Seeking Peace in South Sudan: The Contributions and Challenges of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD)

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Micheale K. Gebru

Abstract

The objective of this article is to critically examine the role(s) that the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has played in the restoration of peace in South Sudan. Methodologically, the article employed a case study qualitative research design as its main focus is analyzing the contributions and challenges of IGAD in seeking peace in South Sudan. The study revealed that IGAD has played a prominent and leading role in the South Sudan mediation. Since its involvement in the mediation process, it has played its utmost efforts in the South Sudan peace process to end the armed conflict and created the basis for sustainable conflict resolution in non-violent ways. The Agreement on the resolution of the conflict signed by the parties in August 2015, without doubt, is a major contribution to the resolution of the conflict. The agreement outlined a comprehensive plan to end the fighting, frame a post-conflict transition, and to begin the tasks of reconciliation and reform despite competing interests of the parties and diverging views of external partners. Furthermore, IGAD was instrumental in the realization of the IGAD High-Level Revitalization Forum on 21 December 2017. More recently, IGAD has played a prominent role in the signing of the Khartoum Declaration Agreement on outstanding issues on governance and security arrangements among warring parties held on 5 August 2018 in Sudan. Another achievement of IGAD was its ability to manage regional tensions, among its members, which prevented an agreement on power-sharing and security arrangements in the country. Finally, the article concludes that IGAD has achieved success in assisting South Sudan to integrate into the regional peacebuilding architecture.

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Author Biography

Micheale K. Gebru, Mekelle University

Micheale Kihishen Gebru is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Civics and Ethical Studies, Mekelle University, Mekelle, Ethiopia. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Addis Ababa University, Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS).