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It is Time to Try Different Approaches to Resolving the South Sudan Crisis

Naivety in its height may dictate that lazy people conceive of the conflict in South Sudan as being one dimensional or linear. Unfortunately, that has been the case to many, including those who are charged with the responsibility to propose some solutions to the crisis that has so far seen the youngest nation record the worst humanitarian crisis of our time. If and when we view the conflict from single dimensional-viewpoint; we fall into the same trap of attempting a single solution to the conflict. There is no single solution to the conflict in South Sudan either, not necessarily because it is not one conflict but also because each conflict in South Sudan is complex in its individuality. If individual conflicts are as complex and need more than one solution, how much more will the multiple conflicts that there are in South Sudan?

There is not one war in South Sudan; there are many wars with the worst being that one with people actively fighting without knowing why they are fighting. It is normally not easy, but can be possible to end a war whose owners are fighting for something that is known, because in such a situation, those involved may stop the war if and when they achieve, in part or in whole, what they are fighting for. But how do you end wars in which fighters do not know what they are fighting for?

We have some wars in South Sudan that are being actively fought by combatants who have no slightest idea of what they are fighting for. We are being treated to similar old and tired narrative – it is a tribal war. Which tribe is fighting which tribe in South Sudan and why? Often times tribe is the lazy way of interpreting wars - especially when such wars occur in Africa. In reality most – if not all so called tribal wars – have nothing tribal in them. It is an easy-to-arouse sensational means of provoking people to fight when and during a time when owners of real wars want to (mis)use “their people” to pursue narrow – often selfish personal gains. The result would be – as is the case in South Sudan – thousands of people being recruited and deployed to actively and passionately fight for what they know not.

For us to resolve the issues in South Sudan, we must be willing to reject as false, the simplistic analyses hurled our way. Let’s accept that many people and nations are fighting in South Sudan and interests are as varied and diverse as there are actors. Crossing of such interests at various stages and levels has led to a web of intricate wars whose solution must and can never be linear and/or single dimensional. Let none suggest one solution to end the crisis in South Sudan. Actually let none pretend they know the solution to ending the wars in South Sudan. I suggest we give innovation a chance. Let us have a thoroughgoing investigation into the real and actual causes of the wars in South Sudan and let us be open to numerous creative strategies to attempt solutions to the troubles bedeviling the country. Multiple multi-level multi-stakeholder approaches may be our best bet. Horizontal ethic of organizing, which favors democratic inclusion at the grassroots level; one that empowers the people, organizes them and deploys them to give birth to pragmatic workable strategies to untie the web of conflicts will clear the way for South Sudan. Nothing stops us from experimenting on creating and managing change processes that can activate civil, military, religious, ethnic fusions to untie the nods of wars in South Sudan.

This would entail the courage to reject as false track one initiatives such as those of IGAD because they simply are not going to offer any solution to South Sudan. The processes in Ethiopia are not only far removed from the realities of the people of South Sudan – especially those actively fighting without reason – but also based on false grounds. They won’t work. 
It is Time to Try Different Approaches to Resolving the South Sudan Crisis It is Time to Try Different Approaches to Resolving the South Sudan Crisis Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on September 26, 2016 Rating: 5

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