Inside Story

South Sudan: Political or personal?

As president and ex-deputy trade abuse, world’s newest state marks fourth year of independence with little to celebrate.

July 9, 2013 marked a moment of hope for South Sudan when it split from Sudan to become the world’s newest nation. A chance to put behind decades of war and hostilities.

But after a little more than two years of freedom, the country was plunged back into civil war.

Fighting began in the capital Juba in December 2013, when president Salva Kiir accused his sacked deputy Riek Machar of planning a coup.

A report by the UN mission in the country said a recent upsurge in fighting has not only been marked by allegations of “killing, rape, abduction, looting, arson and displacement, but by a new brutality and intensity”.

“The scope and level of cruelty that has characterised the reports suggests a depth of antipathy that exceeds political differences.”

With South Sudan now in the grip of a humanitarian crisis, what can be done to bring peace to this fledgling state?

Presenter: Adrian Finighan


Elias Nyamlell Wakoson – Researcher from the Ebony Center for Strategic Studies, a think-tank promoting good governance in South Sudan.

Eric Reeves – Professor and Sudan historian at Smith College, Massachusetts.