chapter  5
15 Pages

Trials and tribulations

The challenges of building a sustainable state in South Sudan
WithDaniela Nascimento

For over 30 years, the rebels of the South Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army fought the government of the Republic of Sudan in one of the world’s longest and more violent civil wars. Hostilities formally ended in 2005 with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which included a number of provisions that required future action, including provisions with respect to resource sharing of oil revenues and the holding of a referendum on independence for South Sudan. Although the CPA is considered a landmark agreement for the simple reason that it stopped the long-lasting war between the North and the South, the truth is that after the six-year interim period, and despite relative improvements in services provision, structural changes in terms of access to education, social, health or housing services did not fully materialize in the post CPA period. By focusing on the implementation of the peace agreement after the 2011 referendum that heralded the establishment of South Sudan as a newly independent country, this chapter identifies the challenges and obstacles of building a viable state in the newly independent territory of South Sudan. It analyses the role played by both external and internal factors and actors in the wider peacebuilding and statebuilding process within the framework of the liberal peace model. From a discussion of what statehood means and what limitations it faces in the specific case of South Sudan, it will assess the ways in which political, economic and geostrategic positioning and factors have contributed directly or indirectly to a state of permanent instability and violence in South Sudan, structurally compromising the government’s capacity to fully control its territory and institutions and ultimately compromising efforts to build both a state and sustainable peace.