In South Sudan, implementation of a 2018 revitalized peace agreement has been a slow-moving and elite dominated process. The United Nations peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has developed a program of work that ties together national support to the peace process with subnational engagement on protection and peacebuilding. UNMISS’s work is intended to help foster a more inclusive national peace process and address violence at a local level that parties to the conflict have continued to perpetrate against civilians despite the signing of a ceasefire and revitalized peace agreement in 2018. UNMISS’s new approach also reflects independent reviews and UN guidance recognizing that peacekeepers are most effective when they: carry out thorough analysis of the actors involved in conflict; recognize the linkages between national conflicts and local violence; and overcome the artificial distinctions and siloes between political and community engagement to address them.
CIVIC carried out interviews in Juba and Yei between December 2019 and February 2020 to assess the implementation of UNMISS’s new program of work. Our researchers found that it has helped overcome Mission siloes. More importantly, a range of stakeholders in Yei who spoke with CIVIC identified direct links between this peacekeeping work and improvements in their security and environment. This Issue Brief summarizes CIVIC’s research findings and highlights good peacekeeping practices.