By Elizabeth Lacey
Date of publication: December 2013
Restive Jonglei: From the Conflict’s Roots, to Reconciliation
The conflict in Jonglei, South Sudan is a â€œcomplex and murky situation to untangleâ€ without one definitive explanation, and the timing and context of many events have contributed to its continuation. In order to create lasting peace in South Sudan, it is imperative to look critically at the complex layers of the driving factors of the recent inter-ethnic conflict in the region: increased access to weapons; lack of education; limited economic opportunities; political tensions and instability and the politicisation of inter-ethnic conflicts; ethnic tensions and perceptions of opposing ethnic groups, particularly conceptualisations of ‘the other’; and poor handling of the disarmament processes. Addressing the core causes of the conflict by exploring issues of the past through dialogue, and creating infrastructure for an inclusive environment will help build reconciliation and political stability.
This working paper analyses the roots of the conflict in Jonglei state and the role of ethnic divisions in perpetuating the conflict, and interrogates the 2012 Jonglei peace processes to determine effective pathways towards authentic and sustainable reconciliation in restive Jonglei.