Three particular events seem to embody the absence of goodwill. The first is the notorious “Luri incident” on December 18, 2018, in which serious ill-treatment was committed against members of the CTSAMVM monitoring team while trying to access a government-controlled website. Members of the team were assaulted, “subjected to physical and emotional violence (stripped of their clothes, blindfolded, handcuffed, kneeling and verbally threatened for a considerable period of time), while in detention for at least five hours.” 22 For those who have been exhausted by the mistreatment of South Sudanese by their own government, it was remarkable during the Luri incident that even the international position of this monitoring team does not offer a certain shield to its foreign members. However, times have also changed and there is a potentially different outcome to be expected. At this point, Sudan in the north and Uganda in the south are much more “invested in peace” in South Sudan. In favour of Sudan, the commitment to peace not only offers President Omar al-Bashir the opportunity to proclaim himself a regional peacemaker, but also to divert attention from the turbulence and uncertainties he faces at home due to the Sudanese economy that recently led to the declaration of a state of emergency.2 For Uganda, Peace mediation does not only allow: To thwart recent credible reports of its role in supplying weapons to South Sudanese wars. But it could allow the state to show a “positive” side of its interventionist policy in the region – if not a paradigm shift in its foreign policy.3 Uganda is also facing an influx of thousands of South Sudanese refugees displaced by violence and insecurity in their home countries. For both Sudan and Uganda, the war in South Sudan comes with considerable costs, including economic challenges that only get worse over time. The previous challenge is related to the agreement`s failure to address some of the causes of the conflict in South Sudan. Among the most serious causes of the conflict, as found in the final report of the 2014 African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan, are the lack of strong democratic institutions and the continued mix of personal, ethnic and national interests, as well as the inequitable distribution of resources in South Sudan.10 Chapter 1 Transitional institution and mechanism provisions; and chapter 4 Provisions relating to resource, economic and financial management — which together attempt to address some of the causes of the conflict — have long been enshrined in previous peace agreements, but have not brought about any change.
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