How South Sudan economic outlook will look like if current political turmoil remains unresolved

Gatwech Gach Gatwech. Photo: File

What Might be the Potential or Possible Drive for South Sudan Economy and Administration to a Failure and Collapse?

By Gatwech Gach Gatwech

“On this matter, South Sudan has already been categorized as a fragile state and eventually to a total failed state as a result of a current conflict among others by Bank Groups”.

SSNA’s editorial note: This article was published years back.


July 17, 2020 (SSNA) — This will partially accommodate forecasted expectations for how well the economy will perform during an upcoming quarter, a year, or another time period. An economic outlook and could include expectations for inflation, productivity growth, unemployment and balance of trade and also reports detailing the forecast over the next ten years for the whole South Sudan (number of literature review have been explored but not exhaustively), let me draw your attention to some extent on the background from previous trends of South Sudan Economy, to introduce to you some achievements and bottlenecks.

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), signed in January 2005, paved the way for the establishment of the Government of National Unity (GoNU) and the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) to form a Confederation system under the “one country, two systems‟ frameworks. An Interim National Constitution was adopted in July 2005 to provide for a decentralized government system. More than five years into the CPA six-year life cycle, some progress was made, including the ceasefire, power-sharing, and presidential and parliamentary elections. On the economic front, macroeconomic stability has been restored, contributing to sustaining GDP growth. However, major challenges remain, including rising political tensions and security threats in the run-up to the January 2011 referendum, there were a capacity gap and pervasive poverty in the region, particularly in Southern Sudan.

South Sudan officially the Republic of South Sudan and previously known as Southern Sudan has ten Autonomous Regions/States, is a landlocked country in Africa that is part of the United Nations sub-region of Africa. Its current capital is Juba, which is also its largest city and Capital of central Equatoria state among others; the capital city is planned to be moved to the more centrally located Ramciel in the future. South Sudan is bordered by Ethiopia to the east, Kenya to the southeast, Uganda to the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the southwest, the Central African Republic to the west, and Sudan to the north. It includes the vast swamp region of the Sudd, formed by the White Nile and known locally as the Bahr al Jabal.

The modern states of South Sudan and Sudan were part of Egypt under the Muhammad Ali Dynasty, later being governed as an Anglo-Egyptian condominium until Sudanese independence was achieved in 1956. Following the First Sudanese Civil War, the Southern Sudan Autonomous Region was formed in 1972 and lasted until 1983. A second Sudanese civil war soon developed and ended with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005. Later that year, southern autonomy was restored when an Autonomous Government of Southern Sudan was formed.

South Sudan held a referendum in which its people almost unanimously decided to secede and become the world’s newest independent state on 9 July 2011, following a referendum that passed with 98.83% of the vote. It is a United Nations member state a member state of the Union, and a member state of the Development. In July 2012, South Sudan signed the Geneva Conventions.

South Sudan lies between latitudes and 13°N, and longitudes 24° and 36°E. It is covered in a tropical forest, swamps, and grassland

After decades of civil war and neglect, South Sudan is one of the poorest and most undeveloped regions in the world. Since the signing of the 2005 peace agreement—bringing an end to one of Africa’s longest-running wars, which claimed more than two million lives—South Sudan has had to rebuild from scratch.

An enormous number of South Sudanese is dependent on food aid; maternal mortality rates are among the worst in the world and one in seven children dies before the age of five. Much of the region’s economic and social infrastructure was left in ruins. There are few functioning schools and hospitals (SNHS),                                       2009.

As the people of South Sudan begin to build a new country, it is more urgent than ever that the international community provide long-term support and assistance

In the last few years, the international community has intensified efforts to re-engage with South Sudan. These re-engagement efforts are predicated on the need to embark on prevention and mitigation of violent conflicts, support ongoing reforms and address the key development challenges of South Sudan, emphasis on generation knowledge and institutional capacity building, all of which are critical for providing the much needed long-term financing for the country’s development. Going forward in the implementation of the final provisions of the CPA, the International money lenders may reinforce their efforts in these areas to ensure a well-coordinated and timely re-engagement process. This would pave the way for identifying priority areas of operational assistance to support the country’s rehabilitation and reconstruction agenda.

South Sudan is unique in many ways. A new country, Landlocked, formed in very difficult conditions and still facing many unresolved issues with limited capacity in many areas.

