South Sudan: Keeping Faith with the IGAD Peace Process
With regard to contain and resolve the civil war, IGAD and its member states have contributed much time and political capital to this. Thus far, they have failed due to internal divisions and power struggles; centralization of decision-making and lack of institutionalization; and too much focus on political elites. It will require further political effort from IGAD to resolve its differences and an investment in IGAD-PLUS by its members for it to succeed in ending South Sudan’s war. Regional heads of state will need to compromise with one another on a unified political strategy with the support of the AU’s high representative. IGAD-PLUS members should clearly outline the pressures and incentives they can bring to the table to support this strategy. A dedicated UN envoy for South Sudan and Sudan can represent the UN and encourage the wider international community to adopt a more unified approach, so as to use the necessary and contextually appropriate tools to prod the recalcitrant South Sudanese parties to agreement. However imperfect the process is, IGAD-PLUS is the last, best chance for peace in the near-term and its success is critical to avoiding further deterioration in South Sudan and the region.