A view on the crisis in South Sudan

01 May 2014

Many commentators have focused on the immediate political conflict that triggered the current crisis. Complementing these insights, this paper aims to draw attention to the web of immediate and deep-seated issues that conspired to create a combustible situation and propelled events forward. These issues also brought into question the sustainability of the path South Sudan was on. At the same time, experience from other newly independent nations suggests that it is possible to overcome fragility. For this, the root causes of the crisis need to be identified, which in turn can help formulate policies to sustainably address South Sudan’s problems.


There was no single cause for the violence; and there is no single silver bullet for sustainably resolving the crisis. Instead, marked, near-simultaneous progress toward a core critical mass of different but interdependent objectives needs to occur. At the same time, cogent sequencing will also be needed.

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