Title: Political violence and impact of the south Sudan civil war
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This final thesis is submitted to the Atlantic International University (AIU) in Honolulu in the United States in the fulfilment of the requirement of the school AIU for the award of the Bachelor Degree in the faculty of Human and Social Science (Major Political Science)
This thesis is giving full context of the series of the civil war in the republic of South Sudan starting from 2013 to date, its impacts, attempts made by several regional and international bodies and local initiatives to offer solution to the problems. Throughout this thesis, it spells out proposed ideas and objectives on options which deem as necessary from this picture which if implemented shall recover the country. More focus is on Yei being the hot spot of continuous conflict, military confrontation, major displacement, hunger, school dropout, poor health, poor roads, poor accessibility, poor civil-military relationship, lack of clean safe drinking water, rape, killing, arbitrary arrest and detention, robbery and so on referred to as violations to the provisions in the agreement on protection of civilians, humanitarian access, cessation of hostilities, etc. I like to acknowledge the contribution of the individual participants who tirelessly worked hard to support the full compilation of this successful thesis. I like to also acknowledge the contribution made and progress of the different sources including the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan and the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, and other bodies tasked with the responsibilities of documentation of the issues of the conflict in the republic of South Sudan and monitoring the implementation initiative. Many thanks go to the expression of the key individual contributors of ideas and opinion towards this exercise. Another unforgettable profound recognition goes to the support of the South Sudan Catholic Bishops Secretariat Juba the church parliamentary Liaison Office taking part in tracking the peace process in South Sudan for its contribution in the fulfilment of this exercise.
Political violence is in simplistic understanding is about influence of the systems-which often refers to systems and stability. In the domain of system break down, it is when political systems break down. This is a situation in which indeed, most countries have suffered or are still suffering from system breakdown, which is marked by major riots, civil wars, terrorism, military coups and authoritarian governments of varying degrees of harshness. To narrow it home, South Sudan being one and among other countries, can’t escape from such realities and is not exceptional experiencing the same and similar events, a situation more about repeated events referred to as “Time code programing”-fractal time. One quick evidence to paint picture is the fact that most of the country’s affairs are run through dictatorships, a situation which is rarely the work of small bands of conspirators alone, but are usually the result of system collapse, which permits small but well-organized groups usually the military approaches to stem up to make a change. This is why it does little good to denounce a cruel military regime and violence.
Facts have been witnessed in areas but not limited to government’s acts of great evil including; military regimes, killing thousands of innocent lives and sending millions to refugee camps a situation that happened in Argentina, Chile and Guatemala in which governments killed thousands on the slightest suspicion of leftism. All this constitutes to repeat system breakdown as it is with the case in South Sudan. In the case of South Sudan, a new report indicated that the years of brutal civil war in South Sudan have left at least 382,000 people dead, “According to an estimate in a new State Department-funded study that far surpasses an earlier figure issued by the United Nations and points to the horrors of an often-overlooked conflict.
“A new report estimates that more than 380,000 people have died in South Sudan’s civil war” published by Siobh’an O’Grady September 26, 2018 on;https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/a-new-report-estimates-more-than-380000-people-have-died-in-south-sudans-civil-war/2018/09/25 These actions bring deeper questions that must be asked if we are to begin to understand these horror stories and their negative impacts on the population especially in Yei being the major hot spot of such evil committed. From its creation in to the world’s newest nation, in the year 2011 through Referendum, South Sudan had been ruled by a lead Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), however, the system Breakdown starts when the legitimacy of the SPLM which people or citizens feel that the regime’s rule is rightful and should be obeyed erodes, but turned contrary against them.
Being the country’s lead party spearheaded by the current president Salva Kiir Mayardit, SPLM opted to lead a system lacking democratic way of ruling. Mechanism which promote political participation for all has been denied and not been in existence since the country gained its independence from Khartoum in 2011 after referendum. Specifications of Democratic government which creates a space where the people and the government are connected in terms of both the input and the output dimensions of government becomes in symptom not strengthened due to pure restriction. Self-governing in terms of input where (people have freedom to put ideas into government and to shape government through elections, contacting officials, lobbying, and so on), and the output referred to as (laws and policies) of government remains off hand people and this indicates that government is not in the hands of a self-governing people. This defines the government as non-democratic. Yet the key Presupposes of Democracy is that,
• People are free to participate in the governing process referred to as (participatory democracy).
