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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

South Sudan: The Untold Story

In July 2011, South Sudan gained independence and became the world’s newest country. Yet just two-and-a-half years after this momentous decision, the country was in the grips of renewed civil war and political strife. 

On 8 July 2016, the Rift Valley Institute and the Norwegian Embassy launched South Sudan: The Untold Story from Independence to Civil War, by Hilde F. Johnson.


This book, based on the author’s experience as a Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan from July 2011 until July 2014, provides an unparalleled insider’s account of South Sudan’s descent from the celebrations of July 2011 to the outbreak of the conflict in December 2013 and the early phase of the fighting. 

Johnson’s access to contacts at the highest levels of government, accompanied by her knowledge of the country and its history, make this a unique eyewitness account of the turbulent first three years of the world’s newest—and yet most fragile—country.

In the light of the current crisis, the current peace agreement in South Sudan, and the political, social and economic impact of the crisis on the region, the question remains: What is the way forward for South Sudan?


John Ryle
Rift Valley Institute


Hilde F. Johnson

Jok Madut Jok
The Sudd Institute

Elizabeth Ashamu Deng
Amnesty International

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