South Sudan

Bentiu Camp in South Sudan

Bentiu Camp in South Sudan. (Photo: EC/ECHO/Anouk Delafortrie)

South Sudan has been at war with itself for more than half of its five years as an independent nation. Negotiations, power-sharing plans, and peace agreements led by the region and the international community have so far failed to interrupt the violence. Since 2013, tens of thousands of people have been killed and more than 3.5 million have been driven from their homes. In this compilation of analyses, the Africa Center identifies key drivers of the conflict and priorities for establishing peace and stability.

Spotlight

10 Years after Independence South Sudan Faces Persistent Crisis

September 13, 2021

The ongoing forced displacement of a third of the population and a conflict-driven food crisis threatening more than half of all South Sudanese underscores the grave human costs of the country’s destructive politics.

Lessons from a Decade of South Sudanese Statehood

Spotlight

Lessons from a Decade of South Sudanese Statehood

By Luka Biong Deng Kuol
June 29, 2021

The catastrophic levels of instability that have engulfed South Sudan since 2013 demand a restructuring of governance and security institutions to alter the tragic trajectory of Africa’s youngest state.

Timeline of South Sudan Peace Agreements and Violence

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Timeline of South Sudan Peace Agreements and Violence

December 18, 2019

Despite multiple ceasefires and peace agreements signed since the conflict began in 2013, the humanitarian costs to citizens continue to grow.

Understanding the Underlying Drivers of Armed Conflict in South Sudan

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Understanding the Underlying Drivers of Armed Conflict in South Sudan

May 1, 2019

Stability in South Sudan will require addressing fundamental drivers of conflict including weak national identity and state structures, the securitization of governance, and the lack of accountable leadership.

Taking Stock of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan

Spotlight

Taking Stock of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan

By Klem Ryan
January 12, 2019

A survey of the main elements of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan assesses prospects for implementation, and offers insight into the fragile politics underlying the moratorium.

Envisioning a Stable South Sudan (Photo by UNMISS)

Publication

Envisioning a Stable South Sudan

May 29, 2018

Scholars and security practitioners share their visions on the priorities and prerequisites needed for South Sudan to reestablish stability in the face of conflict, political paralysis, and humanitarian crisis.

South Sudan Food insecurity Feb-May 2018

Spotlight

Humanitarian Costs of South Sudan Conflict Continue to Escalate

January 29, 2018

Now in its fifth year, South Sudan’s current conflict has displaced 4.5 million people—the same number of southern Sudanese displaced during the entire three-decade Sudan civil war.

Spotlight

South Sudan Conflict Drives Massive Population Movement

October 31, 2017

Mass atrocities, including unlawful killings, rape, torture, and destruction of property, have caused one in three people in South Sudan to flee their homes.

Food Insecurity in South Sudan

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Conflict and Food Insecurity in South Sudan

July 28, 2017

The humanitarian situation in South Sudan continues to deteriorate as the conflict persists unabated. Four years of widespread violence have left 6 million people—half the population—acutely food insecure.

First meeting of the South Sudan Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, November 27, 2015.

Spotlight

A Path to Justice in South Sudan

By Kate Almquist Knopf
July 1, 2017

Proposed justice measures in South Sudan—including the Hybrid Court—can be pursued despite disruptions in the implementation of the peace agreement.

Kenya Judiciary Building

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Legal and Security Sector Implications of South Sudanese Renditions

By Godfrey Musila
May 30, 2017

South Sudanese renditions fall afoul of international law and pose legal risks for security sector professionals implicated.

Food Insecurity in South Sudan

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Conflict and Famine in South Sudan

March 20, 2017

While much of East Africa suffers from food shortages due to drought, in South Sudan, it is conflict, rather than lack of rain, that has been the cause of a widespread humanitarian disaster.

Humanitarian Need and Displacement in South Sudan

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Humanitarian Need and Displacement in South Sudan

March 14, 2017

A spike in political violence since mid-2016 has caused the worst humanitarian crisis in South Sudan since its decades-long civil war with Sudan.

Ending South Sudan's Civil War by Kate Almquist Knopf

Spotlight

Ending South Sudan’s Civil War

By Kate Almquist Knopf
November 28, 2016

Three years of civil war have left South Sudan on the cusp of full-scale genocide. The only remaining path to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity is through an international transitional administration, writes Africa Center Director Kate Almquist Knopf in a new report.

of South Sudan. Photos: UNMISS/Isaac Billy

Spotlight

South Sudan: Options in Crisis

September 21, 2016

“South Sudan is not on the brink of state failure. South Sudan is not in the process of failing. South Sudan has failed,” Africa Center Director Kate Almquist Knopf testified before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee about the crisis in South Sudan.

South Sudan’s Stability Hinges on Controlling the “Gun Class”

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South Sudan’s Stability Hinges on Controlling the “Gun Class”

July 26, 2016

Majak D’Agoot calls for confronting South Sudan's dominant “gun class,” which inhibits genuine political dialogue and consensus-building.

To save South Sudan, put it on life support

Spotlight

To Save South Sudan, Put It on Life Support

By Princeton Lyman and Kate Almquist Knopf
July 20, 2016

South Sudan has failed to create the basic institutions of a state, resulting in civil conflict and a massive humanitarian catastrophe. Temporary external administration is required to restore South Sudan’s sovereignty.

The Situation in South Sudan: A Con­versation with Dr. Luka Biong Deng

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The Situation in South Sudan: A Conversation with Dr. Luka Biong Deng

May 16, 2016

Dr. Luka Biong Deng, formerly the Minister of Presidential Affairs in South Sudan discusses the challenges and prospects for peace.

Spotlight

South Sudan Ceasefire: Fundamental Drivers Must be Addressed

September 23, 2015

The Africa Center for Strategic Studies convened a seminar with South Sudan conflict mitigation experts to discuss the prospects of the recently signed ceasefire agreement and the priorities for establishing stability in the world’s youngest state.

Spotlight

Adjunct Prof. Almquist Knopf Testifies to U.S. Senate on South Sudan Crisis

January 10, 2014

On January 9, 2014, Kate Almquist Knopf, Former USAID Assistant Administrator for Africa and then-adjunct professor (now director) at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on the volatile situation in South Sudan, assessing the current crisis and offering several recommendations both for short- and long-term gains.

Spotlight

Ask the Expert: Kate Almquist Knopf on South Sudan

October 9, 2013

Kate Almquist-Knopf, then-adjunct professor (now Director) of the Africa Center, provides an overview of South Sudan’s struggle to establish a government that enjoys popular legitimacy and is accountable to its citizens.

Publication

Fragility and State-Society Relations in South Sudan

By Kate Almquist Knopf
September 30, 2013

In the process of recovering from a ruinous civil conflict, Africa’s youngest country faces the threat of renewed conflict, localized ethnic-based insurgencies, a deepening humanitarian crisis, and weak governance structures. Underlying all of these challenges are a weak national identity and fragile state-society relations. Trust and confidence in the government can be generated through a concerted effort to build inclusive coalitions of state and nonstate actors, expand independent media, and construct a rules-based, accountable foundation for the new state.