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Observatory of Northeastern Africa
- Juba South Sudan. Copyright: Shutterstock
South Sudan: War, Peace Processes and Regional Economic Integration
In retrospect, South Sudan’s independence presaged a change in the regional economic order. The implications of these changes became appa- rent in the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD)’s inability to bring a swift end to the post-independence civil war and hold parties to the original Agreement for the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) they had forced them to sign in 2015. Early fears that the first South Sudan civil war would become the site of a wider regional conflagration, with Uganda and Sudan as the princi- pal protagonists and the Kiir government and Machar’s opposition as their respective proxies, did not materialise. Rapprochement between Juba and Khartoum, and Khartoum and Kampala, based on their mutual interests in Juba’s oil-based economy had gone relatively unnoticed. Instead of South Sudan representing a theatre for competition between security actors as it had during the pre-independence period, post-2011 Kampala and Khartoum were in fact co-dependent on a Juba government friendly and com- pliant to both their interests, and integrated into the regional interstate system. One reason for the eventual failure of the original 2015 ARCSS, was because it was insufficiently rooted in these changed regional dynamics, and the economic interests that under- pinned them. The subsequent 2018 Revitalised- Agreement for the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) reduced overall levels of vio- lence and sustained a process of sorts, precisely because it captured the right set of regional economic incentives.