'And Everything Became War': Warrap State since the Signing of the R-ARCSS

Joshua Craze

In Warrap state, home to South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and much of the country's political and military elite, many hoped that the signing of a peace agreement in 2018 would bring an end to the violence that had scarred their country for the previous five years. Instead, in Warrap, violence intensified, and pitted communities against each other in increasingly brutal tit-for-tat attacks that targeted women, children, homes, and the very capacities of communities to sustain life. At the war's end, everything became war.

Such clashes are often dismissed as 'inter-communal violence' delinked from the politics of the peace agreement. 'And Everything Became War': Warrap State since the Signing of the R-ARCSS—a report from the Survey’s Human Security Baseline Assessment for Sudan and South Sudan (HSBA) project—demonstrates that the conflict raging in Warrap is instead deeply political, and a consequence of the way that Kiir's regime maintains power by setting feuding elites against each other.

In Warrap, the South Sudanese state has suffered an almost total collapse in political legitimacy, and cattle-guards have emerged as the only actors on the ground with genuine community support that can resist the predatory state, even if they are also instrumentalized by it. 'And Everything Became War' is the first in-depth study of conflict dynamics in Warrap state since the beginning of the South Sudanese civil war. Based on extensive fieldwork, the report makes one central conclusion: as South Sudan enters its fourth year of ‘peace’, everything has become war, and the South Sudanese government is the war’s cause rather than the solution.

Keywords: HSBA Conflict