Clashes in Wau: A Testament to Fragility of Ethnic Relations in South Sudan

The Sudd Institute

Author: Jok Madut Jok

Organization: The Sudd Institute

Type: Weekly Reviews

Date: 25/12/2012


Publication Summary

Recently, between December 8th and 21st, Wau town, the capital city of Western Bahr el-Ghazal and South Sudan’s second most ethnically diverse state, witnessed tragic and shocking events of extreme violence between the Dinka and the Fertit. It should also be noted at the outset that Wau used to be the provincial capital of the whole Bahr el-Ghazal region, which was divided into the current four states of Western Bahr el-Ghazal, Northern Bahr el-Ghazal, Warrap and Lakes. The events and the uncompromising level of brutality have been shocking and painful as they came after some years of calm and progress in terms of development, ethnic coexistence and service improvement since the inauguration of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). 


This weekly review attempts to put these events in the context of South Sudan’s recent past, describes the human toll and what needs to be done to avoid the repeat of such events anywhere in the country.



Jok Madut Jok's Biography

Jok Madut Jok is cofounder of the Sudd Institute. Born and raised in Sudan, Jok studied in Egypt and the United States. He is trained in the anthropology of health and holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Jok recently joined the Government of South Sudan as undersecretary in the Ministry of Culture and Heritage. He was a J. Randolph Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace and a fellow at the Rift Valley Institute. He is a Professor in the Department of History at Loyola Marymount University in California, from which he is on an extended leave. He has also worked in aid and development, first as a humanitarian aid worker and has been a consultant for a number of aid agencies. He is the author of three books and numerous articles covering gender, sexuality and reproductive health, humanitarian aid, ethnography of political violence, gender-based violence, war and slavery, and the politics of identity in Sudan. His book Sudan: Race, Religion and Violence, was published in 2007. Jok is co-editor of The Sudan Handbook, 2010.


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