• All the people are free to participate in the governing process understood as (pluralist democracy).
• People are aware of what they are doing when they participate in the governing process so that their participation is a process of achieving self-government, a situation defined as (developmental democracy),
• Government is not tyrannical and oppressive toward the people a referred assumption that there is a (protective democracy) and that • Governmental outputs in the form of laws and policies are a reflection of self-governing people’s desire for well-being and this is where there is a (performance democracy).
A real issue which sometimes is paid death ear and attention is the continuous powers and existence of the Jienge Council of Elders which the president hails from- a unilaterally constituted supreme body which assumes powers and responsibilities of presidential advisor. It can advise the president on any matter and the president listens and acts quickly than the powers vested in the hands of the national legislature which is a primary constitutional created body. All this makes the government driven as a family oriented system which deny the participation of the citizen. A lot of the affairs are run through decrees! With this and among other reasons, led to the outbreak of the first conflict in 2013 that started in Juba between president Salva Kiir forces and forces loyal to his former deputy Riak Machar whom the president relieved off position through decree claiming to be working attempted coup to oust him off power and overthrow the government.
To paint a sketch picture on the background of this conflict, it is believed that the armed conflict started between President Salva Kiir and his former Vice President Rick Machar being the main rivals and their forces. South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit appeared on national television in full military uniform and accused his former vice president Riek Machar and several others of plotting a military coup a research and findings documented by (Awolowich, 2015 and Lunn, 2016), in which the latter however, denied having anything to do with the initial fighting, which later quickly declared himself the commander of the SPLM/A in Opposition, an armed opposition group. The incident followed detention of eleven members of the SPLM/A elite, including the secretary general Pagan Amum, former ministers and the former SPLA chief of staff under charges of attempted coup in which later, Several SPLA commanders defected from the national army to join the rebellion that had been born as described by (De Waal, 2014). Since the onset of the internal conflict in 2013, South Sudan has been struggling with complete absence of law and order-a situation analyzed by the International Journal of political science and Development on its full journal entitled “The Cause and Consequence of Conflict in South Sudan” by Aziza Geleta Dessalegn Accepted 2 January 2017. The December 15, 2013 South Sudan once again slides back to conflict and fight between the South Sudan Presidential guards triggered what later become labeled as Civil war‖ according to the (International Crisis Group, 2014). The war has put in to the minds of many people across the world got shocked as gloomy report of near genocidal massacres and destruction of villages and towns in South Sudan dominate the international media (Awolowich, 2015 and Lunn, 2016).
The war later spread across the country with the country exposed and experiencing continues gross violation of human rights associated with killing, a catastrophic humanitarian situation, raping, refugee issues, ethnic cleansing, displacement, rape, and looting, arbitrary arrest of the innocents and so on until recently and present through bullets in Yei area of South Sudan, a description which saws the government as illegitimate.
According to the report released Wednesday published by; Siobhan O’Grady in September 26, 2018 estimated that years of brutal civil war in South Sudan have left at least 382,000 people dead, an estimate in a new State Department funded study that far surpasses an earlier figure issued by the United Nations and points to the horrors of an often-overlooked conflict. This findings of the study, was conducted by a small team at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, commissioned by the U.S. Institute for Peace in partnership with the State Department. By comparison, the new estimate puts the death toll from the violence in South Sudan on par with the impact of conflicts such as the war in Syria, where upward of 510,000 people are believed to have died in a significantly larger population.
The report further expanded its finding in the area of Journalists, human rights researchers and humanitarian workers have collected evidence of mass atrocities committed by both sides in the conflict, but rights groups say most attacks on civilians have been carried out by government troops. In some areas, entire villages were said to have been razed. Women were allegedly raped and children burned alive, and some families even reported forced cannibalism. More insight has been in the documented facts that, the conflict has prompted a refugee crisis in the region with more than 1 million South Sudanese fleeing to neighboring Uganda, and many others crossed into Sudan, and Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo, while about two million are displaced within the country. “A new report estimates that more than 380,000 people have died in South Sudan’s civil war” https://www.washingtonpost.com Continued deployment of government troops until recently to fight the oppositions and also the tendency of growing suspicion of the civil population has let the Legitimacy erodes as the regime shows itself unfair and ineffective in running the country with also associated situation of Uncontrollable inflation, blatant corruption, massive unemployment, loss in the economy all demonstrate that the government is ineffective. This puts a picture like what happened as the civil war in Northern Ireland that cost some 3,600 lives.
