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

Crisis
Pictured, left to right. Jon Temin, Ambassador Princeton Lyman, Kate Almquist Knopf, Ambassador Alan Goulty

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. The international community has responded rapidly, including by significantly expanding the size of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, but questions remain about international leverage over the parties. Meanwhile, close to 200,000 South Sudanese have been displaced, with tens of thousands seeking shelter in U.N. bases.

USIP and the Wilson Center discussed the root causes of the crisis, strategies for ending the violence, and ideas for building a more stable South Sudan.

Speakers

Ambassador Princeton Lyman, Panelist
Senior Advisor, U.S. Institute of Peace & former U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan

Ambassador Alan Goulty, Panelist
Wilson Center Global Fellow & former U.K. Special Envoy and Ambassador to Sudan

Kate Almquist Knopf, Panelist
Adjunct Faculty, Africa Center for Strategic Studies & former USAID Assistant Administrator for Africa

Jon Temin, Moderator
Director, Africa Program, U.S. Institute of Peace

Publications related to this event:

Related Publications

South Sudan’s people have spoken on peace. Is anyone listening?

South Sudan’s people have spoken on peace. Is anyone listening?

Friday, April 16, 2021

By: Ola Mohajer; David Deng

The United States played a key role in the emergence of South Sudan as an independent state 10 years ago. Yet today, U.S. policy toward the country is insufficient to address the continued violence or promote sustainable peace. Even so, it is not too late for U.S. policymakers to embark upon a renewed push for peace. To move forward, they should listen to what South Sudan’s people said in the recently concluded National Dialogue and incorporate its recommendations in diplomatic, humanitarian and development strategies for the country.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

Conflict and Crisis in South Sudan’s Equatoria

Conflict and Crisis in South Sudan’s Equatoria

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

By: Alan Boswell

South Sudan’s civil war expanded into Equatoria, the country’s southernmost region, in 2016, forcing hundreds of thousands to flee into neighboring Uganda in what has been called Africa’s largest refugee exodus since the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Equatoria is now the last major hot spot in the civil war. If lasting peace is to come to South Sudan, writes Alan Boswell, it will require a peace effort that more fully reckons with the long-held grievances of Equatorians.

Type: Special Report

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

The South Sudan Peace Process Archive: A Window into Mediation

The South Sudan Peace Process Archive: A Window into Mediation

Monday, March 29, 2021

By: Zach Vertin; Aly Verjee

As part of its commitment to learning from peace processes, the U.S. Institute of Peace is pleased to launch the South Sudan Peace Process Archive, which aims to provide South Sudanese citizens, mediators, policymakers, academics and other interested readers a window into the 2013-2015 negotiations that attempted to end the conflict that began in South Sudan in late 2013. Documents for this archive were first assembled and organized in 2016. Now, archive curators and former peace process advisers Zach Vertin and Aly Verjee discuss their motivations for assembling and organizing the documents and what they hope the archive can contribute to future peace processes.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Peace Processes

South Sudan: From 10 States to 32 States and Back Again

South Sudan: From 10 States to 32 States and Back Again

Monday, March 1, 2021

By: Matthew Pritchard; Aly Verjee

Last year, South Sudan reintroduced 10 subnational states in South Sudan, in place of the 32 states controversially created in 2017. Far from being an obscure matter of administrative organization, the initial, dramatic redivision of territory in the midst of protracted violence and large-scale displacement had a significant impact on representation, as well as social, economic, and political relations throughout the country. In 2018-19, researchers commissioned by USIP sought to better understand the decision-making process behind the creation of the 32 states in South Sudan. Researchers Matthew Pritchard and Aly Verjee discuss their findings in light of current developments.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

View All Publications