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The current situation in Sudan and South Sudan, the latter newly independent since July 9, 2011, is bleak. Ongoing armed conflicts between the government of South Sudan and numerous armed groups have resulted in thousands of people being displaced. Tribal clashes and interethnic warfare have also contributed to this new country’s instability. In addition, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), which is led by Joseph Kony and is comprised largely of child soldiers, continues to terrorize much of South Sudan. Indeed, the state of Sudan, which formerly included South Sudan, has been undergoing conflict for much of its history since independence in 1956. The first Sudanese civil war raged from 1955 to 1972 and the second Sudanese civil war from 1983 to 2005. Together, these conflicts resulted in an estimated 2.5 million people being killed and some five million people becoming internally and externally displaced. 1

There are serious tensions between Sudan and South Sudan as the boundary between these two countries is still being negotiated. The current boundary was aligned following Sudan’s independence on January 1, 1956. 2 There are also pending negotiations regarding the sovereign status of the Abyei Area between Sudan and South Sudan.3 Gross human rights violations have been well-documented against the civilian population and include the burning of whole villages, the systematic rape of women and girls, the use of torture, and murder.4 In fact, experts and commentators have predicted that there could be a new mass killing or genocide in South Sudan sometime in the next five years.5 ... [ read more ]

Contact Information

Michele Millard:

James C. Simeon:

News & Events

Check out our new daily blog where our research assistants and student volunteers will be providing their observations and reflections on the program, morning plenary sessions and our opening official keynote address.