Highly dependent on energy for exports and fiscal revenues, it has recently experienced the destabilising sequence of an oil led-led spending boom in 2010 and 2011, followed by a sharp spending cutback in 2012 with cut-off oil exports. Its economy is heavily constrained, including the absence of essential infrastructure. Yet South Sudan also has other resources, including abundant land, water, and, most importantly, its people.

One of the main lessons of the last decade is the importance of mobilizing the productivity of the nation’s people. Empirical cross-country studies **(CEPREMAP, Julia Cage(1), version Javier 2009-Docweb no 0904, Lucia mangiavacchi, Jan 2008-papaer1/3, Jorch Baldrich Sept 2005 Fiscal Transparency and economic performance, Ramón Lopez, Vinod Thomas, and Yan Wang, Policy Research Working Paper,2031, et al)** point in particular to the complementary role of human capital “governance capital” with natural resource capital. Countries that have managed to develop a balanced endowment in these dimensions have done well and have low or no incidents of poverty. They include some of the world’s wealthiest nations such as Australia and Canada. On the other hand, Countries with resource wealth that have not managed to add to their capital in these other dimensions have typically done poorly, both in terms of economic and political development, and have a high incidence of poverty in this situation, South Sudan among others, (IGC). “NBS” yearbook 2010 report revealed the poverty incidence across ten states in 2009. This situation cannot continue for an extended period. For these reasons, although South Sudan is in crisis period it is not too early to think about how its economic outlooks will look if the prevailing political turmoil remains unresolved. In fact, in the last nine years, SS economic outlooks showed a dramatic pretty achievements until December 2011 before oil shut down in January 2012…

South Sudan has an estimated population of 8 million, but, given the lack of a census in several decades, this estimate may be severely distorted. The economy is predominantly rural and relies chiefly on subsistence farming. Around 2005, the economy began a transition from this rural dominance, and urban areas within South Sudan have seen extensive development. The region has been negatively affected by two civil wars since Sudanese independence: from 1955 to 1972, the Sudanese government fought the Anyanya rebel army during the First Sudanese Civil War, followed by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M) in the Second Sudanese Civil War for over twenty years. As a result, the country suffered serious neglect, a lack of infrastructural development, and major destruction and displacement. As stated earlier, claimed lives of more than 2.5 million people and millions more have become refugees both within and outside the country, And the situation is likely to replicate with the same essence.

The post-conflict and Intra-conflict environments are important to understanding the Government of South Sudan’s ability to function and successfully implement its policies. The Government of South Sudan has had significant success in building its own capacity by developing an integrated system for planning and budget preparation. This has been achieved through the leadership of the Ministry of Finance, the strong technical leadership and support of that same ministry, and making these goals relevant to local capacity. The results have been that the government has been better able to manage the financial aspects of its functions and projects, and increases in the expertise of its staff in crucial skills, by providing additional advance training in successful countries that had the same situation. As a country in its infant stages of statehood and development, the Republic of South Sudan (RSS) faces both significant opportunities and enormous challenges in the process of shaping its future. On the opportunity side, the country could then refocus the energies of her people, under their newly gained freedom and liberty, to building and utilising the full range of its capital assets-human, natural, physical, and social capital. The country also has been enjoying significant goodwill from the International community, including, from many African countries. Coupled with these opportunities are the challenges of entrenching the rule of law, building service delivery systems, improving food security, and equitably reducing community conflict across the country.

In December 2013, a so-called south Sudan civil war started… a result of unpleasant division within an SPLM/A party and believed to be the stimuli paved the course of South Sudan civil war which claimed 20,000 lives and displaced 1.5 million people and continuous impact the politics of the newly-independent Nation, and resulting in a devastating impact on a nation’s socio-economic prospers in many dimensions.

An overriding concern for South Sudan’s development prospects is the large scale of poverty and extremely high level of vulnerability that its population currently faces. These conditions are obviously compounded by the fact that government structures and institutions were still at the infant stages of their formation factor that makes it very challenging for the development process of the country to be left to unfold at its own pace

A strong rebound during the first half of fiscal year 2013/14 seemed possible but recent unrest has cast a shadow over the prospects for economic recovery and development. Based on the existing oil production profile and expected growth in non-oil sectors, such as agriculture, construction, and services, GDP percentage change was expected to pick up to 40% by the end of FY 2013/14, following two years of strong economic contraction. However, the recent civil strife casts a shadow over the prospects for economic recovery and development. Oil production and associated investments remain the key drivers of growth but civil strife has seen the production of oil cut in half.

