The U.S. was South Sudan’s most important ally on its path to independence in 2011 and a major player during talks that led to a peace deal in 2015. The agreement collapsed soon after, plunging the country into a wider civil war and a humanitarian crisis that has deepened since.
Joining Alan to look back on America’s role in South Sudan and the Obama administration’s struggles to bring peace to the young country is Jon Temin, Africa director at Freedom House and a former State Department official from 2014 to 2017. He reflects on what the U.S. got wrong in its approach to brokering peace once South Sudan achieved statehood, what factors influenced its policy at critical junctures along the way and why the country’s fate ultimately lies in the hands of the South Sudanese people and regional actors.
As the incoming Biden administration configures its policy priorities in Africa, they also discuss how these takeaways will likely inform future peacemaking efforts on the continent.
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