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.


Ending South Sudan’s Civil War

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 this special report for the Council on Foreign Relations.


Governance and Peacebuilding in South Sudan

November 2, 2016

Kate Almquist Knopf, Director of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, addresses an audience of security sector professionals at the Africa Center’s 2016 Next Generation of African Security Sector Leaders program.

U.S. Senate Hearing

South Sudan: Options in Crisis

September 20, 2016

On September 20, 2016, Africa Center Director Kate Almquist Knopf testified before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee about the crisis in South Sudan. “It is past time to abandon several myths regarding the health of South Sudan’s political culture, the capacity of its leaders, and the potential impact of technical interventions—from development assistance to peacekeeping—in a country that has for all intents and purposes had no meaningful historical experience with governance,” she said.


Getting to the Root of the South Sudan Crisis

By Paul Nantulya
August 1, 2016

Reestablishing stability in South Sudan will require addressing the fundamental drivers of the recurring conflict. Civilian actors who derive their legitimacy from means other than guns need to be given a voice. This should be complemented by peacemaking processes at the community level, demilitarization at a societal level, and security sector reform countrywide.


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

July 26, 2016

In an interview with the Africa Center, 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

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. In this opinion piece, Ambassador Princeton Lyman and Africa Center Director Kate Almquist Knopf argue that temporary external administration is required to restore South Sudan’s sovereignty.


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

May 16, 2016

Luka Biong Deng, formerly the Minister of Presidential Affairs in South Sudan, discusses the challenges and prospects for peace in an interview with the Africa Center.


South Sudan Ceasefire: Fundamental Drivers Must Be Addressed

September 23, 2015

The Africa Center for Strategic Studies convened a seminar with field-based conflict mitigation experts to discuss the prospects of the recently signed ceasefire agreement and the priorities for establishing stability in South Sudan.

Africa Center Special Report No. 3

The Anatomy of the Resource Curse

By J.R. Mailey
May 31, 2015

While the natural resource curse is typically considered an economic phenomenon, access to abundant natural resource revenues also has profound effects on governance and the politicization of the security sector. Given the opaque nature of many of the transactions involved, relatively little is known about how these relationships work in practice. This Special Report delves into the often murky linkages between senior government officials, unscrupulous natural resource investors, and the loopholes they exploit in the international financial system.


South Sudan: Charting a Path to Stability

February 7, 2014

Ambassador Donald Booth, Jok Madut Jok, Kate Almquist Knopf, and Jason Matus addressed an Africa Center experts’ roundtable on the underlying governance and security tensions that led to the fighting in South Sudan—and strategic priorities and markers of progress over the near to medium term to advance sustainable stability.

U.S. Senate Hearing

The Situation in South Sudan

January 10, 2014

Kate Almquist Knopf testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on the volatile situation in South Sudan.


Ask the Expert: Kate Almquist Knopf on South Sudan

October 9, 2013

Kate Almquist Knopf provides an overview of South Sudan’s struggle to establish a government that enjoys popular legitimacy and is accountable to its citizens, as well as prospects for durable peace and sustained development in the world’s newest nation.

Africa Center Research Paper No. 4

Fragility and State-Society Relations in South Sudan

By Kate Almquist Knopf
September 30, 2013

This Africa Center Research Paper argues that trust in the South Sudanese government requires inclusive coalitions of state and nonstate actors, independent media, and a rules-based, accountable foundation for the new state.


Africa Center Expert