A briefing co-written with Øystein Rolandsen at PRIO, in response to the formulation of a UN Regional Protection Force during renewed civil war in South Sudan in 2016. The RPF raised questions concerning the context in which soldiers were to be deployed and the problems they were supposed to solve. Put differently, who are they protecting, and against whom are they providing protection? We argue here that the Regional Protection Force mandate and current peace diplomacy rest on several key assumptions. One is that the peace process could be salvaged. Another is that Juba needed to be ‘stabilized’. Finally, that there are two coherent ‘sides’ to the conflict whose leaders can enforce a negotiated settlement. In this Briefing, we argued that these assumptions did not reflect the political situation on the ground. Download it here.