The Role Of Regional Economic Communities in Conflict Resolution in Africa: The Case of Igad’s Peace Process in South Sudan (Published)
Nowadays, most Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in Africa are playing a crucial role in maintaining peace and security in Africa through resolving conflicts in a democratic and civilized way. Being one of the major building blocks recognized by African Union, IGAD is striving for sustaining peace and security throughout its turbulent and conflict raging operational area. In view of that, the objective of this paper is thus to assess the role of RECs in resolving conflicts in the case of IGAD’s peace process in South Sudan. To meet the objective of the study, secondary sources of data were utilized. After gathering the necessary data, qualitative methods of data analysis were employed to discuss, analyze and drawing inferences. Accordingly, the results of the study show that IGAD and its extension IGAD-PLUS had lightened some hopes in opening up ways for negotiation of the warring parties. Meanwhile, the peace process is heavily challenged by factors such as the strong need of the Uganda’s troop to stay in South Sudan, the deep division and rivalry among the regional powers, the reluctance of the warring parties and the poor institutionalization of IGAD. Hence, primarily, IGAD should use any means possible to withdraw the Uganda’s military force from the country. Without withdrawing this unrecognized and unacceptable military intervention, peace is unthinkable in South Sudan. Moreover, imposing sanctions in addition to the mediation process is a viable solution to stop the violation of the ceasefire accords by the parties in conflict.
Keywords: Ceasefire Accords, Conflict Resolution, IGAD, IGAD-PLUS, Peace Process, RECs, South Sudan, Warring Parties