In FY 2013/14, about 70% of government revenues are derived from oil and the sector contributes over 60% of GDP in terms of direct exports, as well as associated investments.1 Given the current political situation, the anticipated increases in government expenditure starting in January 2014 will not be possible. A projected 11% jump in inflation in the second half of 2013/14 will be mainly due to the depreciation of the South Sudanese Pound (SSP) and volatility in the supply of basic goods due to insecurity. In the medium term, however, if the civil war that started in December 2013 is resolved and order and security restored, South Sudan has the potential to grow its GDP by as much as 7%-8% per year.

Since 2012, macroeconomic stability, long-term fiscal sustainability, and economic growth have been elusive amidst a severe economic, fiscal, and political crisis. The dispute with Sudan led to the shutdown of oil production in January 2012 creating a large fiscal gap and a substantial deficit in the balance of payments. To close the fiscal shortfall, the government resorted to drawing down government reserves, contracted internal and external debts, and instituted large spending cuts by nearly 40% in real terms. It also put into place reforms to increase non-oil revenues. As a result of the austerity measures, the economy contracted by about 21% and 28% in 2011/12 and 2012/13 respectively.

During the same period, the overall fiscal balance deteriorated, the current account balance collapsed from 9% to 19.9% of GDP and external reserves were depleted to less than 1.5 months’ worth of imports. External debt increased from zero to 6.6% of GDP, domestic arrears accrued to about USD 150 million or 5% of total public spending for FY 2013/14 and the government had to borrow about USD 1.5 billion from domestic commercial banks and oil companies on the short-term maturity of one year or less.

In the short and medium-term, the country faces considerable challenges. The latter concern six key economic areas, notably:

  • Political instability and inter-tribal conflicts;
  • Poor infrastructure;
  • Over-dependence on oil production;
  • Strong import dependence with virtually no manufacturing or commercial agricultural base or services sector;
  • Extremely low human capital with one of the world’s lowest adult literacy levels at 27%, high poverty levels, and troubling health and sanitation indicators; and
  • A large pastoralist, non-formal economy, with 83% of the population living in rural areas.

While addressing each of the above challenges is a pressing need, the achievement of internal political stability and peaceful coexistence with Sudan seems fundamental for the development of the country. Up to the first half of 2014 two cease-fires agreement have been signed 23rd Jan and 9th May 2014 respectively, and later violated, and currently with sluggish progress of IGAD mediated the so-called the peace process for a transitional government of unity and power-sharing which looks fragile in its designation.

While there is no doubt that, taking a longer-term view, peace will bring substantial dividends for the economy and hence for the people of South Sudan, it is doubtful that any relief will be forthcoming over the short to medium term of post-conflict adjustments. This is so because of the huge legacies of the prolonged two civil wars and the ongoing conflict. The costs of the civil war in the South have been substantial in terms of human life, arresting human capabilities, the destruction of social and economic assets and lost opportunities. More specifically the conflict has resulted in widespread loss of human life, the disappearance of traditional safety net mechanisms, the crowding of millions of uprooted persons in internally displaced camps, the creation of a substantial refugee problem (estimated at about one and half a million) outside South Sudan, yet there is the potential to increase. In addition, there are problems relating to those whose lives were directly war-affected i.e. the orphans, the traumatized, the amputees, the wounded, the disabled, etc. There is also loss of economic assets including the destruction of both economic and social infrastructure, destruction of market structures and institutions as well as disruption of trade routes and communications between South Sudan and North Sudan, Kenya, Uganda. Ethiopia and other African countries that manifested itself in the inability to distribute food and other essential goods from surplus to deficit zones and to respond effectively to periodic droughts and associated food shortages at local and regional levels. In a post-conflict peaceful environment these and other problems will have to be effectively dealt with to ensure that peace is sustainable. In particular, there is the immediate humanitarian task of dealing with internally Displaced persons (IDPs), refugees, orphans, and the war traumatized, while ensuring food security and immediate humanitarian assistance to large groups of People.

In addition to the resolution of these post-conflict issues, the country needs to devote its energies to the resolution of problems associated poverty These are the most immediate and urgent post peace tasks. Urgent as these are, they should not, however, mask the

importance and urgency to articulate a long-term development vision, an essential part of which would be related to the achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDG). In addition, it has to remember that Sudan is a large country that is prone to the rise of regional tensions and conflict unless adequate and careful attention is paid to the lessons learned from the civil war in the South. These basically relate to the need for constitutional reforms that safeguard basic rights through adequate democratization, part of which would be related to the achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDG). In addition, it has to remember that South Sudan is a diversified country that is prone to the rise of regional tensions and conflict unless adequate and careful attention is paid to the lessons learned from the civil war in Sudan. These basically relate to the need for constitutional reforms that safeguard basic rights through adequate democratization.

