Dominance without Legitimacy: Tong Akeen Ngor’s Reign in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State

Submitted by Katie Lazaro on 12 June, 2024

Tong Akeen Ngor, the governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal state, South Sudan, has consolidated his grip on power by buying support, detaining members of the opposition, and ingratiating himself with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir. Tong Akeen, however, lacks popularity. The state has traditionally been an SPLM stronghold, and he is seen as an NCP interloper from the north.

Changing Lakes State? Rin Tueny’s Inclusive Deterrence Approach in Practice

Submitted by Katie Lazaro on 6 November, 2023

Rin Tueny has achieved success in pacifying parts of Lakes state, including the Greater Rumbek area. His methods, however, have prioritised security and deterrence over human rights and legal norms. Consequently, there is little meaningful institutional oversight. While Lakes state may appear to be a ‘success’ story, a relapse into turmoil is possible.

Manhiem’s Mission: Power and Violence in Warrap State

Submitted by Katie Lazaro on 27 October, 2023

Situation Update: Warrap state, South Sudan

Warrap is the birthplace of President Salva Kiir and the seat of his power. The state is home to many of the leading generals and politicians in his coalition, including—most notably—Akol Koor Kuc. Akol Koor controls Warrap state, and Governor Manhiem Bol Malek wields power by remaining in Koor’s good graces.  Manhiem has used many of his predecessor’s methods and, like his predecessor, he has not been successful in quelling dissent and intercommunal clashes.

Jemma’s War: Political Strife in Western Equatoria

Submitted by Lionel Kosirnik on 16 October, 2023

Situation Update: Western Equatoria, South Sudan

Since 2021, politics in Western Equatoria has become increasingly ethnicized, with heightening tension between the Azande and Balanda. The situation has been inflamed by the political strife between Jemma Nunu Kumba, the speaker of South Sudan’s Transitional National Legislative Assembly, and the opposition-party governor of Western Equatoria state, Alfred Futuyo Karaba. Tensions are high as armed troops from both the government forces and SPLA-IO patrol the state capital, Yambio, and state politicians amass war chests.

Pay Day Loans and Backroom Empires: South Sudan’s Political Economy since 2018

Submitted by Lionel Kosirnik on 3 October, 2023

Though elections are now postulated for next year, South Sudan remains in crisis. Conflict continues to scar the country, and climatic shocks exacerbate already acute resource scarcity, leaving approximately 76 per cent of South Sudan’s population surviving on humanitarian assistance. The regime of South Sudanese President Salva Kiir survives by diverting revenues in three key areas—oil production, humanitarianism, and loans from international financial institutions—to the benefit of an elite class in Juba, but at the cost of the immiseration of the people of South Sudan.

All Alone in the Governor’s Mansion: Sarah Cleto’s Travails in Western Bahr el Ghazal State

Submitted by Katie Lazaro on 29 August, 2023

Situation Update: Western Bahr el Ghazal, South Sudan

Sarah Cleto’s tenure as the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLA-IO) governor of Western Bahr el Ghazal is in trouble. Despite her grassroots popularity, members of the opposition are calling for her removal. Attempts to replace Cleto, however, have been stalled by internal power struggleshighlighting the complexities of Western Bahr el Ghazal’s ethnic politics.

An Iron Fist in Lakes State: Law, Order, and Volatility on the Margins

Submitted by Katie Lazaro on 18 July, 2023

Situation Update: Lakes state, South Sudan

Since his appointment as governor of Lakes state in June 2021, Rin Tueny Mabor has transformed the area from one of the most troubled in South Sudan to one of the most secure. His heavy-handed approach, however, has drawn controversy with allegations of human rights violations.

A Pause Not a Peace: Conflict in Jonglei and the GPAA

Submitted by Katie Lazaro on 15 May, 2023

Situation Update: South Sudan

A reshuffle of Jonglei’s state government is underway, precipitated by the out-going leadership’s inability to quell chronic armed violence and raiding in the state.. While the current rainy season will prevent large-scale raiding in the coming months, attacks on humanitarian convoys and low-level raiding continue, with women and children abducted.

Upper Nile Prepares to Return to War

Submitted by Katie Lazaro on 20 March, 2023

Situation Update: South Sudan

Upper Nile is on the precipice of renewed armed conflict. After a lull in violence in the past two months, armed groups are mobilizing for possible confrontation as Johnson Olonyi’s Agwelek forces reposition themselves near key ports on the White Nile, and SPLA-IO and Nuer White Army forces mobilize youth in northern Jonglei and southern Upper Nile.