The struggle for South Sudan: Challenges of security and state formation

Past Event Rift Valley Institute, Nairobi State

South Sudan, the world’s youngest country, has experienced a rocky start to its existence as an independent nation. Although fighting has reduced in most parts of the country due to the revitalised peace deal in September 2018, conflict and related violence continue. More than 4 million people have been forced to flee their homes, 200,000 of whom are sheltering in UN compounds and hundreds of thousands are refugees in neighbouring countries.

Since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the new national government’s attempts to centralise power have prompted protests on the periphery, and opposition leaders have often shaped their mobilisation strategies around more localised identities such as ethnicity (Thomas, 2015). South Sudanese have asserted sub-national identities as an expression of exclusion from the state, further fragmenting identities.

This event reflects on key challenges and opportunities for peacebuilding and growth in South Sudan and discusses the institutional legacy of colonialism, implications of the national identity crisis, and prospects for national identity building.

The photos from the event are available here.

This public event is part of a series of launch events for the book The Struggle for South Sudan: Challenges of Security and State Formation, sponsored by the International Growth Centre and the African Center for Strategic Studies.