South Sudan: Do We Have a Culture of Peace?
Author: Jok Madut Jok
Organization: The Sudd Institute
Type: Weekly Reviews
Recently the government of Angola and UNESCO convened a conference, “Pan African Forum on the Sources and Resources for a Culture of Peace” in Luanda, Angola. This conference, which was attended by scholars, government officials, culture specialists from UNESCO, teachers and representatives of women and youth networks from across Africa, has spurred a question about whether South Sudan, a new country that is plagued by conflict, could embrace this relatively new movement as a possible way of mending ethnic relations that were wrecked by liberation wars. Are there any valuable resources that can be harnessed to help find a homegrown cultural philosophy that could be deployed for peace?
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.