By Klem Ryan
January 12, 2019
A survey of the main elements of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan assesses prospects for implementation, and offers insight into the fragile politics underlying the moratorium.
The signing of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) by the longtime rivals Salva Kiir and Riek Machar in Khartoum in September 2018 was hailed as a breakthrough for reversing the brutal civil conflict that has cost an estimated 400,000 lives and displaced more than 4 million people since its onset in December 2013. This analysis, organized broadly along the main elements of the Agreement, assesses developments since the signing and prospects for implementation moving forward.
Military and Security Developments Ongoing Operations The security provisions of the Agreement are among the most immediate that require action from the signatories. These provisions include:
Reaffirmation of the cessation of hostilities agreement (CoHA) signed in December 2017
Separation and reporting of forces Formation of joint military coordination boards
Cantonment of forces
Restructuring and reformation of the SPLA (now South Sudan People’s Defense Forces, SSPDF) involving the incorporation of various military factions
Disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) and security sector reform (SSR)
Progress on this ambitious program provides a signal as to the commitment (or lack thereof) of the parties to the Agreement. The CoHA has to date, been only partially observed. Ceasefire monitors have reported that they perceive an overall reduction in violence across the country, with exceptions in Wau and parts of the Equatorias. (Notably, the report of the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring and Verification Mechanism—CTSAMVM—does not provide a baseline against which the current level of violence is assessed.)