South Sudan (2013 – present)
“Our collaboration with Crisis Action helped us expose the bribery and money laundering that fuels the conflict in South Sudan, and the role neighboring countries have played in siphoning resources out of the country. This work ignited conversations about illicit financial flows at national and regional levels and occasioned real consequences for some of the politicians responsible”. – John Allan Namu.
The conflict that broke out in South Sudan in December 2013 and is estimated to have claimed over 400,000 lives entered its sixth year at the end of 2019. While the humanitarian situation remains dire with over 1.47 million internally displaced and 2.2 million South Sudanese forced to seek refuge in neighboring countries, a political breakthrough has provided reason for cautious optimism. As a result of sustained pressure from regional and international actors, South Sudan’s leaders reached an eleventh-hour compromise to form a unity government on February 22, 2020.
Since 2013, Crisis Action together with partners have been working to secure a lasting peace in South Sudan. Efforts to this end have included building the capacity of South Sudanese civil society and coordinating global civil society efforts to ensure sustained regional and international pressure on parties to the conflict. These led to significant political breakthrough that led to the signing of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) in September 2018.
In this regard some of the highlights of our joint advocacy work with partners include:
- 2017 – Catalyzing the formation of the South Sudan Civil Society Forum and the Women’s Coalition on South Sudan for Peace as coordinating platforms for civil society actors to engage in collective advocacy. The effectiveness of these coalitions led to their inclusion in Track I negotiations and as signatories to the R-ARCSS. The Women’s Coalition succeeded to secure a 35% quota for women’s inclusion in government structures as a result. They continue to play a critical role in monitoring and pushing for accountability with the aim of ensuring that political actors in South Sudan remain committed to the obligations under the agreement.
- 2018 – Organizing the first ever Virtual Summit on South Sudan that brought together influential women leaders from across the globe to elevate the voices of South Sudan’s women leaders and galvanize international support to foster dialogue around solutions for a lasting and equitable peace in South Sudan including the silencing of guns in South Sudan. One of the key outcomes of this work was the adoption of an arms embargo on South Sudan by the United Nations Security Council.
- 2019 – Supporting a documentary story teller John Allan Namu and partners as they worked to expose the massive scale of war profiteering by South Sudanese and elites from around the world thereby drawing global attention and pressure so as to stop South Sudan’s leaders from further looting the country through Kenyan and Ugandan financial systems and prolonging the conflict for their own personal gain.
- 2020 – Applying pressure on the parties to the R-ARCSS to make compromises to pave way for the formation of the unity government and engaging the UNSC to renew the arms embargo as a measure to support the fragile peace context of South Sudan.
The role of civil society in advocating for sustained regional and international engagement will remain key to ensure that the revitalized peace agreement is fully implemented.