Fletcher in the News

Old Rivalries Reignited a Fuse in South Sudan: WPF's Alex de Waal Comments in NYT

The New York Times

Alex de Waal

Rebels have marched into Bor, the site of a 1991 massacre.

Long before South Sudan became a nation, while it was still in the throes of one of Africa’s longest civil wars, fighters tied to a leader named Riek Machar stormed through the city of Bor in 1991, killing 2,000 fellow southerners in an attack that would lay bare the deep divisions in this impoverished land.

Since then, the people of South Sudan have had periods of peace, compromise and even shared jubilation at the birth of their nation in 2011. Mr. Machar himself became vice president, apologizing for the massacre.

But there was never a real and lasting reconciliation between the factions threatening to pull this new nation apart, and on Tuesday fighters allied with Mr. Machar charged into Bor once again…

…Instead of governing through strong institutions, many power brokers and generals in this nation still essentially command their own forces, their loyalties to the government often determined by their cut of national oil revenues.

“It is an extortion racket with bargaining ongoing on a regular basis, with either violence or the threat of violence” as a form of negotiation, said Alex de Waal, executive director of the World Peace Foundation at the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

Read the full article

Follow us on Twitter