Voices on the Conflict in Malakal
This study was undertaken by IridaCon in August-October 2021 on behalf of PAX. It was conceived in the context of human security considerations in the anticipated reclassification of the Protection of Civilians (PoC) site in Malakal. The aim of this research was to understand the perspectives of the various communities of Malakal as well as other key stakeholders on how peace and normalization can be restored so that displaced persons can return home.
The study was based on a significant number of interviews, ranging from grassroots level to national level and covering the contending ethnicities. The research revealed that the causes and drivers of the conflict in Malakal center around land contestation, tribalism and political manipulation. Each of these was examined further as a way to extract viable recommendations both from the people interviewed as well as from the researcher’s own analysis. The related issues of human security and the political structure of South Sudan were analyzed in the same manner. The study went on to consider the many peacebuilding activities in Malakal and what lessons might be drawn from them, with a particular emphasis on dialogue, advocacy and youth.