Democratise or disintegrate: how the AU can help South Sudan

Is the forthcoming national dialogue an opportunity to broaden South Sudan’s political process?

The implementation of South Sudan’s latest peace agreement appears to be at a standstill. Insecurity, food shortages and the breakdown in governance have forced more than 1.5 million people to flee the country. President Salva Kiir’s announcement of a forthcoming national dialogue offers some hope. Yet people are divided on the legitimacy of the process: is this a ruse to detract attention from important reforms, or is it an opportunity to finally broaden the political process in South Sudan? External actors, including the African Union (AU), are also at odds with one another. This report looks at how the AU can enhance the prospects for peace in South Sudan.

About the authors

Amanda Lucey is a senior researcher in the Peace Operations and Peacebuilding Division of the ISS. With 10 years of experience in the field, she worked for the UN in the DRC and in South Sudan. She holds an MPhil in Justice and Transformation from the University of Cape Town.

Liezelle Kumalo is a researcher in the Peace Operations and Peacebuilding Division. She has an MA in International Relations from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Development partners
This publication was made possible in part by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The ISS also is grateful for support from the members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the Hanns Seidel Foundation and the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the USA.
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