South Sudan

  • Pham Joins VOA to Discuss Melania Trump's Trip to Africa and Another South Sudan Peace Deal


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  • Pham Quoted in Foreign Policy on South Sudan


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  • South Sudan’s First Vice President Optimistic About Peace, But No One is Buying It

    Atlantic Council’s Damon Wilson urges release of former Millennium Fellow

    On a visit to the Atlantic Council in September 2016, South Sudan’s First Vice President Taban Deng Gai had a clear message for his interlocutors in Washington: “What we tell them is, ‘Look, there is peace. Let us not allow that to collapse.’”

    Deng spoke even as the death toll in South Sudan’s civil war steadily mounted. The war, which broke out in December 2013, was triggered by the bitter rivalry between South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, and his on-again-off-again First Vice President Riek Machar. A new study backed by the US State Department concluded that at least 382 900 people have died since 2013; millions have been displaced.

    It’s little wonder then that Deng raised plenty of eyebrows when he expressed optimism about the prospects of peace in his country at his latest appearance at the Atlantic Council on October 2.

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  • In South Sudan, It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

    The so-called peace deal between South Sudan’s warring parties is in fact a “desperate play” by the country’s two main political actors to fend off international sanctions and extend their hold on power, according to J. Peter Pham, director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center.

    South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, and his main political rival, Riek Machar, signed an agreement in Addis Ababa on September 12 that attempts to end the country’s five-year civil war. Tens of thousands have been killed and millions displaced in the conflict that erupted as a result of the Kiir-Machar rivalry.

    “Most of the key issues that have been at the heart of the conflict have been ambiguously addressed—if they have been addressed at all,” said Pham.

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  • South Sudan Must End the Arbitrary Detention of Peter Biar Ajak

    We urge the government of South Sudan to end the arbitrary detention of Peter Biar Ajak, an alumnus of the Atlantic Council Millennium Fellowship, who was arrested in Juba July 28, 2018.

    The Millennium Fellowship is the Atlantic Council’s premier program for young leaders. Peter joined the extended Atlantic Council family upon his selection as a Millennium Fellow. He is the Founder and former Director of the Center for Strategic Analyses and Research, a policy think tank based in Juba, South Sudan. Peter is one of over 4,000 Sudanese “Lost Boys,” who came to the United States in 2001.  

    We urge that Peter’s rights be respected, his safety assured while in custody, and that he be released immediately. 

    Peter is one of many people to be arbitrarily detained in recent years in South Sudan. Too often, these cases go unnoticed and no one is held accountable.

    We call on our community to raise awareness using the hashtag #FreePeterBiar so this injustice does not continue to go unnoticed. 

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  • The Reckoning South Sudan Needs

    The seventh anniversary of South Sudan’s independence on July 11 is, at best, a bittersweet occasion. Seldom has a country come into being with such promise and good will. Dozens of heads of state, including Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, came to Juba to witness the birth of the world’s newest state. Messages poured in from leaders who could not make it, including US President Barack Obama, who granted South Sudan immediate diplomatic recognition, declaring: “Today is a reminder that after the darkness of war, the light of a new dawn is possible.”

    Amid the celebratory choruses, I sounded a note of caution that day: “While the United States and other partners of South Sudan have helped to win freedom for the peoples of South Sudan, the challenge now is for them to consider what can be done to assure that political independence is not followed by state failure and/or conflict, but rather that there be a real chance for the improved human security and geopolitical stability, the promise of which justified the international community’s recognition of the breakup of a sovereign state in the first place.”

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  • The United States Gets Tough With South Sudan

    US President Donald J. Trump’s administration, expressing displeasure with the government in South Sudan, has started a comprehensive review of its aid programs to that country.

    In a sternly worded statement, the White House said that the leaders of South Sudan had “squandered this partnership [with the United States], pilfered the wealth of South Sudan, killed their own people, and repeatedly demonstrated their inability and unwillingness to live up to their commitments to end the country’s civil war. The result is one of Africa’s worst humanitarian disasters.”

    Announcing its aid review, the White House said: “While we are committed to saving lives, we must also ensure our assistance does not contribute to or prolong the conflict, or facilitate predatory or corrupt behavior.”

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  • Is it Time to Take Sudan Off the State Sponsors of Terrorism List?

    Atlantic Council report recommends review of designation as part of an effort to energize ties

    US President Donald J. Trump’s administration should conduct a long-overdue review of the designation of Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism, according to a new report from the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center.

    The Clinton administration designated Sudan a state sponsor of terrorism in 1993. US administrations have used the designation—not just in the case of Sudan—as a political tool.

    “The question is: is that sensible in terms of Sudan,” asked Princeton Lyman, a former US special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan who serves on the Atlantic Council’s Sudan Task Force.

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  • Bruton Quoted by VOA on the Absence of South Sudan’s President from IGAD Summit


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  • Pham Quoted by Voice of America on South Sudan's Political Leadership


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