Op-Ed / / 06.13.22

Just Security Op-ed: South Sudan: The Road to a Living Hell, Paved with Peace Deals

Note: This op-ed originally appeared in Just Security and was written by John Prendergast, Co-Founder of The Sentry, and US Representative James McGovern (D-MA), Chairman of the House Rules Committee and Co-Chairs the bipartisan Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.

As the international community debates how much and how soon to pressure Ukraine to resume peace talks and consider concessions to end Russia’s full-scale assault, a different kind of conflict illustrates what happens when badly crafted peace deals actually extend – and even worsen – a war. Once hailed as the world’s newest nation, South Sudan has had a series of false starts in its peace process since civil war erupted in 2013, just two years after its independence. The standard tools for reconstructing a war-torn country — power-sharing deals and elections — have failed. A violent kleptocracy has captured the state and is bleeding the nation’s resources dry in every way imaginable, exacerbating conditions of extreme violence, repression, famine, and a lack of health care, education, and employment. In its mere 11 years of existence, South Sudan has now become the most corrupt country in the world...

Click here to read the full op-ed.