Acta Universitatis Danubius. Relationes Internationales, Vol 9, No 2 (2016)

The Crisis in the Republic of South Sudan: a Struggle for Power behind the Peace Framework

Lucian Dirdala


The crisis that has undermined the state-building project in the Republic of South Sudan deserves the attention and concern of the International Relations community, for both ethical and analytical purposes. The imperative of preventing a general collapse of the world’s newest state into civil war and possibly genocide is widely shared among practitioners, as proven by the current diplomatic and humanitarian efforts. On the other hand, approaching the topic from a theoretical perspective could offer useful insights for several research programs that explore the frontiers between international and domestic politics.

Informed by recent debates on fragile and failed states, as well as by the literature on African regional and sub-regional organizations, the article concludes that the current deadlock in the peace efforts was generated by the adoption of a power-sharing framework that proved vulnerable to the growing commitment deficit from the part of the mediators. In such an environment, the governing party and its military arm have gradually decided that the competition for power can be decisively won in spite of the constraints set up by the international community. 



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