To ensure that the coming peace is sustainable and to guard against the rise of tensions and outbreak of new conflicts in other parts of the country, there is an urgent need firstly for political development based on widespread application of democratic principles and improved governance, and secondly for the design and implementation of a well-conceived a development strategy that reflects the geographic realities and resource endowment of the country aims at equitable distribution of benefits and is sufficiently broad and inclusive as to reinforce peace throughout the country. While it is important and urgent to deal with the Immediate post peace demands and requirements, it is in the interest of long term Sustainability of peace and welfare that these long term goals and objectives not be lost sight of and be given serious and sustained attention.

The size, diversity and other characteristics of the country and its economy also suggest that the most appropriate model for governing the country and ensures equitable access to resources and benefits would be one that is based on political and fiscal decentralization. There is at present a general consensus in the country that empowerment of the local populations coupled with adequate transparency would improve governance and ensure local involvement in deciding what is best for local communities and how this is to be achieved. A concerted and effective programme of institutional and administrative capacity-building specifically directed at states and localities and involving the engagement of NGOs in providing technical assistance and training can be designed for the medium term with the ultimate aim of improving both their institutional and absorptive capacities so as to enable a more far-reaching program of devolution of powers in the future to the States/Localities thereby enhancing their empowerment and their contribution as effective vehicles for service delivery

The people of South Sudan is among the world’s poorest, with more than half the population living on less than $1 per day. Fifty-one percent of the population lives below the poverty line and 1% of households have a bank account. The vast majority (83%) of South Sudan residents live in traditional grass-roofed mud wall tukuls. For half the population, firewood and grass is the primary source of lighting; over a quarter of South Sudanese (27%) have no lighting a source at all. Over 96% depend on firewood or charcoal as their primary fuel for cooking.

While South Sudan has abundant natural resources, it is heavily dependent on oil. Agricultural development has the potential to not only diversify the economy but also reduce poverty and food insecurity. While the vast majority of the population depends on agriculture, livestock, or forestry for their daily livelihoods, the sector provides less than 30 percent of gross domestic product. Large, fertile areas remain untouched by agricultural development. Lack of infrastructure and high transport costs make it difficult for farmers to compete in local markets.

South Sudan’s economic outlook showed improvement in 2013. Oil revenues increased, albeit below projections, and would enable the Government to reduce and repay domestic and foreign loans of 4.8 billion South Sudanese pounds accumulated during the oil shutdown in 2012. Consumer prices began to fall following large increases in 2012. In August 2013, year-on-year inflation fell to minus 10 percent.

The country has received more than $4 billion in foreign aid since 2005, largely from the UK, US, Norway, and the Netherlands. The country remains the recipient of large-scale international assistance. The Consolidated Appeal for 2013 is the second-largest in the world after Somalia, seeking $1.16 billion. The first years of the post-independence period saw international partners once again reverting to predominantly humanitarian modes of operation in South Sudan. Owing to the long history of humanitarian-oriented responses, NGO implementing partners generally continued to operate with a ‘relief mentality’. This ‘relief mode’ persists among beneficiaries accustomed to many years of humanitarian aid, and an expectation among communities and local Government authorities of relief and handouts rather than development cooperation.

South Sudan produces nearly three-fourths of former Sudan’s total oil output of nearly a half-million barrels per day. The government derives almost 98% of its budget revenues from oil. Oil is exported through two pipelines that run to refineries and shipping facilities at Port Sudan on the Red Sea. A 2005 oil-sharing agreement with Khartoum called for a 50-50 sharing of oil revenues between the two entities, but that arrangement expired on July 9, 2011, when South Sudan became an independent country. In early 2012 South Sudan suspended production of oil because of its dispute with Sudan over transshipment fees. This had a devastating impact on GDP, which declined by at least 55% in 2012.

The country depends heavily on imports of goods, services, and capital from Sudan, but disruptions in the trade have occurred since independence due to blockades being imposed on goods and capital going to South Sudan. There were more than 7,000 formal businesses in South Sudan’s 10 state capitals (84% of which are restaurants or shops).

