U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s visit to South Sudan marks the latest U.S. search for a way to end that country’s civil war. But years of U.S. pressures on South Sudan’s factions have failed to end the brutality or to stem Africa’s worst refugee crisis since the Rwandan genocide. How can the Trump administration, and South Sudan’s friends in Congress, succeed where previous peace efforts failed? Any strategy must weigh insights from those South Sudanese working amid the violence to build peace. On November 8, USIP and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide held a discussion with representatives of South Sudan’s civil society.
South Sudan was established in 2011 following years of bipartisan U.S. support, but factional warfare erupted in 2013. A peace agreement brokered by countries in the region in August 2015, soon collapsed. The violence has uprooted 4 million people, a third of the country’s population. The United States has spent nearly $3 billion over four years to meet urgent humanitarian needs—an expense that can be reduced and reallocated if a peace accord can be sustained.
As President Trump considers an approach to this crisis, and hears from Ambassador Haley about her talks, South Sudanese leaders—in law and justice, interfaith relations, academia and civil society peace efforts—offered their recommendations on ways to overcome their country’s political crisis and put South Sudan on a path toward peace.
Continue the conversation on Twitter with #USIPSouthSudan.
Amb. Princeton Lyman
Senior Advisor, U.S. Institute of Peace
Ms. Jehan Deng
Board Member, South Sudan Women’s Empowerment Network
Dr. Luka Biong Deng
Professor of Practice for Security Studies, Africa Center for Strategic Studies
Mr. Geoffrey Duke
Head of Secretariat, South Sudan Action Network on Small Arms (SSANSA)
Mr. Beny Gideon Mabor
Member, South Sudan Law Society
Rev. James Ninrew
Executive Director, Assistance Mission for Africa
Coordinator, Transitional Justice Working Group
Ms. Susan Stigant
Director, Africa Programs, U.S. Institute of Peace (Moderator)
Mr. Jon Temin
Visiting Fellow, Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum