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Promoting inclusivity in the mediation of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development in South Sudan
Jamie Pring

This chapter aims to examine possible processes of recognition, mis-recognition and/or non-recognition in the process of including an armed non-state actor (ANSA) in a peace mediation process. In particular, it examines the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – In Opposition (SPLM-IO) in the mediation of the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in South Sudan from December 2013 to the signing of the peace agreement in August 2015.

The mandate of the mediation and its assessment of the conflict enabled the recognition of the grievances put forward by the SPLM-IO and eventually its formal establishment and inclusion in the peace process. However, the simultaneous inclusion of unarmed non-state groups, the cultural predispositions of elites in South Sudan and the institutional identity of the mediating organisation, IGAD, limited the level of recognition given to the SPLM-IO. This also reinforced its preference for continuing violence and breaking ceasefire agreements alongside its participation in the mediation. Furthermore, the mainly bilateral treatment of the conflict in 2013, inherited from the previous IGAD mediation process, perpetuated the non-recognition of other ANSAs, which contributed to the violence in 2013 and the division of the SPLM into two, as well as the recurrence of violence and the proliferation of ANSAs from 2016. The analysis draws on the concept of mis-recognition to further nuance the relationship between inclusivity in mediation processes and the recurrence of violent conflict, and on 128 expert interviews which the author conducted with African local and regional actors during her field research trips in 2017 and 2018.

in Armed non-state actors and the politics of recognition