As Africa’s largest country—positioned in arguably the most strategic and volatile corner of the continent—prepares for a likely split into two nations next year, security sector reform in the South will be an issue that the international community cannot afford to ignore.
Inter-communal fighting is only the tip of the iceberg when surveying the South Sudan’s complex security landscape. One disturbing trend in this year’s violence is the number of incidents between southern Sudanese soldiers and civilians, particularly in areas where the army is conducting civilian disarmament campaigns.
In addition to my work as an analyst in southern Sudan, I like to impart stories about everyday life in Sudan, since elections, violence, and political agreements are just some of the elements of the reality of life for southern Sudanese people and for foreigners like me living in the country.
The latest brief from Human Rights Watch on violations of political rights in both North and South Sudan makes a very simple point: much (maybe too much) will have to be done between now and April before elections in Sudan can truly become the vehicle of profound democratic change for the Sudanese people.
In a strange sort of way, it was almost reassuring to hear people complaining about the trees. Compared to the grievances one typically hears when talking to people about their lives and their fears for the future in southern Sudan, the mango tree controversy seemed more like a public relations problem for the local government than anything else.
Late last night, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement—the ruling party in southern Sudan and the southern partner in Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement—announced its candidates for the two presidential contests set to take place in the country's April elections.
In a debate today on the BBC call-in show “Africa Have Your Say,” callers from many African countries shared their views on the prospect of southern independence and reflected on issues facing the possible state and broader region.
The international community has a significant role to play in addressing the myriad humanitarian problems plaguing southern Sudan, a half-decade after the signing of a peace agreement, or CPA, that officially ended hostilities between the North and the South. So says a new report by 10 aid agencies.
A powerful statement issued a couple of weeks ago by the Episcopal Church of Sudan is worth highlighting for the palpable frustration it conveys.
South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar has returned to Juba after 12 days of negotiations in Khartoum with the North’s Vice President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, and he reports that they’re making progress. According to Machar, who was quoted in the Sudan Tribune, the two sides have come closer to agreeing on the required turnout for the referendum.
Recent accounts of the latest Lord’s Resistance Army attacks in South Sudan suggest that the rebel group has grown in numbers and is in possession of new and ample ammunition.
South Sudan was once again hit with violence this week when Lou Nuer militiamen attacked a Dinka village, leaving 76 dead, 46 injured and 1,800 homeless, according to officials cited by the L.A. Times. Among those dead were 20 government security officers who were defending the village. The particulars of this attack fit the pattern of the recent wave of violence in South Sudan.
The U.N. has confirmed another attack in southern Sudan’s violence-wracked and remote Jonglei state, leaving 46 people dead and 15 in critical condition. The weekend attack forced an estimated 24,000 people to flee, according to a local official who spoke to the Associated Press. The U.N. estimates that more than 2000 people have died and […]
A month after the fact, the Abyei Arbitration Tribunal’s July 22 ruling remains a major topic of discussion. Voice of America’s radio show Straight Talk Africa discussed the ruling this week, with commentary by Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, the Head of the Government of Southern Sudan Mission to the U.S., and Ambassador Dirdeiry Mohamed Ahmed, the […]
After last week’s round of Sudan-related hearings on Capitol Hill, which highlighted the life or death implications of the Obama administration’s ongoing Sudan policy review, this week started with tragic news from southern Sudan. At least 185 people were reportedly killed in inter-ethnic violence Sunday in Jonglei’s Akobo County, a remote, tense, and heavily armed […]
Nineteen out of the 25 states in southern Sudan are still littered by landmines from the 22-year civil war that ended in 2005. Efforts are now underway to clear the most densely mined areas – a process critical to enabling displaced populations to return home, humanitarian aid to be dispersed, and peacekeeping forces to fully […]
What is the What tells the story of Valentino Achak Deng, a Sudanese “lost boy” who lived through a brutal Sudanese civil war between North and South that killed more than 2 million people during over 20 years of conflict. The book, published in 2006, details Deng’s journey from his home in the southern Sudanese […]