Some factors inhibiting investment in South Sudan include limited physical infrastructure and a lack of both skilled and unskilled labor. South Sudan, roughly the size of France, has fewer than 400 kilometers of paved roads, and large parts of the country are inaccessible during the rainy season (April through October). Despite the existence of three power plants, none of which are working at full capacity, the country is almost completely reliant on diesel-run generators for electricity. According to the 2008 census, 94 percent of young persons enter the labor market with no qualifications. The majority of South Sudanese work in non-wage jobs, often in the agricultural sector.

Subsistence agriculture and animal husbandry provide a living for the vast majority of South Sudan’s population. Over 90% of the population lives in rural areas, surviving on subsistence agriculture or cattle-rearing.

Livelihoods in South Sudan are based on transhumant animal husbandry, agriculture, fishing, trade, and gathering wild food. Transhumance is defined as ‘seasonal moving of livestock to regions of different climate’. It is an integral part of livestock production in many parts of the world, notably South Sudan. In central Italy, transhumance, or seasonal grazing, is a husbandry practice that is over two thousand years old. Nomadic and transhumant livestock comprise the normative mode of production in the arid and semi-arid regions of Africa.

The UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), estimates that with 11 million cows and 19 million goats and sheep, South Sudan has the fourth-largest [by other estimates sixth-largest] herd of livestock in Africa and the largest per capita. In the world’s newest nation, the livelihoods of more than 80 percent of the population are based on livestock. Livestock is a primary investment resource that generates food (meat, milk), cash income, fuel, clothing, employment, and capital stock. In addition, livestock convert crop waste and a by-product as well as forages – otherwise useless to man – into useful products. They provide manure and draught power for crop production. They are stores of wealth which provide a sense of security, prestige, social status, and cultural value.” Geopolitical monitor “the regional impact of south Sudan civil wars.

The Future Predicted scene.  My strong argument is pro-pessimism; if this current situation remains unsolved it will lead to future detrimental malignant impacts on South Sudan economy and the possibility of failure and collapse for a number of manifested reasons;

The prospect of renewed tensions, and possibly civil war, in South Sudan is very high. A civil war would inevitably involve Sudan, from which South Sudan gained independence in 2011 due to the involvement of two Sudanese rebel groups; JEM and SPLM-North in the conflict siding with the government.

The conflict spread rapidly across the country since the onset, and has been marked by widespread human rights abuses and atrocities by both sides and has exacerbated the human resources problem by causing major brain drain which is ongoing as the result of uncertainties.

Aid agencies warn that if the crisis standstill, up to 4 million people will be at risk of food shortage in early 2015.

Education the system will be impaired and the private sector will predict disaster, and thousands of skilled workers will evacuate the country and left it with unpredictable economic status.

On 11 April, UNICEF warned that Conflict in South Sudan has triggered a serious risk of famine that will kill up to 50,000 children within months if immediate action is not taken

High favoritism on global intervention or increased interest of the multi sovereign nations to intervene in this conflict can scramble the expected sound results.

Many scholars believed that; for many of the poor developing states, for example,

Globalization and its reorganization of political space have been a traumatic experience especially for individuals, groups, and entire societies in terms of existential security. Just

as globalization appears to have created upheaval in the politico-economic foundations of

territorial sovereignty, so also has it diminished the power and stability of many poor states, thereby creating new kinds of loyalties, shattering the legitimacy of incumbent regimes and eroding the political and economic strength of states that were already weak. ( International Journal of Peace Studies, volume 11, number 2, Autumn/Winter 2006)

In spite of the fact that the international system has often been based on cleavages or separation (East/West, North/South, and so forth), it appears that globalization may be producing a more rigidly bifurcated or split international system by intensifying global integration and cooperation in developing countries on the one hand, and fragmentation and the conflictual situation in poor countries, on the other (Mullard, 2004; Haass and Litan, 1998). In some poor developing countries, with poorly developed statehood and institutions, the socio-economic and political aspects of existence have been particularly jolted shake/jerk violently to the point of further state weakness, failure, and collective violence (collapse).

Analysts examined the nexus of issues of negative globalization, state failure, and collective violence. It is argued that the relationship between state weakness, failure, and collapse can be better analyzed in the context of long-term, short-term, and precipitating factors or causes. To what extent is state collapse and its attendant collective violence related to globalization induced mass unemployment, increased individual/group, and national insecurity? The effect of economic restructuring served as the catalyst, in countries such as Liberia and Sierra Leone, for violent uprisings targeted at incumbent regimes blamed for increasing immiseration:-Impoverishment causing economic hardship to people, e.g. case of Sierra Leone failure and collapse, the analysis (1) examined the weaknesses of the Westphalian origins of modern African statehood as a long-term factor in Sierra Leone’s state failure and collapse; (2) analyze the short-term causes of state failure; and (3) account for the specific globalization-related developments or impositions that triggered violent political attacks in Sierra Leone.