Yei being one of the areas in South Sudan which is hit by the conflict of civil war that started in 2013 Dec, remains a hot spot of increased suffering in the life of South Sudan. A lot is witnessed and documented alongside and ranging from arbitrary arrest and detention, killing of innocent people, burning down of their property, houses, tukuls, looting and robbing, displacements and targeted killings based on tribal lines. A lot is also witnessed alongside but not limited to; fleeing for refuge, raping, and many other war related effects on the innocent civil population. Dare Humanitarian need increases and demand being recorded as lack of clean drinking water, food leading to hunger, poor shelter, lack of agricultural production and negative actions including abduction of both humanitarian agencies, civilians and block to accessibility of humanitarian agencies for intervention. There is also a lot in the field of denied freedom of association, free movement, and so on plus other gross violation of human rights such as school dropout and lack of schools in some parts, hospital or health services and other services to some areas.
The Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR) verified this context in Yei saying; SPLA carried out operations in pursuit of high-level SPLM/A in Opposition figures, including former First Vice-President and leader of the opposition, Riek Machar, in Central and Western Equatoria. In response, SPLM/A in Opposition forces conducted coordinated hit-and-run attacks in the region, particularly targeting Government forces and key routes. SPLA and SPLA-aligned forces then launched a series of revenge attacks against civilians in the area, who they accused of harboring opposition-affiliated armed men.
Subsequently, fighting increased with a significant impact on the humanitarian situation in Yei and surrounding areas. While Government forces controlled Yei town throughout the period covered by this report, armed groups believed to be affiliated with the SPLM/A in Opposition, controlled some of the surrounding villages. (www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/SS/UNMISSReportJuly2016_January2017.pdf) - HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AND ABUSES IN YEI JULY 2016 – JANUARY 2017 People’s livelihoods continued to reduce and affected negatively including service provision and access! Also there is recent act of forced return of displaced civil population from their hideouts to the main roads a force exercised by government soldiers especially in areas of lasu, Otogo, and other parts of Otogo County, which denies the right of every one to live in area preferably to him/her.
All these and among unnamed effects are due to the series and continued segments of the 2013 war that started in Juba and later spread across the country which later continued in 2016 up to date despite signing of agreements brokered under the auspice of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in an effort to end the ongoing war IN South Sudan through the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan-a situation relating to “Time code programming-fractal time). In a remark summary of the causes of the conflict in South Sudan, analysis has been put on power struggle within the SPLAM party, the July 2013, President Kiir’s move to reshuffled his entire cabinet, removing prominent elites, such as former Vice President Rick Machar and firing a group of ethnically diverse cabinet Ministers and high-level officials accusing them of corruption (De Waal, 2014 and Lunn, 2016). In highlight, Most of these individuals had played leading roles in the country‘s economic and political decisions in the post-independence government and after being pushed out of the government, many joined apolitical opposition bloc that quickly developed into an armed opposition. This triggered a situation where, elites on both sides have killed tens of thousands of people, displaced over millions, and has left another millions, or around 40 percent of the population, food insecure but no instrument has not yet been established to hold them accountable till today according to the (International Crisis Group,2014).
There has been also a steady rise in military expenditure and thus easily outstripping social spending. This has created resentments and grievances by the local community because the government is using it large amount of revenue to strengthen itself and fight back the opposition at the expense of livelihood improvement of South Sudanese, it summarized lack of commitment towards nation building, weak institutional capacity, lack of inclusive and participatory governance, etc all contributed to the outbreak of the civil war in South Sudan. (International Journal of Political Science and Development) A successive report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, UNMISS, the AU and international organizations documented the impact of this conflict alongside the area of; numerous, repeated incident and patterns of serious and systematic violence against civilians, in many cases in circumstances in which people were targeted due to their ethnic origin according to the (Human Rights Watch, 2016 and Tewodros, 2015). Many civilians have been attacked and killed by both sides of armed group in their homes, as well as in places of shelter, including churches, mosques, hospitals, and in government facilities. Tens of thousands have been displaced from their homes, and more than 1.5 million of them within the country. Serious violations of international humanitarian law, gross violations of international human rights law and human rights abuses have been perpetuated by all parties to the conflict including attacks against civilians, rape and other crimes of sexual violence, arbitrary arrest and detention, abduction, deprivation of liberty and enforced disappearance, and forced millions to refugee camps a documentation verified and compiled by (Tewodros, 2015).
Just as the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in Naivasah in the Kenya Capital Nairobi 2004, that ended long Sudan civil war between the SPLM/A from Southern Sudan led by late Dr. John Garang De Mabior and the Sudan National Cogress party under the leadership of president Bashir and represented by Ali Uthman Taha, at the heart of offering a lasting solution to end war in South Sudan conflict that started in Juba 2013, as witnessed by serious domestic unrest defined as symptomatic erosion of the government’s effectiveness and legitimacy coupling with the continued civil war in Yei area of South Sudan, a lot is employed alongside opposition struggle and mediation of other regional bodies such as the Inter-governmental Authority on Development and the support of other bodies to deal with the problems that caused the unrest, a similar situation Franklin D. Roosevelt did in the 1930s.
One quick note to point as an attempt was the witnessed Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan signed on the 17th of August 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This Agreement was signed between the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and the Armed Opposition Party with Riek Macher being the lead, the former detainees and all other political parties thereafter described as the parties to the agreement and joined by other Stakeholders such as Representatives of CSOs, Women’s bloc, Faith-Based Leaders and Eminent personalities.
The agreement looked at and arrived with its conclusion signing on key issues including; formation of Transitional Government of National Unity of the Republic of South Sudan, Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements, Humanitarian Assistance and Reconstruction, Resource, Economic and Financial Management Arrangements, establishment of Transitional Justice, Accountability, Reconciliation and Healing, Parameters of Permanent Constitution and assigned responsibility of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC). One main quote that put the hope of this agreement doubtable was the clause made by the president after signing of the document that “He signed the agreement on reservation” a situation that would and returned the country back to war with itself. After the signing of this agreement, followed the subsequent return of Riak Machar to Juba as the First Vice president of the Republic of South Sudan and Salva Kiir remained as the president of the Republic of South Sudan. The return was witnessed by the first arrival of the forces or delegation of Machar and later followed Machar. One funny thing is that the agreement did not hold as it was with the case of the Comprehensive Peace agreement been the real peace been implemented by all parties who were signatories to the agreement. As signed with remarks of reservation, the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, lacked honor and commitment towards possible implementation. A lot had been witnessed as violation and continued active military confrontation across South Sudan with both sides claiming responsibility of either parties to the agreement.
To quickly cite the evidence was the resumption of the 2016 war that also started in J1 Juba as a capital between bodyguards and soldiers of Machar and Salva Kiir. This was the fierce war described ever in Juba between the two parties. This war also prepared ground for the formation of more political parties/opposition forces to fight against the government of Salva Kiir. At this stage, the government strengthened itself to advance the war across the country to attempt to crush and silence discontent and fight several opposition groups which later strengthened in an attempt to break the law in order to bring change (a group later called South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA).
This war forced and made Machar kept outside South Sudan by decision in South Africa as president Kiir called for a national dialogue to identify the key issues facing the country so that to bring lasting solution and peace to South Sudan. A wider consultative national dialogue convened in this case, but no ruling of parliamentarian debate and dissemination of the findings that would have been a base to providing lasting solution to address South Sudan problems remained slept on and war continued. On another hand, what the president declared as the national dialogue ended on paper with its findings not been published for action and the war continued.
In another attempt to end the ongoing war at the time, the regional block commonly known as the Inter-Governmental Authority and Development (IGAD), also pushed for a high level revitalization Forum to conduct a wider consultation with several opposition forces and the government in Ethiopia and the involvement of the CSO, churches, women group that later led to the Revitalized Peace Agreement that followed the subsequent signing of the revitalized agreement in Khartoum between Machar, some opposition forces and the government but with the leader of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance who heads the National Salvation Front Thomas Cirilo refusing the signing of the revitalized Agreement saying it didn’t address the route courses of the conflict in South Sudan. Despite the signing of the revitalized agreement in Khartoum last 2018, still a lot is witnessed as lack of commitment to implementation and honor of the agreement and continued attempts by the government being clumsy to simply crush and silence discontent, and fight with other groups within the South Sudan Opposition Alliance led by Thomas Cirilo in Yei population which still makes things worse. As believed by many, the opposition Alliance in South Sudan stemmed up in an attempt to break the law in order to bring change both deplorable and informative. Yet government is faced with challenges to crush it and blame a handful of “radicals and troublemakers” Like the group of National Salvation Front (NAS) led by Thomas Cirilo a situation which continues to put, instigators as deliberately provoking to incidents due to desperation or conviction, though fact reveals that some people support anti-system groups telling that something is wrong and there is need to offer replicable solution.
