Obstacles to Peace in South Sudan

Charlotte Florance / Alexandria Lane /



Even as an independent country, peace remains elusive for South Sudan. Decades of civil war, genocide, complex ethnic relations, and deep-seated distrust continue to plague its relationship with Sudan.

Despite a peace agreement in 2005 that failed to adequately deliver “diversity in unity” and eventually led to the creation of an independent South Sudan, the region remains a tinderbox ready to ignite. The north-south split did not resolve many of the region’s long-standing conflicts.

The U.S. has played an active role for over three decades and recently appointed a new envoy, Ambassador Donald Booth. Here are the issues he’ll be facing:

While all of these challenges directly affect the near-term prospects for peace in the region, the continuing violence in Darfur, South Kordofan, and the Blue Nile should not be ignored. The region’s future remains dependent upon the resolutions to the conflicts and the roles that both Khartoum and Juba play in prolonging the violence.

See also “Sudan and South Sudan: Failed Talks Require New Strategy.”

Alexandria Lane is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please click here.