South Sudan’s Transitional Government of National Unity: A Solution to the Country’s Instability or Mere Elite Pact of Self-Preservation?
Author: Jok Madut Jok
Organization: The Sudd Institute
Type: Weekly Reviews
After many delays, Riek Machar, leader of the armed opposition, Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO), finally returned to Juba on April 26, 2016, bringing with him cautious happiness among the populace who had been desperately anticipating the return of peace since December 2013. As he comes back to take up his post as First Vice President of the Republic and to kick off the implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS), many citizens of the embattled East African nation expressed both hopes for the return of peace and skepticism about the ability of VP Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir Mayardit to forge a viable coalition and to genuinely work for the welfare of the whole country. This weekly review attempts to survey Machar’s return, with emphasis on hope and skepticism.
Jok Madut Jok is cofounder of the Sudd Institute. Born and raised in Sudan, Jok studied in Egypt and the United States. He is trained in the anthropology of health and holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Jok recently joined the Government of South Sudan as undersecretary in the Ministry of Culture and Heritage. He was a J. Randolph Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace and a fellow at the Rift Valley Institute. He is a Professor in the Department of History at Loyola Marymount University in California, from which he is on an extended leave. He has also worked in aid and development, first as a humanitarian aid worker and has been a consultant for a number of aid agencies. He is the author of three books and numerous articles covering gender, sexuality and reproductive health, humanitarian aid, ethnography of political violence, gender-based violence, war and slavery, and the politics of identity in Sudan. His book Sudan: Race, Religion and Violence, was published in 2007. Jok is co-editor of The Sudan Handbook, 2010.