In my engagement with local yet informed groups during my interaction to document fact findings on the continuity of the military active engagement in Yei population, Respondents to this contribution said they witnessed continuous deployment and presences of government armed forces in Yei area, causing destruction of villages ranging from houses of innocent civilians, looting, raping, poor civil-military relations, shooting and killing several others which the government claimed hunting down the forces loyal to Cirilo a situation seems lack of honor to the cessation of hostilities as stipulated in the revitalized agreement. This new era and action led to the UN’s report that more than 5000 south Sudanese have crossed to Democratic Republic of Congo while 8000 civilians also remained IDPs, a situation associated with forced return of the civil population to their residence from their hideouts, continued military confrontation, denied humanitarian access, loss of property, etc. this has been looked at as lack of commitment and respect to the revitalized agreement on the resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.
To offer a solution to south Sudan’s problem, few suggested key recommendations are drawn from local contribution during this exercise. These include; federal system of governance based on regional setting such as the 1st of January1956 Equatoria Region, Greater Upper Nile region and greater Bahr el Ghazal region if the unity and central rule of south Sudan becomes unconducive. Secondly, there is need to consult with the findings of the national country’s dialogue that was conducted and to assess the contribution of the people and assess and consider as means to end the conflict of South Sudan and in case there is an issue of concern from those who didn’t participate in the process, there should be a ground for them to give in their views which shall be included as and among the documented findings so as to make inclusive processes especially with the oppositions who never participated in the process.
Strengthen democratic government at all levels where the presupposes of democracy ranging from; participatory democracy where People are free to participate in the governing process, pluralistic democracy a situation where the people are free to participate in the governing process-a situation for free multi-party existences, developmental democracy where People are aware of what they are doing when they participate in the governing process so that their participation is a process of achieving self-government, protective democracy in which the Government is not tyrannical and oppressive towards the people and that Governmental outputs in the form of laws and policies are a reflection of self-governing people’s desire for well-being and this is where there is a (performance democracy).
Dissemination of the content of the revitalized agreement with a provision for revitalizing the revitalized agreement and involvement of those political opposition forces which are not signatory to both the Agreement on the resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan and the Revitalized-ARCSS so that inclusive collective action model process in the agreement of view point is achieved and implemented especially involving the NAS led by Thomas Cirilo and other opposition forces in the Country. General reforms in the areas of humanitarian access, governance and power sharing, review and conduct a referendum on the National constitution of the South Sudan and amendment to control powers vested in some key positions of the government to reduce dictatorship, etc More suggestions to this thesis is that, the IGAD and the international community should begin to rule with powers by ousting wrong leaders from political powers who are problem to the continued problems and suffering of the people. This shall reduce the suspicion that the IGAD is doing business from this war but not to end the war.
It is also projected on the angle that, since this is worth building recovery stage, more is needed in the field of building social democracy, social business, working on the improvement of people’s livelihoods, staging reconciliatory and peace building conferences within communities affected by the war especially in the Yei area. Not forgetting dialogues formed at grassroots level to showcase the domestic key issues of the communities and strengthen advocacy on the key findings and recommendations for a sustainable lasting security, peace and co-existence among the population which leads to prosperous society.
There is a proposed programme issue on strengthening humanitarian intervention and possible facilitation of internally displaced people return to their original places and also return of refugees in other parts of the country. More is towards and ranging from offering both primary and secondary education for children in emergency, health care, water and sanitation, food security, improvement of feeder roads, strengthen agriculture and market for produces, shelter, etc which deems necessary for human life. While in another response, there is a proposed idea that the Revitalized Agreement that ended up not been signed by other key opposition players like Thomas Cirilo be revitalized for inclusive and accommodative issues that are pending inclusion as the other route course to the ongoing civil war. And parties representatives who are signatory to the revitalized and agreed document should possess the will and commitment to respect the agreement and international community to support the smooth implementation process of the agreement to ensure reduction in the scale of war and lead to establishment of democratic processes which shall put the country to prosperity, security and peace.
