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Putting Human Rights up Front: Implications for Impartiality and the Politics of UN Peacekeeping

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This article traces the origins, development and implications of Human Rights Up Front (HRuF), a bold and visionary initiative launched by former Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in 2013. While HRuF is part of a broader continuum of human rights-related reforms, its scope and focus is distinctive. HRuF puts the imperative to protect people from serious violations…

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Compound fractures: Political formations, armed groups and regional mediation in South Sudan

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In September 2018 the warring parties in South Sudan signed the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS). The R-ARCSS will be implemented in a daunting environment – over the course of the five-year conflict, political and security arenas have grown increasingly fractured. For the agreement to…

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Nobody came to ask us: South Sudanese refugee perceptions of the peace process

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Refugees are one of the most affected yet least consulted groups when it comes to issues of peace and conflict in South Sudan. This report attempts to address that gap by presenting findings of refugee interviews in Ethiopia and Uganda. Understanding and incorporating their views into the peace processes is crucial to ensuring that the…

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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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Identity and Self-Determination: The Fertit Opposition in South Sudan

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The Fertit community is a minority group in South Sudan that inhabit the former Western Bahr el Ghazal state. Out of it grew an opposition that came to form one of the many groups to take up arms against the Dinka dominated government in Juba and align with Riek Machar’s opposition coalition, the SPLA-IO. Identity…

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Livestock and livelihoods in South Sudan

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This rapid review provides a synthesis of evaluations and learning reviews of livestock and livelihood in South Sudan. It begins with the elaboration of the importance of livestock to livelihoods. The review identifies that agro-pastoralism is the main livelihood system in rural areas of South Sudan. Although agro-pastoralism involves both livestock rearing and crop production,…

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Fixing Governance is Key to Stability in South Sudan

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Many analysts and observers of politics in South Sudan point to weak governance as the malefactor for the political crises and lack of progress on socioeconomic development in the country. This policy brief, therefore, identifies major governance challenges in South Sudan and assesses whether the recently signed R-ARCSS addresses them. Among key governance challenges is…

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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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Lessons from local governance programmes in South Sudan

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Donor-funded (governance) programming in South Sudan has been hampered by numerous challenges, notably renewed conflict and economic crisis. The literature points to a general failure by donors to appreciate these challenges and to donors’ overestimating state capacity, leading to overambitious programmes. Donors are urged to be flexible, integrate political and development interventions, and work through…

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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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The Politics of Humanitarianism: Perspectives from South Sudan

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South Sudan has for forty years been a crucible of experimentation in the field of humanitarianism in situations of conflict. Humanitarian operations have been critical in saving lives, providing essential medical care, documenting the plight of South Sudan’s people, and connecting South Sudanese with the international community. South Sudanese and foreign humanitarians have shown courage,…

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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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Ebola preparedness and traditional healers in South Sudan

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This review focuses on the evidence on Ebola preparedness in South Sudan through an anthropological lens, looking at informal and traditional health care systems. It presents the evidence on how these can be utilised for surveillance, behaviour change communication, and vaccinations in the case of an Ebola outbreak, including: establishing surveillance of these services and…

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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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CSRF SOUTH SUDAN