South Sudan: Failure in State Building and its Regional Implications

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Addis Ababa University


This thesis deals with Failure of State Building in South Sudan and its Regional Implications for the security, political, and socio-economy of countries in the Horn subregion. The study examines the underlying factors that caused civil war in South Sudan from various angles and perspectives. Qualitative research methodology is used in the course of collecting and analyzing data by employing both primary and secondary sources as method of data collection. Primary data are elicited through key informant interviews from individuals in various institutions that are knowledgeable on the subject of the study. Secondary sources used in this study include books, journal articles, reports and pertinent web-sources. Based on the above mentioned sources of data the study has tried to answer the research questions that are composed of historical, political and economic causes of the conflict between North and South Sudan; underlying factors of civil war in South Sudan after independence; and South Sudan’s state failure implications for the Horn region. The finding of the study has shown that the civil war in South Sudan has far-reaching security, political, and socio-economic consequences on the peoples and states of the region. First, since the conflict in South Sudan is linked to the complex conflict system in East and the Horn of Africa, and Central Africa and North Africa, it is likely to draw in most of the state and non-state actors in the region. This is likely to result into a crisis in the region and would bring about a shift in the balance of power in the region and reshape the regional security architecture. Second, civil war in South Sudan would result in undermining the democratization processes that are currently underway in most countries in the region. Third, the countries of the Horn of Africa like Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, and Ethiopia that have strong economic ties with South Sudan are also adversely affected by the civil war in South Sudan. Fourth, apart from humanitarian responsibility to grant asylum to so many refugees by the neighboring countries, refugees can affect stability in the host countries, and insurgent rebel groups may use the resultant instability in the border regions. Finally, the conflict has destroyed the ecology of the country that has led to the shortage of food, drought, famine, and desertification both within South Sudan and the countries of the Horn sub-region. Therefore, South Sudan’s neighbors have to be vigilant against the impending civil war as it is by far the worst security, political and socio- economic threatening episode. Thus, the international community led by the United Nations, with support of the African Union, the European Union, the United States, and IGAD should exert pressure on the warring parties to stop the fighting in order to save South Sudan from descending into a complex political, and socio-economic turmoil that could lead to total state collapse



International Relation