One important recommendation and proposal is that, since this is about securing people’s stability, security, peace and prosperity, there is a genuine demand that locals are put in frontline of decision making about how and what they need to bring peace and their views count and own the peace and its implementation. One funny thing is that, the agreements signed were only ones that are discussed by key representatives of the parties to the agreements while neglecting the majority citizens who ended up being victims of war. This is an attempt of ownership and sustainability.
As noted in the history of segments of agreements, in an attempt to silence and to bring to an end the ongoing civil wars which define the situation as domestic or political violence for the already system breakdown in south Sudan, a lot was concentrated on as a requirement that government and opposition forces herein referred to as South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) are mediated to end war and reduce the suffering of the population.
To briefly give highlights on the first phase of the agreement signed was the “Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan” (ARCSS) signed between Riak Machar Teny who is the lead main opposition and the government of South Sudan including the former detainees (FDs) and was signed on 17th August 2015 under the auspice of the regional Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Ethiopia. The agreement was rich in content and included several general reforms in the ranging from establishment of transitional government of national unity, permanent ceasefire and transitional security Arrangements, Humanitarian Assistance and Reconstruction, Resource, Economic and Financial Management Arrangements, transitional justice, accountability, reconciliation and healing. Just shortly or later this paved way for the subsequent return of Machar as the 1st vice president of the Republic of South Sudan. Signed with reservation as the declared by the president Salva Kiir, the ARCSS didn’t hold and a lot was not honored to implement. This led to the resumption of the 2016 breakout of the second war that opened another phase for the declaration of the country’s national dialogue by the president of the republic on the 14th December 2016 announcement an attempt to provide convenient opportunity for South Sudanese to engage, build peace and reconcile. This came at a stage South Sudan experiences a characteristic of cross-country inter-communal violence, political power struggles, national governance challenges, economic instability, massive internal displacement of citizens, disunity and disintegration, especially a situation witnessed when the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) in July 2016, was collapsing following the resumption of the fighting between forces loyal to Kiir against those aligned to the named and then-1st vice president and leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO), Riak Machar.
Fact was that, considerable effort has been invested into the National Dialogue process, and there are notable achievements recorded in the area of; firstly, there was national acceptance of the idea in which almost all South Sudanese have embraced the National Dialogue in principle, although differences still existed with respect to timing and implementation modalities, among other issues of contention. Key concerns were managing the differences, renegotiate the social contract and reach common ground on the way forward to secure lasting peace, stability and prosperity. This is evidenced both by attendance at the national and regional consultation forums and public opinion presented in various South Sudanese media platforms. Secondly, the government was able to set up the structure and organizational framework to operationalize the National Dialogue. Thirdly, to a considerable extent, the National Dialogue institutions managed to win regional and international subscription or buy-in to the process in which in principle, the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU), African Union (AU) and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) have all expressed their support of the National Dialogue process in South Sudan and progress has been made in terms of conducting the actual consultations. As a credit, the National Dialogue Sub-committee (NDSC) (working with its 15 subcommittees) managed to conduct local consultation forums, regional consultation forums and international outreach forums in Uganda and Kenya in the period between early November 2017 and early January 2018.
However, despite this unique and yet grass root domestic approach, the National Dialogue process in South Sudan faces its own challenges and its success continues to be under threat from both recorded internal and external factors painted from an analysis of the situation in South Sudan, an evaluation of various reports deriving from the dialogue consultation forums conducted so far and observation of live recordings of some of the consultation sessions. These challenges relate to the exclusion or non-involvement of key stakeholders to the conflict; non-existence of a conducive environment for peaceful dialogue; mistrust and misperceptions by some stakeholders to the conflict; low levels of attendance during dialogue consultation forums; shortage of resources; and the prevalence of fear among some citizens treated as complex.
The dialogue failed to recognize the involvement and participation of key stakeholders who are opposition forces and part to the conflict without engaging such influential figures who are instrumental in the power matrix that is perpetuating the conflict. While agreeing to the dialogue in principle, almost all the influential opposition leaders ranging from SPLM-FDs, SPLM-IO, the National Democratic Movement (NDM), South Sudan National Movement for Change and several other parties distanced themselves from the dialogue. More concerns were that the dialogue lacked pre-consultation engagements, the inappropriateness of the venue, concerns over the proposed methodology and implementation modalities, inclusivity, transparency, impartiality and that there is an absence of an enabling security environment. This made no progress in the utilization of the findings of the national dialogue which would have been action points to aid the revitalized agreement or any useful agreement and solution to end war in South Sudan.
The newly constituted attempt to end war was the engagement of the High Level Revitalization Forum to arrive to the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan signed in Khartoum to end the war. However, more is needed in the area of awareness and disseminated to the locals and those holding guns and to respect civilians and protect them and their property. Intervention in areas but not limited to; and other excluded demands of other parties who are not signatory to the agreement need to be tabled for renegotiation and agreement.
Like the demands of the federal systems, of governments, regionalism and other reforms by the National Salvation Front led by Thomas Cirilo and other parties’ demand need to be made open and free environment open for discussion and negotiation need to be tried to asses it impact on the country’s stability and political issues.
This idea goes beyond creating a situation of civil military relationship improvement where there is trust, association and freedom for prosperity as local population is made aware in the involvement process as key players of peace building. To fulfil this assignment, I proposed that I will create a participatory approach aiding active contributions from different groups and categories ranging from intellectuals, stakeholders, women, men, youth, and church leaders and so on to document the findings on the impacts of the wars on the population. To better gather relevant and objective information, the exercise demands that I use the necessary tools including questionnaire, one on one interview and group interview to generate multi-and cross cutting issues of impacts and who suffered the most.
All these shall focus on documentation of the key findings recorded as impacts of the segmental wars or conflict in Yei on the population. This intern shall be a fact based research findings which shall be used for project proposal and intervention for whoever will be interested to offer intervention.
Current Information Working to formulate a viable solution to end the civil wars resulting from system breakdown, I suggest that there is need to launch, push and advocate for conflict assessment starting from local government units to national unit. This should focus on the Diagnosis on the stage of analysis of political, economic, social and security factors within our local context south Sudan communities, with a focus on core grievances and resiliencies. The focus must angle analysis of how key actors mobilize grievances and resiliencies to drive or mitigate conflict, forecasting how these dynamics and related trends might evolve in the future; and anticipating potential triggers or turning points through education and awareness in forums and engaging dialogues.
Another domain is the advocacy on the formulation of response recommendations at all levels in which a strategic analysis of existing programming to assess gaps and opportunities with respect to the conflict dynamics. Local intervention should be based on a prioritization of issues and identification of suitable points of entry or leverage, which yields recommendations for response options that support conflict prevention, management or mitigation. More specific objectives shall include the following;
1- To advocate for opening a space for all political parties to renegotiate on key pressing issues causing the civil wars which shall be mediated by strong body as soon as possible and must be done quickly to reduce the suffering of the population
2- To strengthen democratic system of government where dictatorship is lost completely and people exercise rights in all aspect
3- To work towards realization of conflict resolution, management, sustainable peace, security and restoration of human rights and stable political economy.
4- Push to implement and respect signed concrete agreements which offer practical solutions to problems without objections and should reflect the will of the people not in controversial way
5- Strengthen to solve the worsening humanitarian situation and reduce cases of humanitarian problems, rape cases, hunger, displacement, school dropout, medical issues and failure, refugee problems, etc.
6- Advocate and strengthen constructive peaceful negotiation, cooperation and mutual discussions as a mean of conflict mitigation rather than violent or threat.
7- Advocate and stage inter-communal and community reconciliation forums to advance healing, reconciliations and justices and holding others accountable through the local structures
8- To advocate and strengthen economic recovery and growth across multi-sectoral approaches to rescue equality among local populations.
9- Strengthen the involvement of the religious intervention and civil society alliance and task force to work towards peace, security, reconciliation and stability.
10- Create awareness of multi-parties knowledge in working towards the good of the people/country and discourage parties from bargaining over posts, positions and percentages through their power sharing “loot sharing” models.
11- Advocate and launch forums which recognize the value of human life and dignity ranging from human rights abuses including; murder, rape, looting and occupation of people’s land and property for people to enjoy freedoms.
12- Advocate/campaign for the respect and protection of civilians by strengthening civil-military relationship to foster co-existence between the army and civilians by building mutual trust and hopes of the civil population.
