Tag Archives: Ethiopia

Roundup of recently published work

I’ve left the blog untended for too long.  In case you missed them, here are four recent articles I have authored or co-authored about this eventful time:

November: Historian Douglas Johnson, geographer Matthew Pritchard and I wrote ‘After the Khartoum Agreement: Boundary Making and the 32 States in South Sudan,’ a briefing published by the Rift Valley Institute.  While a new national government and revised security arrangements are the focus of South Sudan’s September 2018 peace deal, the accord also establishes two new commissions to decide the number of states and their boundaries. We discuss the history of boundary-making in South Sudan, and the prospects for the new commissions to resolve the underlying disagreements.

September: I discuss what is new (and not) in the September 2018 peace agreement in South Sudan, consider why the government agreed to the deal, and explain the agreement’s risks in this USIP briefing.

August: Payton Knopf and I discuss the South Sudan mediation context, and the evolving roles of Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia in the process.  And earlier in the month, with serious deficiencies in the draft agreement still in the (as then unsigned) text, I warn ‘that any agreement, should, at minimum, not make things any worse. If not corrected, certain provisions in the agreement may directly spur new violence,’ in an op-ed for The Hill.


Ethiopia and the South Sudanese Civil War

The journal e-International Relations published my article, ‘Ethiopia and the South Sudanese Civil War,’ which identifies and discusses Ethiopia’s strategic interests in South Sudan.  Read more here.

The need to outline expectations: how the international community should support South Sudan’s revitalization forum

Without setting clear expectations for the upcoming peace forum, the international community risks allowing the regional mediation to fail, exacerbating the conflict in South Sudan.

South Sudan faces an existential crisis. More than four million people – between a third and half of the population – are displaced from their homes. Nearly eight million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.  The economy is in tatters. After almost four years of civil war, conflict has devolved into fighting across multiple fronts.

In an attempt to address the ongoing crisis, the Horn of Africa’s regional organisation, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), initiated the High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) in June. The forum is intended to revive an effectively defunct 2015 peace accord, the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS), which collapsed following fighting in Juba in July 2016 between government forces and the armed opposition loyal to former First Vice President Riek Machar.


Read more at: https://www.chathamhouse.org/expert/comment/how-support-south-sudan-s-high-level-revitalization-forum

Why doesn’t South Sudan’s refugee exodus spur East Africa to action?

Migration crises in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa reconfigured global politics. So why – as the millionth South Sudanese took refuge in Uganda earlier this year, and with the total number of South Sudanese refugee and asylum seekers now more than two million – is there no comparable shift in the political posture of East African states?

Read more here.

Identifying Conditions for Success: the Revitalization Forum

The United States Institute of Peace published my briefing on the High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF), intended to revive the stalled 2015 peace agreement in South Sudan.  I offer recommendations for the international community in anticipation of the launch of the HLRF, suggesting its success hinges on clarifying serious ambiguities that exist in its design, including the questions of who will participate and the extent of the agenda.  Read more here.

Considering the future of U.S. relations with South Sudan

The leading U.S. government voices on South Sudan will soon be out of office. Over the last eight years, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power and USAID Administrator (and formerly, Special Assistant to President Obama and Senior Director at the National Security Council) Gayle Smith have given the South Sudan file prominence and attention in Washington that the South Sudanese government scarcely appreciates. To the long list of things in flux in American foreign policy in 2017, we can probably add: a decline in U.S. attention towards South Sudan.

Many in the increasingly repressive and intolerant Juba government were quick to publicly gloat at the election of Donald Trump. The defeat of the Democrats was further occasion to express disdain at the Obama administration and what Juba perceives as its championing of policies unjust to South Sudan.

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