Briefing Paper

Political Parties and the Push for Political Consensus

This paper aims at exploring how the signing of the current peace agreement could be
used as an opportunity for the people of South Sudan to dialogue and reconstitute
political consensus. It largely focuses on the role of political parties in providing a vision
around which the society can be mobilized. The people of South Sudan have had the benefit of
experiencing the important role political parties play in their political life over the course of the
liberation struggle. This is because political parties and movements have been instrumental in
shaping the direction of South Sudan’s long struggle, as they have been able to unite and
mobilize the efforts of the South Sudanese to fight for their freedom. These efforts culminated in
the popular referendum leading to the declaration of independence in 2011. To sustain the unity
and commitment of the South Sudanese to the higher purpose, the political parties played the
role of reminding and bringing them back to consensus. The higher purpose as its name suggests
is something that is bigger than life, which is why people make the ultimate sacrifices to defend
what they believe, is at the core of their being.