The core objective of this thesis is to explore opportunities and chances which are requirements to achievement of real and viable peace in the Republic of South Sudan which uphold the prosperity of south Sudan. All the contributions from multiple sources are geared towards a genuine and reliable solution to end the ongoing civil war in the communities of Yei being a hot spot for field military deployment and operation.
Engaging with several respondents and sources in this exercise, we have recorded lots of negative impacts resulting from the ongoing civil war on the population in Yei area. Already, a lot is witnessed in the area of primary and secondary education for children in breakdown, loss of infrastructures, arbitrary arrest and detention, killing innocent people/civilians, looting, raping, forced displacement, health care breakdown, water and sanitation issues, food insecurity, poor feeder roads and poor market accessibility for produces, shelter, etc.
Contributors engaged in this process and mechanisms employed included open discussion with key influential figures ranging from but not limited to; religious leaders, intellectuals, humanitarian actors, stakeholders, youth, vulnerable and non-vulnerable women and men, old and young from different perspective who are knowledgeable about the current situation and activities of armed conflicts in the area. These groups are my key informants and contributors who bear witness to the ongoing war, its direct impact and related effects on the population. It is also important to acknowledge other sources being the ARCSS, R-ARCSS and other civil society organizations and bodies tasked with responsibility to monitor the peace implementation process.
In this discussion, it painted picture that a lot is needed in the area of; creation of local and national forums for community based interaction and dialogues for reconciliation, forgiveness and healing, advocate for parties’ leaderships to engage in peaceful process of solving the rout course of the civil wars, advocate for international community to support the process, stage civil-military forums to foster improved relationship, encourage and advocate for humanitarian support for early childhood education, primary education and secondary education in emergency, recovery in food security, safe and clean water, security, facilitate possible return and settlement of citizens, IDP support, etc.
Advocate for inclusive peaceful negotiation process for all opposition parties in the country so that the views in multi sectorial issues are addressed and tackled to avoid continued insurgency and rebel growth and confrontation, etc. More focus is that the proposed specific objectives need due attention and advancement through their several mission to ascertain a reliable peace and sustainable living at all levels and by all at all ages.
This final thesis is submitted to Atlantic International University in the faculty of Human and Social Sciences in the fulfilment for the award of Bachelor Degree (Major Political Science. It entails the impact of the South Sudan’s civil war as started on the 15th of December 2013 and later reoccurred in its segments in the country and for focus in this thesis is Yei as part of the country. It details the major recorded impact ranging from humanitarian issues, relationships, arrest and detention, perpetrated killings, personal restricted freedom, denied accessibility, IDPs issues, refugee issues, rape cases and other war related impacts as deemed in the definition of gross commitment of violence against humanity by forces loyal to both in the government and in the opposition.
Series of efforts are also stipulated in this assignment as attempts to offer a lasting solution through the support of regional and international bodies and domestic approaches to silence the long catastrophic civil war in the history of South Sudan. In this final thesis, you will find proposed action points and objectives which are enshrined through the contribution of the peace monitors, individual engagement and other bodies as may be reflected throughout this exercise. They are concerns which need urgent and gradual intervention to secure sustainable peace, security and development for a prosperous South Sudan.
I like in this conclusion gratify the contributions of those whom I based my writing and findings in the full support of this successful assignment. May God bless them and bless South Sudan. To achieve a real and sustainable peace in Yei and spread outside other places in South Sudan, mechanisms which facilitate the smooth implementation of the proposed objectives on this Thesis are paramount to pave way and corridors for lasting peace. Commitment and involvement for all at all levels and ages becomes a prerequisite towards success through honor and dedication to fulfilment.
-more than 380,000 people have died in South Sudan’s civil war” published by Siobh’an O’Grady September 26, 2018 on;https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/a-new-report-estimates-more-than-380000-people-have-died-in-south-sudans-civil-war/2018/09/25 -the outbreak of the civil war in South Sudan. (International Journal of Political Science and Development)
Human rights violations and abuses in Yei July 2016 – January 2017 (www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/SS/UNMISSReportJuly2016_January2017.pdf) –
Human Rights Watch, 2016 and Tewodros, 2015
The Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) in July 17th Aug, 2015.
Tracking peace process in South Sudan, South Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat-Church Parliamentary Liaison Office.
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