The Two Sudans

On July 9th, 2011 the Republic of South Sudan declared independence, resulting in the most significant redrawing of the map of Africa since decolonization. Both new Sudans face a series of internal and external challenges to peace. The U.S. Institute of Peace is engaging on many of these key issues in an effort to help build a more peaceful, stable and secure Sudan and South Sudan.

The South Sudanese Youth Leaders Program is now accepting applications through September 1, 2014.

Ask an Expert: the Crisis in South Sudan
The Global Peacebuilding Center is connecting you with Susan Stigant, one of USIP's South Sudan experts, who is ready to answer questions about the nature of the conflict. 

Water Security and Conflict Prevention Summit

Tue, 09/10/2013 - 08:30
Tue, 09/10/2013 - 14:00

On September 10, 2013, U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), and the U.S. Water Partnership (USWP) hosted a summit on the growing concerns in water security and the risks for increased conflict.

Water is an undeniable, un-substitutable, and powerful factor in everyone’s life, from sustaining individual lives to defining both economic and social policies and practices. As populations and demand expand while supplies decline, access to water will become increasingly difficult, raising the prospects for conflict over this precious resource. By 2025, experts estimated that 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions of absolute water scarcity.

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Notes from Sudan

Ahead of the country's critical 2011 referendum on whether the South should secede from Sudan, USIP is dedicated to help resolve internal conflicts and help ensure the country's future stability and security. In "Notes from Sudan," USIP's Jon Temin writes about his recent tour of the country to get an update on the status of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended decades of civil war in Sudan and learn about preparations for the 2011 referendum and the 2010 national elections. 


by Jonathan Temin

Jonathan Temin
Fri, 08/21/2009 (All day)
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Sawa Shabab, A Peacebuilding Radio Drama for Youth in South Sudan

Short Description: 

Sawa Shabab (Together Youth)series is produced locally by Free Voice South Sudan in collaboration with USIP, to promote peace and stability by empowering youth to be confident, open-minded and participatory citizens in a diverse society.

The drama series follows the daily lives of different young South Sudanese as they face unique challenges while learning how to become peacebuilders in their communities.  Sawa Shabab consists of 20 episodes in  English and Arabic and five episodes in Nuer and Dinka languages and will be aired on Radio Miraya, the Catholic Radio Network and other local stations across the country.

Peace Education in Sudan? Not as Unlikely as it Might Sound

I was eager to be back in Sudan recently after two years away. I was curious to see how the country had changed and whether anything would seem obviously different several years after the separation of South Sudan.  My USIP colleagues and I were visiting in part to help local partners present a conference on teaching peace studies at the undergraduate level in Sudanese universities.

South Sudan’s Religious Unity Can Help Heal Wounds of Violence

In mid-December, when it became clear that a meeting in Juba of one of the ruling party's decision-making bodies  was exposing tension and contained the risk of violence, national-level religious leaders of several denominations drew on the impending Christmas season to call for peace through the holiday. The hope was that the holy season in a now-predominantly Christian country could provide a pause to address the growing political rifts.    

Crisis in South Sudan

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 14:00
Fri, 01/10/2014 - 15:30

The United States Institute of Peace and the Wilson Center hosted a discussion on the current crisis in South Sudan.

Since the middle of December the world’s newest country, South Sudan, has been gripped by violence. What started as a political dispute has escalated into fighting across significant portions of the country. A rebel movement controls important areas and more than a thousand people have been killed. Negotiations between the government and rebels have commenced in Ethiopia, but the fighting continues on the ground.

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South Sudan's Crisis Reflects Longstanding Tensions

What is happening in South Sudan?

It is difficult to know all the details, as the situation appears very fluid, although reports indicated Dec. 18 and 19 were calmer in the capital Juba than the previous three days.  Violence broke out in the capital over the previous weekend following a meeting of the National Liberation Council, one of the party’s decision-making forums of the ruling party, the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).

Detecting Looming Border Conflicts Using Satellites

USIP recently awarded $119,474 to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to analyze satellite images from six past conflicts in Asia, Eurasia, and Africa. Scientists will be looking for signs such as the massing of troops, construction of trenches, or  the building of military facilities near borders that might in the future help signal looming war. The idea would be to detect evidence of impending fighting without risking the danger of injecting monitors on the ground, and therefore buy time to try to de-escalate potential conflict.

Articles & Analysis

April 8, 2014

Nothing prepared me for the coffee-black water coming out of the taps.  It happened just as a large and delicious breakfast was set out for us in a compound dining room and we were starting to wash our hands in sinks at the side. Sudden, dark, and a bit shocking, the water seemed like a betrayal of all the honest hospitality of our generous hosts. We quickly shifted to washing with bottled water and proceeded without further disruption.  Still, the image of that dirty water where clean water had flowed before seemed like a sign that something larger was badly broken.

January 28, 2014
Othow Okoti Abich Onger and Jacqueline H. Wilson
December 19, 2013
Jacqueline H. Wilson
December 17, 2013
Jacqueline H. Wilson
September 10, 2013
Viola Gienger
September 6, 2013
Thomas Omestad

Our Work in the Field

Director of USIP's Two Sudans program, Jon Temin, reflects on the birth of the world's newest nation, South Sudan, and looks ahead to 2012 and USIP's continued impact in the region.

As part of its continuing work in Sudan, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) organized a workshop on “The State and Direction of the Darfur Peace Process” on November 15-16.  The gathering sought to evaluate the current status of the...

Religion is often seen as the cause of strife around the globe, but in reality, it can provide the foundation for what helps to end conflict. USIP’s work, from Indonesia to Pakistan, demonstrates that religion can play a positive role in managing...

USIP's training of Rwandan peacekeepers deploying to the Darfur region of Sudan "creates awareness of typical problems in the mission area and provides an opportunity to learn and use skills to deal with those problems."

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USIP Staff
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From the idea of an interfaith center in Baghdad to prospective programs encouraging Burmese media to contribute to peace, USIP experts discuss conflict resolution and peacebuilding efforts in 2012...