InternationalSecurityThegovernment of South Sudan Security policies
Backgroundof Sudan Conflict
SouthernSudan officially became an independent republic in July 2011following a referendum and after long decades of civil war which leftmillions dead at Darfur. The region has been negatively hit byinternal conflicts since Sudan independence in 1955. The first civilconflict was fought by Sudanese government against the rebel groupled by Anyanya in 1955 to 1972. The first civil war was laterfollowed by the second Sudanese civil war dubbed Sudan People’sLiberation Army (SLPLA/M) which was fought for over twenty years. Itis the second civil war that devastated the country especially theSouthern Sudan leading to the killing of more than two million peoplewith others fleeing to bordering countries as refugees. During thistime, Southern Sudan suffered from extreme neglect, poorinfrastructural development, increased insecurity and poor economicdevelopment among other human sufferings(Blanchard, 2014 p.5).
However,in July 2011, the north and the South Sudan seceded in a historicreferendum giving birth to a new state (Southern Sudan). Secessionwas hailed as the hallmark that would end long decade civil wars andinsecurity in the Southern Sudan. However, this was not the caseSouthern Sudan continues to suffer from the constant conflictsarising from a dispute with North Sudan over oil-rich Abyei regionwhich neither falls in the North or Southern Sudan governments. Thisregion has been the centerpiece of the post-independence conflictbetween Southern Sudan and Northern Sudan. However, while Abyeiregion remains a contentious conflict pivot between the north andsouth governments (Blanchard,2014 p.7)
SouthernSudan insecurity and civil conflicts lie within due to several armedmilitias who have continued to threaten the new state security. As aresult of these conflicts security policies of southern Sudan,governments are influenced in part by continued threat of armedinternal militias. It is imperative to note that, the long-decadecivil wars laid a foundation for continued insecurity witnessed inthe country’s post-independence era. This essay will focus onSouthern Sudan government security policies formulation in the midstof increased militia threat and aggression from North Sudan.
SouthernSudan government and involvement in the practice of security
Althoughmany have argued that secession of Southern Sudan from the Northwould significantly end the long decades of civil conflicts andinsecurity in the southern region, this argument is a fallacy. Today,Southern Sudan government is battling increased insecurity fromtribal fighters who claim the government has neglected some areas andplots to stay in power. Inter-ethnic clashes are not new in Sudan asthese cases predate pre-independence war. In 2011, these tribalclashes intensified in Jong lei region between Murle and the Nuerwhite army (Blanchard,2014 p.2).
In2012, Sothern Sudanese forces engaged the Northern Sudan in fatalclashes over Hegli oil fields that falls in the disputed land. Apolitical power rivalry emerged between President Kirr and DeputyRiek Machar when Riek Machar attempted a coup d’état. Thisunprecedented conflict degenerated to an ethnic divide among the twomen supporters subsequently degenerating into fatal clashes thatkilled thousands and displaced others. The conflict has so farsubsided after a peace pact between the two factions of SPLMgovernments. Conflicts and insecurity still remain the greatestthreat to the new state government(Mwanika, 2012 p. 12).
Afterindependence in 2011, the Southern Sudan government began theDisarmament Demobilization and Reintegration program (DDR) as aprerequisite for a stable, peaceful and development state. Thedisarmament program was a joint effort between the Southern Sudangovernment and the United Nations Mission. The program was to startin 2013 and cover eight years, but several security issues, logisticand financial constraints have hampered progress. The DDR programtargets the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), and localmilitia groups. Several individuals continue to re-mobilize militiagroups to further political agenda interests(Meldrum, 2012 p. 1).
In2011, the government effort to disarm the Murle at Pibor County wasmet with rebellion by a local militia who attacked and killedgovernment SPLM soldiers. Continued deterioration of border securitywith North Sudan and Uganda continues to impede the disarmamentprogram. The government of Southern Sudan has been faulted severallyfor lack of commitment through resource support to the program aidedby international community (Mwanika2012 p. 20).
SouthernSudan Army units have been engaged in continuous local recruitment aspart of integrating local militias in the government forces todeprive contending militia possible recruits along the borders. Thiswas the case during the recent armed security crisis between Sudanand Southern Sudan where young men were mobilized and enticed withgovernment salaries and training to incorporate them in governmentforces and reduce insecurity.
