Today, the Enough Project released a new report, Weapons of Mass Corruption: How corruption in South Sudan’s military undermines the world’s newest country. This fifth installment of the Political Economy of African Wars Series describes the system of corruption within the South Sudanese army (the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, SPLA). The report shows how corruption within the army is part of the larger system of violent kleptocracy in South Sudan which perpetuates conflict and the commission of atrocity crimes against civilians.
As the report notes, competitive corruption surrounding control of resources, particularly among military actors, has been a defining feature of South Sudan’s system of violent kleptocracy for many years. When the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) emerged as the leading political and military group in pre-independent and then independent South Sudan, battlefield alliances and loyalties contributed to the formation of powerful and problematic patron-client networks. For a brief time in South Sudan, when there was oil money, the system of armed and previously violent competition was stable or played out in political, not military, contexts. However, the loss of oil money in recent years and ultimately the large-scale economic collapse that has both contributed to violence and been worsened by the violence in South Sudan, has caused the power networks to disintegrate and the violence and competition for money, control of the state, and military dominance to intensify.
Click here to read the report.
The Sentry is an initiative of the Enough Project and Not On Our Watch (NOOW), with its implementing partner C4ADS.