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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

Conflict Economies on South Sudan’s Borders

South Sudan’s warring parties signed a new peace deal in September 2018, hopefully bringing peace after a protracted and factionalised conflict that began in December 2013. International attention has focused on these elite political rivalries and deals, and their repeated mobilisations of armed recruits and militias throughout the conflicts. There has been little attempt to understand how South Sudan’s people have re-organised their lives to navigate the conflict economy.

This study—part of the Rift Valley Institute’s X-Border Local Research Network, in partnership with Carnegie Middle East Centre and The Asia Foundation—examines the contemporary history of South Sudan’s border with Sudan’s Darfur region. The research documents and explores how men and women work within this local conflict economy, and how regional powers have controlled and exploited migrant and armed labour, markets and livelihoods over several generations of conflict and insecurity.

Based on research in the area in December 2018, the event will help understanding of how local authorities manage militarised labour and food markets, and how local people navigate and conceptualise their precarious livelihoods within this political economy. It will reflect on the implications of borderland conflict economies for South Sudan’s post-agreement reconstruction.



Dr Nicki Kindersley
RVI Senior Consultant Researcher

Joseph Diing Majok
RVI Consultant Researcher

This event is organized in partnership with the Royal African Society.

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