South Sudan

  • Fragility and State-Society Relations in South Sudan

    By Kate Almquist Knopf, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, September 2013 southsudanTwo years into South Sudan's state-building effort, Africa's youngest country faces a variety of trials: the threat of renewed conflict with Sudan, localized ethnic-based insurgencies, deepening strains from food shortages, and weak governance structures, among others. Underlying all of these challenges are fragile state-society relations, which have constrained a national dialogue on needed reforms. Trust and confidence in the government can be generated through a concerted effort to build inclusive coalitions of state and nonstate actors, expand independent media, and construct a rules-based, accountable foundation for the new state.

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  • Work in Progress: Security Force Development in South Sudan Through February 2012

    By John A. Snowden, Small Arms Survey | June 2012 Numerous militias, intercommunal fighting, and cross-border clashes comprise a volatile and unstable security landscape in South Sudan. Meanwhile, security force development has been undermined by poor planning and resource allocation processes as well as a complex disarmament and security sector reform effort. Effectively responding to South Sudan’s growing unconventional security challenges requires a doctrinal realignment within the military to include a maneuverable approach to countering irregular groups as well as a clearer delineation of roles and collaboration between the military and police. The security services will also need to better manage misconduct, professionalization, and personnel management to build a trusted force.

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  • Governing South Sudan: Opinions of South Sudanese on a Government that Can Meet Citizen Expectations

    By Traci Cook and Leben Moro, National Democratic Institute | March 2012 Welcome to South Sudan According to post-independence surveys and focus groups, growing numbers of South Sudanese express dissatisfaction with pace of development, the rising cost of living, and insecurity. Citizens, however, place greatest emphasis on the importance of inclusivity and appreciate the government’s efforts to reflect the country’s ethnic and regional diversity in high-level cabinet appointments. At the same time, many feel too uninformed and unfamiliar with existing governance structures and therefore unable to participate and assess performance. The government of South Sudan will need to expand opportunities for citizen participation and feedback in order to cultivate the public’s confidence and address development and security challenges.

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  • South Sudan: International State-Building and Its Limits

    By Wolfram Lacher, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik | February 2012 After becoming independent in July 2011, South Sudan commenced a massive and, inevitably, long-term state-building effort. The country faces severe obstacles, including minimal basic infrastructure, weak markets for goods and services, and lasting legacies from decades of civil wars. The political elite has also split into various competing interests groups, and amid severe institutional weaknesses this has led to rampant corruption and clientelism. Meanwhile rising inter-communal and -ethnic conflict has widened societal faultlines, and the security sector’s reputation for abuses and heavy handedness has alienated its support. State-building progress in South Sudan will require an agenda that prioritizes anti-corruption and human rights, both by state authorities and international partners.

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  • Local Justice in Southern Sudan

    By Cherry Leonardi, Leben Nelson Moro, Martina Santschi, and Deborah H. Isser, Rift Valley Institute and U.S. Institute of Peace | 2010


    Favoritism, corruption, and political interference in South Sudan’s emerging justice system have lowered confidence in its ability to resolve disputes and address revenge killings and inter-communal conflict.  However, local and traditional justice mechanisms have established records of consensual dispute resolution within and across ethnic lines and could be better integrated with newly formed southern governance structures.

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