Since the 1990s, African actors have been engaged in ending civil wars. These efforts have often been characterized as the quest for indigenous solutions to local conflicts. Using cases of mediation in Eastern Africa-Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, and Sudan – this study probes the strengths and weaknesses of African mediation initiatives. The book contends that although African actors have limited resources to mediate civil wars, over the years, they have learnt to seize opportunities that accrue from participating in conflict resolution to contribute to peaceful settlements. Conceptualized as building organizational power for mediation, this process has entailed evolving professional norms and standards of intervention. Eastern African mediators have also benefited from interaction with international mediators in conflict resolution.
South Sudan’s latest peace deal has been lauded as a milestone in the country’s long
road to peace and stability. The Revitalised Agreement for the Resolution of Conflict in
South Sudan (R-ARCSS) outlines power-sharing arrangements between rivals President
Salva Kiir and main rebel/opposition leader Riek Machar, and provides a blueprint for a
sustainable peace and democratic transition. Despite this welcome development, South
Sudan’s revitalised peace process has been marred by delays, uncertainty, divisions and
the regionalisation of the conflict. As a result, key issues relating to state boundaries and
security arrangements remain unresolved, leaving the primary drivers of the conflict
untouched. The civil war in South Sudan – which broke out in 2013 – has cost an estimated
400 000 lives, displaced millions and plunged the nascent country into a state of
deprivation. South Sudan and its people must urgently facilitate a return to peace, stability,
reconciliation and unity. This paper contextualises the agreement, examines its contents
and presents the key enablers of and barriers to the success of the revitalised peace process.