South Sudanese Government and Opposition Resume Peace Talks

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South Sudan’s President, H.E. Salva Kiir, and First Vice President, H.E. Riek Machar, have agreed to resume talks regarding their recommitment to the 2018 Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (RARCSS), as well as the integration of opposition commanders of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO). The move comes after a series of escalating conflicts between the two rival forces in recent weeks.

Lat month H.E. President Kiir and H.E. First Vice President Machar signed an agreement in Juba to unify their rival forces under a one-command structure within the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces, the official army of the Republic of South Sudan, within one week. While precise details on the ratio of the command structure are still to be confirmed, a spokesperson for the SPLM/A-IO has indicated that the division would be somewhere between a 55:45 and 60:40 ratio, in favor of H.E. President Kiir. The President will also take the commander-in-chief position, while H.E. First Vice President Machar will assume the deputy position.

Although several constitutional and institutional reforms, legislative and legal measures, and voter registration requirements under the RARCSS have yet to be implemented, South Sudan remains on a steady course toward peace and stability, with general elections set for next year. The reinstatement of several security mechanisms within the country, in conjunction with the resumption of peace talks between H.E. President Kiir and H.E. First Vice President Machar, serve to remove barriers previously inhibiting foreign direct investment in the country, while promoting the development of a functioning state and mitigating risks of corruption.

Development in South Sudan has stagnated in recent years, owing to renewed conflicts in December 2013 and July 2016 and reinforced by displacement and the COVID-19 pandemic. The signing of the revitalized peace agreement in September 2018 and subsequent formation of a unified government in February 2020, however, has significantly aided in the country’s economic recovery, with the resumption of oil production in 2018 boosting the nation’s prospects of oil-led growth. South Sudan ranks third in proven oil reserves in sub-Saharan Africa – and 23rd in the world – with roughly 90% of its oil and gas reserves remaining untapped. As a result, the government has prioritized the exploration and development of its hydrocarbon resources through the launch of its first-ever licensing round this year.

South Sudan Oil & Power 2022

Energy Capital & Power is once again proud to host, in official partnership with the Government of the Republic of South Sudan, the Ministry of Petroleum, Ministry of Energy and Dams, and Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, the South Sudan Oil & Power conference on 13-14 September.

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Charné Hollands

Charné Hollands

Charné Hollands is the Deputy Editor at Energy Capital & Power. She holds a Higher Certificate in Professional Photography and Masters in Media Studies from the University of Cape Town. Charné writes content for ECP's website and events as well as co-authored African Energy Chamber: Road to Recovery.

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