Expert Calls For Placing South Sudan Under UN and AU Administration For Years

South Sudanese leaders, Dr. Riek Machar Teny and Salva Kiir Mayardiit, file.

South Sudanese leaders, Dr. Riek Machar Teny and Salva Kiir Mayardiit (Photo credits: Nyamilpedia)

Dec 3, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —— A new report released by the Council on Foreign Relations, published on 28 November 2016, titled “Ending South Sudan’s Civil War” by Katherine Almquist Knopf, director, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University calls for the Republic of South Sudan to be placed under international transitional administration.

The author, Katherine Almquist Knopf, argues that the only remaining path to protect South Sudan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, restore its legitimacy, and politically empower its citizens is through an international transitional administration, established by the United Nations and the African Union, to run the country for a given period of time.

Following its independence in 2011, three years of civil war have left South Sudan on the cusp of full-scale genocide, with its sovereignty discredited by warring elites, asserts a new Council Special Report.

Knopf, director of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies based at the National Defense University, makes the case that an international transitional administration is the only realistic path to end the violence and to allow South Sudan the kind of “clean break” from its leaders and power structures that can restore the country to viability.

Moreover, she argues that an international transitional administration would not necessitate an investment costlier than what the United States is already spending—more than $2 billion since 2013 (and more than $11 billion since 2005).

The report recommends the United Nations and the AU lead a transitional administration with an executive mandate for ten to fifteen years to maintain the country’s territorial integrity, provide basic governance and public services, rebuild the shattered economy, and establish the political and constitutional framework for the transition to full sovereignty.

The report notes that “opposition to a UN and AU transitional administration could be mitigated through a combination of politics and force—by working with important South Sudanese constituencies frustrated with [South Sudanese] President Salva Kiir, former First Vice President [and current antagonist] Riek Machar, and their cronies; and then deploying a lean and agile peace intervention force to combat and deter the remaining spoilers once they have been politically isolated.”

Although such an internationally guaranteed transition seems radical, Knopf notes that it is not unprecedented; similar efforts have previously succeeded in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, East Timor, Cambodia, and Liberia.

Knopf emphasizes that “brokering such a transition will require committed diplomacy by the United States in close partnership with African governments.” Despite the challenges, she contends that an “international transitional administration with an executive mandate is the most realistic path to protect and restore South Sudan’s sovereignty. It would empower its people to take ownership of their future and develop a new vision for their country.”

Read the full report: