The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement marked the end of Africa’s longest running civil war in recent history, and paved the way for South Sudan’s secession from the Khartoum-based northern government. The efforts made by the new Government of South Sudan to promote justice and reconciliation have centered on legal reform, including the revitalization and use of customary law. The implementation of traditional justice mechanisms, however, is not without challenges, as decades of armed conflict and massive population displacement have eroded the elders’ authority, and the chiefs’ power to enforce court decisions. Responding to the need to better understand this complex situation, her study seeks to illuminate the interconnections between local constructions of justice, peace and reconciliation, as differentially experienced by young returning refugees and local youth. Emphasis on these groups is justified by South Sudan’s demographic composition, characterized by one of the youngest populations in the world, and the complex patterns of displacement resulting from decades of war.
Dr. Ensor is the author of numerous publications on children and youth, including the edited volumes African Childhoods: Education, Development and Peacebuilding in the Youngest Continent (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) Children and Migration: At the Crossroads of Resiliency and Vulnerability (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), with El?bieta M. Go?dziak (see longer list under “Staff”). Recent publications more directly related to her current research in South Sudan are listed below.
- Ensor, Marisa O. (2013) ‘MRS N°47- Displaced Youth’s Role in Sustainable Return: Lessons from South Sudan’. IOM’s Migration Research Series.
- Ensor, Marisa O. (in press) ‘Youth Culture, Refugee (Re)integration, and Diasporic Identities in South Sudan’. African Identities. Special Issue on ‘Late Modernity and Agency: Youth Cultures in Africa’. London, UK: Routledge.
- Ensor, Marisa O. (2013) ‘Participation under Fire: Dilemmas of Reintegration for Child Soldiers Involved in South Sudan’s Armed Conflict’. Special Issue on ‘Actualization of Children’s Participation Rights’. Oxford, UK: Global Studies of Childhood Journal. Spring/Summer.
- Ensor, Marisa O. (2012) ‘Child Soldiers and Youth Citizens in South Sudan’s Armed Conflict’. Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice. Routledge Taylor Francis Group. Volume 24, Issue 3. Pp. 276-283.
Under Review/In Progress
- Ensor, Marisa O. and Amanda Reinke. ‘The Rights of South Sudanese Children to Participate in their Own Protection’. Under review by the International Journal of Children’s Rights.