Journal of Sustainable Development Law and Policy (The)

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The need for a good enough territorial and economic governance in south Sudan

Francis Onditi, Cristina D’Alessandro


Peace and conflict dynamics in South Sudan are intertwined with political governance, institutional capacities, and leadership. Nevertheless, in the specific South Sudanese intractable civil wars since signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005, territorial and economic governance are also certainly strictly connected to any possible prospect of sustainable peace for the country. As such, after carefully defining these concepts, this article emphasizes that territorial governance in South Sudan relates to boundaries definition and to the division of the national territory in states with a certain degree of autonomy. The issues and divergences engendered by territorial governance are intertwined with economic governance concerns. The uneven distribution of natural resources (especially oil) produces wealth and power redistribution concerns that are at the core of contentious relations between social and ethnic groups. These circles of tensions rapidly degenerate into conflict in a context of widespread poverty, inequality, and consequent social vulnerability. The article defines and illustrates a “good enough” territorial and economic governance framework for the South Sudanese case study.

Keywords: South Sudan; Governance; Resources; Territory; Political System.

AJOL African Journals Online