Finding Peace in Uncertain Times: South Sudan and the Revitalised Peace Process

South Sudan’s latest peace deal has been lauded as a milestone in the country’s long road to peace and stability. The Revitalised Agreement for the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) outlines power-sharing arrangements between rivals President Salva Kiir and main rebel/opposition leader Riek Machar, and provides a blueprint for a sustainable peace and democratic transition. Despite this welcome development, South Sudan’s revitalised peace process has been marred by delays, uncertainty, divisions and the regionalisation of the conflict. As a result, key issues relating to state boundaries and security arrangements remain unresolved, leaving the primary drivers of the conflict untouched. The civil war in South Sudan – which broke out in 2013 – has cost an estimated 400 000 lives, displaced millions and plunged the nascent country into a state of deprivation. South Sudan and its people must urgently facilitate a return to peace, stability, reconciliation and unity. This paper contextualises the agreement, examines its contents and presents the key enablers of and barriers to the success of the revitalised peace process.