How to Make Peace Work in South Sudan: Criteria for More Effective Collective Conflict Management in South Sudan

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The following criteria for more effectively resolving the conflict in South Sudan were de-veloped by the South Sudan Reflection Group, facilitated by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung South Sudan Office. The Reflection Group was comprised of experts and senior civil-society representatives from South Sudan and other African countries who have long engaged in and with South Sudan. The Reflection Group sought to identify what is needed to externally support efforts to end the conflict – inclusively, collectively and sustainably. These criteria represent Reflection Group members’ minimum consensus and do not claim to be comprehensive – or sufficient for establishing peace in South Sudan.

Criterion 1: Credible external guarantors from the region who are trusted by all sides. They can pressure the conflict parties to be accountable and are crucial for mediating and sustaining agreements.

Criterion 2: Informal influencers who can also act as guarantors. Individuals who enjoy respect and credibility amongst stakeholders can positively influence their behaviour and decision-making.

Criterion 3: Peace processes including both non-state peacemakers and spoilers. Tick-box representation and consultations with a small number of civil society representatives do not suffice. External actors should help build strategic alliances by encouraging the coordination and cooperation among civil society actors, both at local and national level.

Criterion 4: Timely delivery of peace dividends to communities affected by violent con-flict. Improved public goods delivery in the area of security, education, health and justice help ensure that peace agreements will last and displaced persons return home.

Criterion 5: Enough time and space to build trust between conflict actors. External ac-tors should support open-ended peace processes rather than »deadline diplomacy« and move away from their current focus on events and project cycles with pre-determined timelines and outcomes.

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