South Sudan: Fragile Peace

Image: Article image from Deutsche Welle-Online "Government and rebels in South Sudan finally conclude peace".

On Sunday, August 5, 2018, rebel leader Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir signed a final peace agreement. Among other things, the parties commit to the ceasefire in the agreement. Hopes are high for a final end to the civil war. But the past has shown that such agreements are extremely fragile: The peace agreement concluded in 2015 was short-lived, and the ceasefire agreed in June 2018 was also soon broken.

Peter Gai, president of the Federation of South Sudanese Churches, a partner of Mission 21, was also involved in the peace agreement in 2015. The church is one of the few actors in South Sudan that people still trust. It therefore has an important mediating role to play. Around 64 ethnic groups live in South Sudan. The distrust between the individual groups has grown as a result of the conflict. In particular, the two main opponents, Kiir and Machar, who belong to the Dinka and the Nuer, respectively, have instrumentalized group affiliation.

More than 300,000 people have lost their lives due to more than five years of civil war. Thousands have fled, unable to cultivate their fields and facing starvation. In July 2018, the UN Security Council was finally able to agree on an arms embargo against South Sudan and issued sanctions against two leading military leaders. This was an important signal for the suffering population in South Sudan.

Now the parties must form an interim government within three months. Power is to be divided between the two parties. The rebel leader Machar is intended to serve as vice president alongside Kiir. Whether this will bring the long-awaited peace to the country remains to be seen. Critics see a real change only in the replacement of the old elite by the younger generation.

The concrete form of the agreement remains open, as does its outcome. The work of our partners on the ground remains a great challenge. The peace work and especially the reconciliation work of the South Sudanese Federation of Churches and others is an important factor in creating lasting peace in South Sudan.  

Text: Meret Jobin


► Deutsche Welle-Online: "Government and rebels in South Sudan finally conclude peace".

► Deutsche Welle-Online: "UN imposes arms embargo on South Sudan".

► NZZ-Online: "South Sudan's Lost Children Mistrust Peace"

Our project work:

► Mission 21 project work in South Sudan

Hope thanks to your support

Mission 21
Protestant Mission Basel

PO Box 270
Missionsstrasse 21
4009 Basel, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 (0)61 260 21 20

Donation account Switzerland:
IBAN: CH58 0900 0000 4072 6233 2
Tax exemption number:

Donation account Germany:
Savings Bank Lörrach-Rheinfelden
BLZ: 683 500 48
IBAN: DE39 6835 0048 0001 0323 33
Account No. : 1032333

Nach oben scrollen