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International engagement in fragile states: lessons from Southern Sudan

Written by Sara Pantuliano

Southern Sudan has been seen as a test case for international engagement in fragilestates. But a 'business as usual' approach is failing to address the specific challenges facing Southern Sudan. As a result, its people have yet to see the improvements in their daily lives that are so essential for the peace process. This Opinion outlines the various principles and mechanisms that have been put in place in Southern Sudan to shift international engagement from humanitarian aid to long-term development assistance, and finds that this shift has been made too rapidly, without the necessary government capacity in place. It also reviews the current state-building and security measures, and finds them wanting. The Opinion calls for a far greater focus on the politics, rather than the machinery, of the transition from war to peace.