Furthermoremore, the government is currently implementing the security sectorReform (SSR) process which is viewed as an important component ofDisarmament Demobilization Reintegration program (DDR). The focus ofthis strategy was to facilitate a transformative process foraccountable, affordable, adequate and appropriate security. Thegovernment has also allocated significant share of the nationalbudget to security sector especially in retraining ex-combatants andreintegrating them in government security programs such as SSDDRC.
However,the feasibility of the disarmament and demobilization program hasbeen faulted due to the prevailing military and political realities.The government contribution towards the DDR program has beenunsatisfactory leading to unfavorable ‘enabling’ conditions toenhance implementation for peaceful, stable and secure Southern Sudan(Blanchard2014 p. 15).
Smallarms proliferation and efforts to disarm the communities has remaineda contentious issue charged with ethnic favoritism by SLPA/Mcommanders conducting the disarmament exercise. In these disarmamentexercises, abuse against rival communities has dimmed efforts toattain sustainable implementation of peace initiatives. Inparticular, disarmament efforts in regions such as the Greater UpperNile have proved impossible. This is due to various local militiasand preference by local community to retain arms for self-defenseagainst armed cattle raiders (Jok2011 p. 8).
Currentsecurity strategies pursued by Southern Sudan Government
Thecurrent security policies pursued by Southern Sudan Government areaimed at disarmament and controlling the proliferation of small arms.In addition, the government has embarked on various programs aimed atcommunity security building, advocating policy issues such asconflict resolution mechanisms among the tribal communities. Inaddition, the government has extensively collaborated with local andinternational civil societies in implementing security and peaceprograms across the country (Blanchard2014 p.16).
Aspreviously stated, small arms proliferation and influence inaccelerating violent conflicts has been the center of governmentsecurity measures. In particular, the DDR and the government SPLMdisarmament efforts comprise current security strategies pursued bythe young nation government. However, Southern Sudan lacks acomprehensive policy strategy of addressing surplus arms in thecountry. In part, the United Nations has contributed significantly incoercing GOSS to adopt effective security policies such as thenational security strategy in combating infiltration of small arms inthe country (Mwanika2012 p. 22).
Inthe wake of increased deterioration in security especially since thebeginning of 2013, Southern Sudan government in collaboration withUNHCR has embarked on protection sector strategies aimed at boostinglocal security among the ethnic communities. Under the protectionsector strategy the government seeks to enhance legal, physical andmaterial security of the populations living in conflict-affectedregions(UNHRC Sudan Office. 2013 p.4).This will be achieved through supporting internally displaced people(IDP) and facilitating the integration efforts for local communities.Similarly, this strategy is aimed to facilitate mitigation andpreventive efforts by raising awareness on conflict protectionissues. Furthermore, the strategy is aimed at enhancing access tojustice for the affected populations, as well as reducing risks ofexplosives and landmines among others.
Consistencybetween actual stated security policies and practice
Thegovernment of Southern Sudan is composed of ministers, militaryfactions and government officials who were ex-SPLM or closeaffiliates. This has always been a source of challenge to effectivegovernment structure that is legitimate in formulating workablesecurity measures (Blanchard,2014 p. 14).For instance, the government is yet to professionalize the SPLM armyand downsize the size of the military which consumes most of thestate’s budget expenses. In the same line, the SPLM is laden withdissidents and does not reflect the unity of the diverse nationtribes (Meldrum,2012 p. 1).Transparency and accountability in arms trade remains a great hurdlein the struggle for disarmament. One of the tenets of ComprehensivePeace Agreement (CPA) in 2005 was a prohibition against any faction(SAF) and SPLA/M on arms importation (Barltrop,2008 p.3).
Today,there are several reported cases of arbitrary arms importations bygovernment SPLM faction as well as border infiltration of small armsto local militias. Security sector management in Southern Sudanremains questionable lack of accountability in budgetary allocationand prioritization especially in salary payment for soldiers. Theinability by Southern Sudan government to sustain military salariesis attributed to continued indiscipline among the SPLM governmentforces who engage in crimes for personal aggrandizement. Firearmsproliferate in the country due to the inefficiency that characterizesthe military (Meldrum,2012 p. 1).
Nonetheless,the government has relatively maintained some degree of consistencyin applying security measures. In particular, the development ofsecurity management institutions has been a positive in securitypolicy formulation by GOSS. These two institutions are the SouthernSudan Security committeeand theDefense council.These institutions have been effective in addressing security issuesin Southern Sudan. The SothernSudan Defense Council (SSDC)is tasked with developing strategic security plans. Although thisdefense council and committee were purposefully established fordefense management, a cross-analysis of Southern Sudan defense andsecurity services indicates poor management. This accounts forbotched security operations and lack of effective, disciplined andunited SPLM military.
In2011, the white paper security policy underscored the need forPresident to install professionalism in SPLM. It is evident that thisstrategy bore important security reforms especially in thedevelopment of Sudan National security Architecture and theratification of the South Sudan Development plan (SSDP) 2011-2013.The aim of the South Sudan Development Plan 2011-2013 was to addresshuman security beyond the boundaries. The three-year plan waseffective in spearheading research and analysis on different sectorsof government especially security. The plan laid important pillars ofcoordinating security issues, as well as decision-making on security.
SouthernSudan Security policies remain unattainable due to mistrust andresentment within the ruling SPLM. The Southern Sudanese governmenthas had little consensus on formulating transparent andtransformative security policies. In particular, the SPLM lacksrepresentativeness and is overly influenced by tribal favoritism whenformulating national security measures. Established departments andinstitutions charged with the management and implementation ofsecurity policies are incompetent and lack constitutional capacity toaddress insecurity problem in Southern Sudan.
Mostof the security programs had been made possible through extensiveefforts of the international community. This is evidenced ingovernment dismal support to disarmament programs such as the DDR.The new government has failed in facilitating unity especially amongthe cattle raiders who contribute to widespread insecurity. Conflictsover water, land and oil-rich region are largely to blame forincreased Insecurity. These internal resentments over resources andlack of support from the SPLM government lead to increasedre-grouping of local militia. It is these militias who have madegovernment security efforts futile. Fight over resources lead toborder conflicts and acceleration of militia groups(Jok, 2011 p. 13).
TheSudanese Peoples Liberation Army was formed after various militiafactions joined hands for the secession struggle. It is thesefactions that have increased division within the government therebyundermining capacity to formulate objective security measures. Forinstance, the DDR security strategy failed due to favoritism anddifference among the SPLM military commanders. The role of DDR was tofacilitate disarmament and demobilization of local militias. Thisstrategy allowed reintegration of ex-combatants into securityprograms and SPLM.
Furthermore,the tenets of post-CPA (Comprehensive Peace Agreement) were violatedby the government through unequal military composition in the rulingSPLM. In addition, this pact was violated through illegal armsimportation thereby eroding accountability and transparency insecurity practices(Barltrop, 2008 p.4).The inability of the new government to manage the military salarieshas far contributed to the escalation of insecurity as dissidentforces engage in criminal activities such as illegal arms trade.
However,the Southern Sudanese government has initiated important securitymeasures and institutions to address security issues. In particular,the disarmament strategy has significantly decreased armsproliferation. The establishment of Southern Sudan securitycommittees and the South Sudan defense council has been effectivestrategies of implementing security measures. Furthermore, theestablishment of South Sudan Development Plan (SSDP) 2011-2013, hasbeen instrumental in laying down important security plans. Thegovernment has also developed effective military personnelrecruitment plan that is aimed to enhance a united and disciplinedSPLM military.
Theinternational organizations have also contributed greatly toeffective security measures in the new state. Most local andinternational communities have collaborated with government infacilitating security and peace programs among the warring tribes.Good and legitimate governance is key lasting security in SouthernSudan(Greste 2013 p.2).
Thegovernment of Southern Sudan needs to legitimize the military andtransform it as a symbol of ethnic diversity. In addition, thegovernment needs to institute adequate policies to enhance bordersecurity and limit illegal infiltration of small arms in the country.Far from this, GOSS need to strengthen the struggle on disarmamentespecially among the cattle raiders and local militias. Equitableresource distribution, creating employment opportunities andenhancing justice is the surest way to curb rising cases ofdissidents’ militia groups. Lastly, the ruling SPLM governmentneeds to honor all peace agreements signed prior and afterindependence as a way of enhancing government legitimacy.
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