“Earl Conteh-Morgan studies” 2006

Conceptual Clarification: Globalization, State Failure, and Collective Violence

Economic globalization as a process could be defined in one sense as the exercise of a transnational hegemonic or dominant power. This manifestation, organization, and exercise of power reflected in the decisions, actions, or “impositions” of International Financial Institutions [World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and World Trade Organization (WTO)], as well as the advanced industrial nations. The consequence of this neoliberal international economic organization has had a significant negative impact on individuals, groups, or communities within the nations of the developing world. Structurally, the more peripheral the developing state is in relation to the core of global economic power, the more the negative consequences of globalization are felt. In other words, the consequences of globalization are more severe within the periphery of neoliberal capitalism. Integration within globalization networks and processes is stronger within the core of capitalism producing less inimical or unfavorable consequences than at the periphery of capitalism where the consequence is, at times, social disintegration and decay. Globalization has resulted in the increasing marginalization of a number of developing countries, and civil strife in some has been the outcome.

According to Jacques Gélinas (2003, 22) globalization as a system is being superimposed on nation-states, such that in term of its process:

At the periphery, Third World economies are being subjected to drastic regimes in order to structurally adjust them to the global market, under the leadership of the IMF and the World Bank. As for the so-called emerging countries, who are struggling to free themselves from the problems of underdevelopment by embarking wholeheartedly on deregulation, they are periodically shaken by unpredictable and uncontrollable financial upheavals or disturbances which submerge them anew in the murky unclear waters of underdevelopment.

A very weak state structure in some developing societies coupled with drastic economic regimes resulted in civil strife.

Globalization is associated with two trends related to collective violence: on the one

hand are transnational social movements organized around common transnational interests threatened by globalization, and on the other, is collective violence (especially civil war)

Within some states linked to state failure triggered by political and economic impositions

of globalization. State failure involves a process of rapid, basic transformation of the state-society relationship from one of a provider state to one of a more hands-off a relationship in

terms of delivery of social services (education, health, subsidies, and so forth) and warfare.

The consequence is individual, group, and societal increase in misery, and a simultaneous

loss of authority, legitimacy, and cohesion within the state. A further consequence could be fractionalization of the state into social bonds or cleavages (religion, language, class, clan, and so forth). As the state fails, its key institutions (civil service, police, military, and so forth) become increasingly corrupted and unprofessional (Rotberg, 2002; King and Zeng,2001). Either gradually or rapidly, the point is reached when the state is incapable of guaranteeing even small or a modicum of social welfare services. State failure can escalate into state collapse if the situation develops into an open challenge by rebel forces against the incumbent regime. Multiple sovereignties may ensue when rebels control a segment of the territory.

Multiple control of state territory means loss of monopoly over the use of coercion by the

state. Such a situation in turn increases individual, group, and national insecurity. In-state

failure, the elements of statehood (people, territory, government, sovereignty) become

more contested. In terms of people, a process of increased factionalization along historic,

ethnic, or socio-economic identities for the purpose of enhancing security results (Esty,1995). These centrifugal subnational forces result in loss of authority or legitimacy for the incumbent government to the point at which the state loses its internal sovereignty. The compounding problems of regime illegitimacy, loss of authority, mounting frustration, and immiseration, coupled with some precipitant (e.g., unpopular decision by the incumbent regime, withdrawal of foreign support, and so forth), can result in collective violence, especially civil war.

The outbreak of civil war is often preceded by protests, riots, or violent

demonstrations. The external the imposition of economic restructuring within poor nations

Aggravate class cleavages, widen inequalities which further polarize segments of the

Population and exacerbate historically and recent grievances (Adepoji, 1993). The result in

some vulnerable states with weak structures or distinct structural weakness is violent

eruptions that at times encompass the entire country. In other words, economic restructuring both within and outside the nation-state in response to globalization requirements tend to produce civil strife in structurally vulnerable states.

