Pantuliano et al (2007). The Long Road Home Part 1
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Profound changes are taking place in Southern Sudan as a result of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). The CPA has made possible substantial improvements in freedom of movement, trade and oil revenue, dramatically reduced conflict and laid the foundations of a system of governance to administer the south’s own affairs (although reform in the Three Areas has been slow and unsatisfactory). Demographics and social relations are radically changing from wartime patterns. But ‘peace’ has also given rise to uncertainties about the future. Opportunities for citizens to be economically independent have been slow to develop, and large numbers have not yet benefited from economic growth. Insecurity and threats to safety persist. Overall, the extent of what needs to be done to stabilise the post-war environment and build a foundation for long-term peace is only beginning to be appreciated, and many opportunities to positively influence the agreement in its first years have already been lost. The social impact of possibly two million people resettling in the south has accelerated the pace of change. On the one hand, promising new skills and fresh ways of thinking have been introduced into resident communities (including the redistribution of remittances). On the other, resettlement presents colossal challenges given the impoverished and ill prepared post-war social and economic environment. Reintegration has as a result put additional pressure on an already underserved and economically poor resident population. It has also exposed fundamental weaknesses in the fledgling regional government, and in the work of international agencies.