South Sudan in Turmoil
Date: Wednesday, 21 May 2014, 12.30-14.00
Venue: Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), 5th floor Conference Room - Maison de la paix (Petal D), Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2D, 1202 Geneva
Chair: Dr Caty Clement, Senior Programme Advisor and Senior Fellow, Leadership, Crisis and Conflict Management Programme, Geneva Centre for Security Policy
Speakers: Mukesh Kapila, CBE, Special Representative of Aegis Trust & Former UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan
Dr Gerard Prunier, Former Director of the French Centre for Ethiopian Studies in Addis Ababa
Registration: Places are limited. Once we reach full capacity, the registration link will be de-activated
Since December 2013, Africa’s most recent country, South Sudan, has been mired by violence. Having fought Khartoum for three decades to gain its independence, the South Sudanese achieved international recognition in a 2011 referendum. Ever since, the international community has devoted considerable energy to ensure a peaceful divorce from the North. Instead, South Sudan is now torn apart by internal southern issues, going far beyond the personality power struggle between President Salva Kiir and former Vice-President Riak Machar or ethnic competition opposing Dinka to Nuer. Bringing together the former SPLA/M members, who often have a militaristic culture, the former civilian and state employees who long had to display an Arab culture, and the returning diaspora from different parts of the world, is in itself a daunting process. In addition, there are internal structural issues relating to a highly militaristic society, the significant power granted by the interim constitution to the President, and the lack of major investment absorbing the country’s labor force.
Tensions came to the forefront during the 2013 government reshuffle, which turned violent last December. As the regional mediation process tries to bring an end to the fighting, the situation remains tense and highly volatile. What are the key challenges the new country has to address? How can the regional network contribute to peace? What can the international community do to support the country’s ability to handle some of the more structural challenges it faces?
We will also be live-tweeting from the event with the hashtag #SudanBrief for those that cannot attend but would like to follow the discussion!
For any questions, please contact Dr Caty Clément.
** Photo credits: Timothy McKulkas/USAID