Policy Brief: Struggle for power in South Sudan

The crisis in South Sudan that has unfolded since December 15 was the culmination of a period of political disagreement within the SPLM, the main political party in South Sudan, characterised by frustrations over demands for political reforms and leadership. The climax of the political fall-out, followed by fighting within the Presidential Guard, spreading quickly among the SPLA barracks in Juba, resulted in excessive ethnic killings and revenge killings with a devastating impact on society and the imminent risk to develop into a civil war. A ceasefire should bring the violence to an immediate end, but more lasting peace and stability can only be realized if the root causes of the latest outburst of violence are addressed.

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