Briefing Paper

Federalism Debate in South Sudan: Laying the Foundation for Acceptable, Responsive, and Inclusive Governance

The South Sudanese parties to the conflict signed the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) in August 2015 and essentially agreed to establish a federal system of government. This raises three critical questions. First, do the people of South Sudan support the establishment of federalism as envisioned by the warring parties? Second, does the public actually understand what it means to establish and run a federal system of government? Finally, how could self-governing objectives and national unity objectives be reconciled? This study, therefore, is an attempt to answer these questions. This is necessary because there is an apparent lack of broader
understanding of the current system of government, much less the proposed federal system in South Sudan.