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Aid and Government: Conflict sensitivity and the state in South Sudan

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International aid is an important part of the political economy of South Sudan and interacts with government, including state and local structures and authorities, in a continuous and evolving manner. Innovation, cooperation, mistrust, and conflict have characterised the relationship between the broader international aid community and the structures that produce and exercise authority in this…

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Displaced nation: the dangerous implications of rushed returns in South Sudan

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South Sudan is facing one of the worst displacement crises in the world today. More than half of the population is food insecure and, if not for international humanitarian aid, the country would almost certainly have already faced famine. A new peace agreement is bringing cautious hope to the displaced and is driving discussions of…

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Funding to local humanitarian actors: South Sudan case study

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In May 2016, 18 donor countries and 16 aid organisations (including United Nations (UN) agencies, international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) and the Red Cross Movement) signed a ‘Grand Bargain’ outlining 51 mutual commitments across ten thematic workstreams. Workstream two – more commonly known as ‘localisation’ – commits donors and aid organisations to provide 25% of global…

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Customary Authorities Displaced: The experience of Western Equatorians in Ugandan refugee settlements

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South Sudan’s violent conflicts continue to plague its people. An estimated four million South Sudanese have been forcibly displaced since December 2013, and more than a million have sought refuge in Uganda where communities have largely reassembled without their traditional or customary leaders. Customary Authorities Displaced examines the consequences of conflict and displacement on traditional…

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Revitalizing Peace in South Sudan: Citizen Perceptions of the Peace Process

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From October to November 2018, the South Sudan Civil Society Forum (SSCSF), a coalition of more than two hundred South Sudanese civic organizations, surveyed 1,147 people in five locations in South Sudan and a refugee camp in Uganda to better understand their views on the peace process and the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of…

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Resisting Violence: Growing a Culture of Nonviolent Action in South Sudan

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Since the outbreak of civil war in December 2013, South Sudan has endured one of the worst humanitarian crises in modern times. Still, amid the constant threat of war-related violence and economic hardship, South Sudanese activists are managing to launch and sustain nonviolent movements to address the social, political, and economic grievances that have fueled…

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Caught Between Two Cultures: When aid in South Sudan is pulled between local norms and western systems

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Kinship and community support-based social security mechanisms are vital for the survival of South Sudanese in times of crisis. They are based on concepts and longstanding practices of mutual support, social obligation and vulnerability. These concepts can conflict with western ideals of transparency, accountability and “fair” allocation of resources, including aid. As a result, socially…

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“We Do Not Honour Agreements:” Dialogue and Peace Agreements in South Sudan

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In September 2018, South Sudanese political and armed actors signed a new peace agreement after months of negotiations between parties to the defunct 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) and other groups that had since been created. While hailed by some as a significant step forward,…

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Improving Gender Equality Quota Implementation in Post-conflict South Sudan

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In 2005, South Sudan adopted a minimum of 25 percent women representation quota in its interim constitution. Following the independence, this quota was maintained, with the Transitional Constitution devoting three clauses to this important policy.  In 2013, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), the governing party, proposed raising this quota to increase women’s participation in public life. In…

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After the Khartoum Agreement: Boundary Making and the 32 States in South Sudan

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The Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) signed on 12 September 2018, not only allows for a new government and security arrangements, it also provides for two new commissions to decide the number of internal states and their boundaries. In the following Q and A, RVI fellows Douglas Johnson (DJ)…

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Funding to local humanitarian actors: evidence from Somalia and South Sudan

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The localisation commitments within the Grand Bargain, signed in May 2016, are one of the major achievements of the World Humanitarian Summit, with the potential to drive truly transformative change across the humanitarian system. There are now 59 signatories to the Grand Bargain; of the ten workstreams, workstream two – commonly known as ‘localisation’ –…

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The Challenge of Governance in South Sudan Corruption, Peacebuilding, and Foreign Intervention

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South Sudan is one of the world’s most divided and unstable countries. Since achieving statehood in 2011, the country has plunged into civil war (2013-15) and become the scene of some of the worst human rights abuses on the African continent. Despite ongoing political turmoil, states and international institutions have pledged enormous resources to stabilize…

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Religion, Governance, and the ‘Peace–Humanitarian–Development Nexus’ in South Sudan

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This chapter highlights practices in the wider peacebuilding field that seek similar outcomes as UN peace operations or otherwise affect the background conditions necessary for their success. It treats South Sudan as an illustrative case study that uniquely reflects processes that shape and regulate sites of conflict, chronic emergency, and limited statehood across postcolonial sub-Saharan…

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A Rope from the Sky: The Making and Unmaking of the World’s Newest State

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The euphoric birth of South Sudan was celebrated around the world – a triumph for global justice and a sign that one of the world’s most devastating wars was finally over. But the party would not last; the Republic’s freedom-fighters soon plunged their new nation back into chaos, shattering the promise of liberation and exposing…

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Dehumanization amidst massacres: An examination of Dinka-Nuer intergroup attitudes in South Sudan

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Previous research on dehumanization has been conducted primarily in Western contexts, and outside of periods of ongoing and highly violent conflict. The present study, in contrast, examines grassroots-level dehumanization between South Sudan’s two largest ethnic groups—Dinka and Nuer—during an episode of extreme interethnic violence. Using a mixed-methods approach we study levels of dehumanization and how…

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Peace is the Name of Our Cattle-Camp: Local responses to conflict in Eastern Lakes State, South Sudan

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Following the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and the subsequent independence of South Sudan in 2011, many agro-pastoralist and pastoralist areas of the country have experienced an upsurge of livestock raiding, counter raiding and cycles of revenge killing. Eastern Lakes State, in contrast to its neighbor, Western Lakes State, is an exception. Since 2011, there…

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Wartime Trade and the Reshaping of Power in South Sudan: Learning from the Market of Mayen Rual

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During war, geographies of economic and political power are often recast by shifting patterns of trade and population movements. This can present an opportunity for local leaders to reshape legal and moral logics to attract trade and people to areas under their control. But these shifts can also create ambiguities and tensions that extend into…

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Intersections of violence against women and girls with state-building and peace-building: Lessons from Nepal, Sierra Leone and South Sudan

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This study, conducted as part of the What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) in Conflict and Humanitarian Crises programme funded by the UK government, explores how programmes and policies to prevent and respond to VAWG have been integrated and addressed within post-conflict state-building policy and programming; and how, in conflict-affected countries,…

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Housing, Land and Property, Aid and Conflict in South Sudan

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South Sudan is characterised by mass, continued and repeated displacement. Against this backdrop, the January 2017 announcement of 32 states demarcated partly along ethnic lines spelt immediate concerns for returns and relocations. Occupation of land following displacement of local populations has further complicated the picture, as have government decisions to demarcate empty or occupied land…

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Children and armed conflict in South Sudan – Report of the Secretary General (S/2018/865)

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The present report, submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 1612 (2005) and subsequent resolutions, is the second report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in South Sudan. It contains information on the six grave violations against children that occurred between 1 October 2014 and 30 June 2018, the context in which they took…

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CSRF SOUTH SUDAN