Undoubtfully, since 2005, when CPA guaranteed the full autonomous right for South Sudan to be self-governed and the possibility to be an independent nation after a successful referendum vote, South Sudan has been highly dependant on foreign aids, policies, and directives to run the government due to inability to do solely as the result emanated from a legacy of civil wars.  This suggests that, structurally, South Sudan is more peripherally in relation to the core of global economic power, and prone to suffer from the negative consequences of globalization. There is a saying, “foreign aids is dangerous as HIV/AIDS, you can’t make poor to be rich by giving alms regularly” otherwise making him/she beg forever, therefore; high dependency on external assistance and directives to run a sovereign state can lead to political and socio-economic suicide (opinion).

Third World economy’s dependent and subordinate incorporation into the dominant global political economy of globalization. While the structured dependence has been in existence since 1944 with the creation of Bretton Woods system, it has now been intensified, more firmly institutionalized to the extent of producing failed and collapsed states due to bankruptcy, and gross indebtedness. The ultimate consequence in some states is a collective of political violence or total anarchy.

The developing states that experience state weakness, failure, and even collapse are

Part of the inclusion-exclusion paradox of globalization

The developing states that experience state weakness, failure, and even collapse are

part of the inclusion-exclusion of the paradox of globalization. While many are failed or bankrupt, they are nonetheless considered an integral part of the globalization process because of their importance as a reservoir of raw materials—fuels, metals, and agricultural produce.

They are viewed as free trade zones where labor and human rights regulations are nonexistent. They are a pool of cheap and at times highly qualified labor, thereby ensuring the huge profits of transnational corporations. Finally, they constitute a huge market for the excess products of the economic hegemons of the neoliberal order. On the other hand, they are excluded from the benefits of globalization because of the existential insecurity, misery, and civil strife that pervade their societies as a result of globalization effects (Mullard,2004).

The economically powerful states have been able to benefit from globalization because of increased volumes in global trade and the profits that accrue from their ability to engage in more international sales and investment. The poor developing countries are disadvantaged because of their relationship of unequal exchange, or asymmetrical trade relations with the dominant nations. Globalization, because of its harmful effects on many developing nations can be referred to as the New International Economic Order (NIEO) of the dominant nations, in reference to the call for NIEO by the Third World nations in the mid-1970s. Those demands by the Third World failed miserably because the rich nations were not willing to give in to the radical demands of the poor nations. Some of the NIEO demands were so radical that implementing them would have resulted in a revamping of the international trading and financial system, perhaps resulting in a lowering of economic standards in the dominant nations. Instead of acceding to the many extreme demands of the developing nations, the rich countries continued instead to uphold and protect the quasi-state the sovereignty of the developing state through foreign aid or arms transfers, and diplomatic recognition (Jackson, 1990). However, with the emergence of pervasive globalization, the quasi-statehood of many of these poor states was jolted to the point of further weakness, failure, and even collapse. Economic liberalization in particular, has increasingly become difficult for these states to control economic activities within and across their frontiers especially in terms of international trade and finance. Politically, the global demands for political liberalization (democratization) by the dominant nations and the international financial institutions have equally undermined the ability of the local elite to control segments of their local society as indigenous populations take advantage of the call for multiparty elections and human rights observance to press for political reforms.

As Liberia and Sierreleone, have been passed through waves of factors of state failure and collective violence: a) Long-term Historical factors ( Westphalian Artificial state? Undemocratic colonial state), b) Intermediate factors/Weak failed state? (Limited Sovereignty, Exogenous/Endogenous effects? –Weak state Institution), c) Precipitating factors? (External impositions? Inept leadership unexpected adverse economic development) , and d) Collapse? (Rebellion Strife), South Sudan will likely fall and fit into the same status for a long time and the entire Economic outlook of a country will collapse if nothing is done at all by concerned stakeholders.


South Sudan’s escalation from state weakness, state failure, to an outright civil war (Potential of possible state collapse), is a succession of stages, although the root cause could be traced back to some tangible evidence, the immediate cause was explored based on primarily on a number of assessed reasons:

  1. Over 900 interviews with victims and witnesses, among others, the report finds that from the very outset of the violence, gross violations of human rights and serious violations of humanitarian law have occurred on a massive scale. Civilians were not only caught up in the violence, but they were also directly targeted, often along ethnic lines
  2. The fighting started in the capital, Juba, on the evening of 15 December, initially among members of the Presidential Guard. The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) split between forces loyal to the Government and forces loyal to former Vice-President Riek Machar. The fighting moved rapidly to various military installations and, by the next morning, into civilian neighborhoods. After forces loyal to Mr. Machar were defeated, Government forces entered neighborhoods primarily populated by civilians of Nuer origin and began targeting Nuer men. Multiple witnesses told the Human Rights Division that mixed groups of security forces went house-to-house killing Nuer men or taking them away. Thousands fled their homes and neighborhoods were left emptied and often destroyed by security forces. In one incident, at least 300 men of Nuer origin were rounded up from the Gudele neighborhood and detained and then killed in a facility used by several security forces as a joint operations centre.
  3. Following the events in Juba, the SPLA in Jonglei, Unity, and the Upper Nile States disintegrated, with large numbers of defections to the armed opposition reported. The capitals of these three States fell to opposition forces in quick succession: Bor on 18 December, Bentiu on 19 December, and Malakal on 25 December. However, each capital subsequently changed hands several times and fighting continues to date. Fighting has also reportedly occurred in rural areas, although little information is available on the extent and consequences.
  4. In Jonglei State, when opposition forces initially took Bor town, civilians fled and, according to local authorities, more than 300 civilians, mainly women, and children died while trying to cross the river into Lakes State. After Government forces re-took Bor town on 25 December, reports were received that civilians seeking protection at the UNMISS Protection of Civilians site in Bor were attacked or killed after leaving. When opposition forces returned to Bor town on 31 December, the town was almost completely empty of civilians. Everyone who could leave, did, with only the vulnerable left behind. Any remaining Dinka civilians were at risk of being killed if found. Widespread destruction took place and the market was burned to the ground.
  5. Heavy fighting in Upper Nile State resulted in the destruction of approximately 20 percent of the State capital, Malakal. Civilians were targeted through house-to-house searches by both parties to the conflict and widespread looting occurred. Opposition forces reportedly attacked the Malakal Teaching Hospital on 18 and 19 February. There is information that individuals from the Dinka and Shilluk communities were targeted in the attack, with many people killed and the Hospital heavily looted. Opposition forces also left a path of destruction through Baliet County, which they attacked several times as they fought for control of Malakal. Reports of widespread killing of hundreds of civilians, destruction of entire villages, and looting of livestock, food items, and other personal possessions were received.

Witnesses report moving from one location to another in search of safety. Those who survived the initial attacks were left isolated and without food, water, shelter, or basic medical supplies.

  1. In Unity State, fighting initially took place in various SPLA barracks, but then quickly spilled over into civilian areas. Nuer soldiers and civilians reportedly attacked Dinkas and foreigners in nearby villages. In early January, as Government forces advanced towards Bentiu to re-take control, multiple incidents of killings, ill-treatment, looting, and destruction of property occurred, with the targeting of Nuer men. As in other States, significant fighting took place in rural areas, with assaults in Guit and Leer Counties.
  2. The consequences for the civilian population have been devastating. There have been attacks on hospitals, churches, mosques, and United Nations bases. All parties to the conflict have committed acts of rape and other forms of sexual violence against women of different ethnic groups. Over one million South Sudanese have been displaced by the conflict. Despite the signing of a cessation of hostilities agreement on 23 January, fighting continues with little hope that civilians will see any respite from the relentless violence.
  3. On the basis of the Human Rights Division’s documentation and investigations, there are reasonable grounds to believe that violations of international human rights and humanitarian law have been committed by both parties to the conflict. These violations include extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, rape and other acts of sexual violence, arbitrary arrests, and detention, targeted attacks against civilians not taking part in hostilities, violence aimed at spreading terror among the civilian population, and attacks on hospitals as well as personnel and objects involved in a peacekeeping mission. In light of the widespread and systematic nature of many of the attacks, and information suggesting coordination and planning, there are also reasonable grounds to believe that the crimes against humanity of murder, rape and other acts of sexual violence enforced disappearance, and imprisonment has occurred.
  4. These conclusions call for further investigations. They also impose an obligation on the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to investigate violations and to prosecute and punish those found to be responsible. Although the Government has acknowledged that violations were committed and has established several accountability measures in response, there are serious questions concerning whether these mechanisms are sufficient to provide real accountability in South Sudan. (UNMISS, Human Right Report, May 2014)

It is obvious that some intermediate (precipitating) factors related to external involvement of Sudanese rebels and Uganda UPDF into the country base on their interests. misrule during the independence era constitute the short-term factors and the spillover of the Uganda conflict with LRA, coupled with the severe suffering caused by IMF and World Bank economic policies, as well as the further marginalization of minorities constitute the precipitating factors.

The author is a Deputy Director of microeconomic planning at the Ministry of finance, economic planning, commerce, and investment. He is currently in the United States and can be reached at [email protected].


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