IPSS Unveils a Conflict Map in South Sudan

On November 30th, 2012, the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) unveiled a conflict map identifying about 50 conflicts throughout South Sudan.

The conflicts are classified broadly as inter-state conflicts, intra-state conflicts, cross-border conflicts and inter/intra-state conflicts.  The conflict map is the first step in the design of a comprehensive conflict database, identifying the root causes of the conflicts, the various interventions, either by the GoSS or other non-governmental agencies, matching the conflicts with the interventions and analysing their impact and effectiveness which, through identification of best-practices, will inform the comprehensive CPMR (Conflict prevention, management and resolution) strategy of the GoSS. 

The objective of the workshop was to ground-truth the identified conflicts further from various practitioners and experts on the ground, particularly by the ten state coordinators from the ten states of South Sudan who, as members of the South Sudan Peace and Reconciliation Commission (SSPRC), are mandated to support local processes and capacities of the government and to coordinate CPMR efforts across all sectors. 

The workshop was attended by members of the SSPRC as well as members of IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development), represented by Ambassador Mohamed A. Abdoul, the African Union, represented by H.E. Ambassador Nahah tanislas, Director of IPSS, Mr. Mulugeta Gebrehiwot and representatives from UNMISS (UN Mission in South Sudan) and other stakeholders.  The workshop was officially inaugurated by H.E. Mr.Wiyay Deng Ajak, Minister of National Security, Office of the President of the Government of South Sudan.  

In his opening remarks, H.E. Mr. Deng Ajak reiterated the importance of the project highlighting that development of the new nation depends on the people’s ability to live peacefully and harmoniously.  He also stated that, “peace cannot be imposed on people; peace has to come from within.”

In this regard, the collaboration between IPSS and SSPRC and the project approach which does not prescribe or impose templates of CPMR from elsewhere, rather works to increase the indigenous knowledge, understandings and interventions of the conflicts in South Sudan as commendable.

On his opening remark, Mr. Mulugeta Geberhiwot, Director of IPSS remarked that while there are various intervention strategies throughout South Sudan, particularly by non governmental organizations, most are based on “episodic understandings of the conflicts” which lends itself to an ill-fitted CPMR based on limited understanding of the conflicts.

 The approach of IPSS is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the conflicts for a design of CPMR strategy document that is true to the historical, social, livelihoods, political and economic realities of the communities. 

The IPSS Project in South Sudan IPSS, in collaboration with the South Sudan Peace and Reconciliation Commission (SSPRC) is working to produce a comprehensive CPMR strategy document for the GoSS.  The project is a recognition by IPSS of the challenges SSPRC and other institutions face in developing a comprehensive CPMR strategy in a situation of on-going crisis.   The SSPRC is an institution of the GoSS mandated to spearhead peace and reconciliation at national level with a focus on supporting local processes and capacities and to coordinate CPMR efforts among the different state and non-state actors involved.   In the face of numerous on-going conflicts, the SSPRC’s approach to CPMR has mostly taken the form of a “fire brigade” approach. 

The capacity of the SSPRC in analysing the conflicts and identifying context-specific CPMR strategies is also limited.   It is with these critical issues in mind that IPSS has undertaken this project with the full participation of the SSPRC, were, the research and analysis process is  expected to enhance thecapacity of SSPRC in CPMR.

The project will look at and explore the following areas:

Conflicts – through mapping and creation of a conflict database;
Interventions Inventory - inventory of CPMR activities, both by state and non-state actors;
Programming - matching the conflicts with the resource for intervention;
Monitoring and Evaluating;
Learning review – identification of best practices and develop paradigms/policies/ approaches for a comprehensive CPMR strategy document

Project Methodology
The conflict scenario in South Sudan is very volatile and dynamic. Available information is usually fragmented and not fully reliable.  Institutional capacity is nascent and there is no established mechanism for communication and information exchange. There is also no common “language” between diverse actors responsible for CPMR. As a result of these challenges, the project is designed in a holistic manner following a cyclical iterative approach. 

This approach helps unpack the complexity of the conflict further at each successive iteration.  It will also ensure up-to-date information regarding the conflicts, actors,interventions and trends are included in every subsequent cycle.  The successive iterations when taken in their entirety throughout the project cycle help in arriving at a comprehensive understanding of the conflicts in South Sudan and pave the way for a cohesive and integrated design of a CPMR strategy for the SSPRC and the GoSS in general.

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