insecurity and poverty.

This policy brief pools research findings from three states experiencing serious insecurity  – Jonglei, Warrap and Unity – to unpack from local perspectives the issues underlying violence in the affected areas. Beneath the destructive cycles of raiding and looting, deep grievances about politics, governance, severe poverty and hunger are festering. Scant progress in guaranteeing security and removing weapons from society add further dimensions to crises for which there are no quick fixes. The challenges are putting enormous pressure on the newly elected GoSS, and could tip the country into more severe instability, if they remain continuously unaddressed.

Read the full policy brief or the initial assessments on which it is based:

Jonglei State: An initial assessment of insecurity and peacebuilding responses

Unity State: An initial assessment of insecurity and peacebuilding responses

Warrap State: An initial assessment of insecurity and peacebuilding responses

Read a related report and briefing note on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement:

Sudan: Hoping for the best, preparing for the worst 

The significance of state elections and the popular consultations for peace in Sudan

This research is part of the EU-funded People’s Peacemaking Perspectives project. 

“The state government is trying to maintain peace and stability but people have to produce food for themselves, because hunger is the second war after liberation.”

Interviewee, Jonglei State, South Sudan