South Sudan’s civil war is one of the most brutal and destructive conflicts of the 21st century. Could the war have been prevented? Could some of the atrocities and misery caused by the war have been avoided? On July 19 the U.S. Institute of Peace and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum's Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide hosted a discussion on what lessons should be learned from U.S. policy toward South Sudan in the years leading up to and during the civil war.

A new report by Simon-Skjodt Center Visiting Fellow Jon Temin that addresses several pivotal periods and alternative policy options in U.S. South Sudan policy was the springboard for the discussion. South Sudan experts and former U.S. officials commented on Temin's findings and discussed how lessons from U.S. policy on South Sudan should be applied to ongoing efforts to prevent and mitigate atrocities in South Sudan and around the world. Continue the conversation on Twitter with #SouthSudanLessons.

 

Speakers

Ambassador Donald Booth
Former U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan

Kate Almquist Knopf
Director, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University
@almquistkate

Joshua Meservey 
Senior Policy Analyst, Africa and the Middle East, The Heritage Foundation
@JMeservey

Jon Temin
Visiting Fellow, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum's Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide and Africa Director, Freedom House
@JonTemin

Mike Yaffe, welcoming remarks
Vice President, Middle East and Africa Center, U.S. Institute of Peace

Aly Verjeemoderator
Visiting Expert, United States Institute of Peace
@alyverjee

Related Publications

Will the Latest Deal Bring Peace in South Sudan?

Will the Latest Deal Bring Peace in South Sudan?

Monday, August 20, 2018

By: Aly Verjee; Payton Knopf

On August 5, the warring parties in South Sudan signed an agreement which calls for the formation of another power-sharing government. The previous power-sharing government collapsed in July 2016, and the war has since spread throughout the country. USIP’s Aly Verjee and Payton Knopf discuss the developments that led to the deal, identify the agreement’s risks and deficiencies, and assess future prospects for the peace process.

Peace Processes

Susan Stigant on South Sudan

Susan Stigant on South Sudan

Thursday, June 28, 2018

By: Susan Stigant

Can South Sudan—the world’s youngest country—find peace? USIP’s Susan Stigant discusses the country’s political crisis and how its exacerbated by the outgrowth of opposition groups, millions of displaced citizens, and other complex challenges to restoring stability. Nevertheless, Stigant explains that peace is possible with U.S. leadership.

Democracy & Governance

Strong Words Alone will not Deliver Peace to South Sudan

Strong Words Alone will not Deliver Peace to South Sudan

Thursday, June 7, 2018

By: Aly Verjee

At the end of May, after only four days, South Sudan’s long-delayed peace talks once again adjourned without reaching a viable agreement. The failure to reach a deal comes only weeks after the White House declared that the Government of South Sudan had “lost credibility,” expressed deep frustration at the “lack of progress toward an agreement,” and warned that “more than seven million people will face life-threatening hunger in the coming months,” as a result of the crisis.

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

View All Publications