South Sudan

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When South Sudan gained independence in 2011, the whole world rejoiced. The country marked 10 years of independence on July 9, 2021, but on that occasion, as was the case for the previous decade, its people had very little to celebrate. The country had been gripped by both state violence and deadly ethnic feuds. The intense rifts in ethnic relations emanating from this cycle have become a major risk factor for mass atrocities. This paper aims to chronicle the atrocity crimes that have happened in South Sudan in the past 12 years, what drives them, and how they can be mitigated or stopped. It will also suggest what the international community can do to assist the South Sudanese to find justice, accountability for atrocity crimes and above all, how to reduce or end violence. The paper is based on a review of reports by human rights agencies, the United Nations agencies operating in South Sudan, independent researchers, academics and think tanks. It is also based on the author's first-hand knowledge of the context and on numerous interviews with South Sudanese. The goal, however, is not to ask: what lessons have been learned from the ongoing efforts in the country?.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)503-542
Number of pages40
JournalJournal of International Peacekeeping
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2021


  • Dinka
  • Igad
  • Mass atrocities
  • Nuer
  • South Sudan
  • Unmiss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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