Conflict Impact on Livelihoods; the Case of Greater Bahr el Ghazal, South Sudan. A

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Mok Chan, Chan Andrea
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This study describes and discusses the impact of Sudan’s civil war on the livelihood of people of South Sudan generally and greater Bahr el Ghazal states in particular. Within the context of other African countries experiences, the study explores and examines the forms of livelihood in South Sudan in the pre conflict era in order to assess the direct and indirect impact of the violence on the means of livelihoods (particularly Pastoralism and subsistent farming). The study also attempts to investigate and analyze the coping mechanisms adopted to deal with the destruction on their livelihood created by the violence. Post 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement the (CPA) efforts on rehabilitation and reconstruction as well as the inhibited constraints are examined with some guidelines for improvement being put forward. The study has relied on multiple sources of information. i) primary sources and field visits; ii) literature from secondary sources, and ii) reports produced by the concerned regional and international agencies and, iii) academic journals, books, workshop papers. The researcher faced enormous obstacles in data collection at the fieldwork as insecurity has hampered the process in many areas in the South which the researcher planned to visit, therefore, insecurity in the designated areas has constrained the researcher’s access to field information. The research findings can be summarized in the following; i) communities in South Sudan depend on pastoralism and subsistent agriculture as a major sources of livelihoods; ii) that the violence has caused among other things, death, injuries, internal displacement, conflict on water resources and points, destitution and extensive destruction of resources, including livestock; iii) that serious damage was inflicted on agriculture, economic and social infrastructure, including education, health care and services. v) that destruction of farms and the displacement of the population from rich agricultural areas resulted in the serious food shortage; iv) the conflict has also placed crippling constraints on agricultural production, marketing and transport adding to already existing problem of poor infrastructure lack of access to capital and low level of agricultural efficiency. Recovery programme for rehabilitation of institutions and service delivery to the population in form of enhanced public services in the rural areas in South Sudan has been initiated. Moreover, various initiatives by local and international agencies to help facilitate the incorporation of small holders into commercial production are now underway aimed at removing constraints that inhabit the economic activities. This study concludes that, i) substantial part of government efforts for recovery, return and resettlement has failed; ii) inability to provide minimum levels of security, environment, institutions and livelihoods. iii) widespread possession of illegal firearms made security conditions worse, and iv) the absence of plan to resolve land issue and poverty that is meant to provide sustained livelihoods. The study recommends that i) sustainable livestock production is to be adopted so that the use of natural resources is maximized through increasing output of the agricultural production and other forms of rural activities. ii) policy framework to deal with land issues. iii) repartition and unification of families is an integral part of the rehabilitation process, therefore local community leaders and community based organizations have to be strengthen and involved; and, v) the design of regional plan of action for disarmament and collection of small arms from civilians should be adopted.Finally, “participatory approach” in shaping the return and the resettlement process for lasting peace should be adopted so that sustainable return and resettlement of the displaced could be achieved successfully.
79 Pages
civil war, livelihood, Pastoralism, subsistent farming