The Fundamental Problem of South Sudan
Author: Abraham Awolich
Type: Weekly Reviews
This weekly review investigates what underpins the ongoing conflict in South Sudan, which is barely understood. The ongoing peace processes, namely IGAD led mediation efforts, National Dialogue and SPLM reunification efforts, may not bring a durable peace if the origin of the conflict is not well understood. Many people claim these processes to be complementary to one another, but none has been able to point exactly to where such complementarity arises. This paper attempts to discuss the fundamental cause of the conflict and how the ongoing peace processes can be used to resolve it.
Following an evaluation of the High-level Revitalization Forum and the National Dialogue processes, the paper concludes that neither of the two processes alone has all it takes to resolve the grievances. It proposes a four staged-framework that starts with the High-Level Revitalization Forum and the current National Dialogue grassroots consultations as the first stage, after which the two processes could be merged in a second stage we call the Comprehensive Dialogue stage, which is then transformed into a Constitutional Conference as a third stage and ending with Elections as the fourth and last stage of the peace process. Analytically satisfying these stages, however, demands investigating what the fundamental problem is and how the proposed solutions resolve it.
Abraham Awolich is the Director of Administration and Finance at the Sudd Institute. Awolich’s research has focused on management of development organizations working in conflict mitigation, governance and business management. Awolich is the co-founder of the Sudan Development Foundation and the former Executive Director of New Sudan Education Initiative (NESEI). Previous to joining the Sudd Institute, Awolich helped establish a secondary school in Yei and a medical clinic in Kalthok, Awerial County. Awolich has a Master’s Degree in Pubic Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Vermont in Anthropology and Business Administration. Awolich is a McNair Scholar and winner of the prestigious Samuel Huntington Public Service Award in 2006.