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Vast corruption networks corruption operate in South Sudan, from Chinese-led oil conglomerates and American arms dealers to profiteering British businessmen and high-level government officials implicated in pillaging the country’s natural resources and perpetuating conflict. Several cases of corruption show how regional and international financial institutions, foreign companies, and corrupt individuals facilitate and reinforce policies that deprive citizens of their fair share of the nation’s wealth.
Stability in South Sudan will require addressing fundamental drivers of conflict including weak national identity and state structures, the securitization of governance, and the lack of accountable leadership.
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)’s limited resources are insufficient to fulfill its mandate. Barriers to UNMISS effectiveness include inflexible human resources policies, lack of freedom of movement due to obstacles set by South Sudanese government, and issues engaging with local communities. The problem of inadequate troops and civilian staff deployed to such a large country could be alleviated by a more mobile and responsive approach to achieving the mission’s mandate. Increased mobility, including rapid response capability, long-range patrols, and temporary remote deployments, requires support from the UN Secretariat and member states’ to succeed.
A survey of the main elements of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan assesses prospects for implementation, and offers insight into the fragile politics underlying the moratorium.
International actors should actively work toward resetting the levers of structural power within the political economy so that a less violent South Sudan is possible.
Regional considerations have always played a prominent role in South Sudan’s security landscape. Indeed, the country was born from a regional fissure between what are today Sudan and South Sudan. This schism has been subsequently shaped and influenced to varying degrees by all of South Sudan’s neighbors. These dynamics have continued with the country’s descent... Continue Reading
Rule of Law in a Weak State South Sudan’s descent into civil war in 2013, 2 years after independence, has devastated families, communities, and institutions—including judicial institutions. Already fragile following decades of war against Khartoum, state institutions had yet to penetrate throughout the territory, and many were still in the process of formation. Areas that... Continue Reading
Countries emerging from conflict confront numerous challenges relating to the reform of their security sectors. Some countries succeed in addressing those challenges, are able to reform their security sector gradually, and achieve peace and stability for their people as a consequence. Other countries fail to do so, at times contributing to the recurrence of conflict.... Continue Reading
The 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) identifies security sector reform (SSR) as one of the most crucial issues that need to be addressed if South Sudan is to attain peace. The prioritization given to SSR in the ARCSS is illustrated by the fact that it... Continue Reading
In light of the complex nature of the security challenges facing the country—created in part by the blurred lines between security and political sectors—a short- to medium-term focus on security sector stabilization (SSS) is warranted.
When South Sudan achieved independence in 2011, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/ Movement (SPLA/M) and its leader, Salva Kiir Mayardit, took control of a system of governance that transcended the lines between the formal and informal sectors, military and civilian elites, government and nongovernment actors, as well as licit and illicit sources of revenue. Instead... Continue Reading
A “gun class”—the fusion of security leaders with political power, class, and ethnicity—is at the heart of the predatory governance system that has taken root in South Sudan. Changing this trajectory will require redefining the roles of political and security actors.