Youth (Monyomiji) and Conflict Resolution in the South Sudan Civil War

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This paper argues that the Monyomiji age class institution, focused on the youth, is essential in the South Sudan civil war resolution. Local cultures, through which the traditional roles of youth are manifest, should be included at national conflict resolution negotiations to prevent decades of failed national, regional and international interventions. Interventions in South Sudan civil war have excluded traditional peace values, and at times sought to train locals, particularly youth, in conventional-style negotiation and mediation. Often foreign-led, interventions are dominated by conventional conflict resolution approaches that regard the local institutions inefficient in modern conflict resolution. The case for Monyomiji presented here demonstrates a contrary view. The paper explores traditional roles of youth in conflict resolution and argues that Monyomiji, as an institution with a heritage of peacebuilding, should have priority not only at inter-ethnic but national conflict resolution levels.

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Winnifred Bedigen

Teaching Fellow in Global Development, School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds.

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