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South Sudan: The Untold Story from Independence to Civil War

South Sudan: The Untold Story from Independence to Civil War
Hilde F Johnson

Foreword by: Archbishop Desmond Tutu

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In July 2011, South Sudan was granted 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. Hilde F. Johnson served as 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 and, as such, she was witness to the many challenges which the country faced as it struggled to adjust to its new autonomous state. In this book, she provides an unparalleled insider's account of South Sudan's descent from the ecstatic celebrations of July 2011 to the outbreak of the disastrous conflict in December 2013 and the early, bloody phase of the fighting. Johnson's frequent personal and private contacts at the highest levels of government, accompanied by her deep 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.

Author Info

Hilde F. Johnson was the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (2011-2014). She has since served as a Member of the UN Secretary General's High Level Panel for the Review of UN Peace Operations. From 2007-2011 Hilde F. Johnson was Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF, where she was in charge of the organisation's humanitarian operations, crisis response and security issues. She is currently a Senior Visiting Fellow at Norwegian Institute for International Affairs (NUPI). As Minister for International Development of Norway (1997-2005) Hilde F. Johnson was in charge of development policies and programmes, and was a key player in brokering the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) for Sudan in 2005. She is the author of Waging Peace in Sudan: The Inside Story of the Negotiations That Ended Africa's Longest Civil War.


‘From the West, we observe countries of civil war, famine, and institutional degradation with a bewildered, hopeless eye. Hilde Johnson takes us inside one of the world's sketchiest countries. South Sudan. Its challenges, collapses, proxy interventions, and the courage of its hope. She's been at the centre of it, and has candidly written an eye-opening exploration of its history, political manoeuvring, and its brave people's journey forward.’ – Sean Penn

‘This devastating insider account by the former UN Special Representative in South Sudan of the corruption and bad governance that have brought the world's newest state to its knees provides a vital service not only to the truth, but to the people of South Sudan.’ - Christopher Clapham, Centre of African Studies, University of Cambridge

‘Those engaged with Sudan and South Sudan for decades are all asking fundamental questions about how the world’s youngest nation go from celebrating its freedom in 2011 to plunging into the abyss three years later.  Hilde Johnson’s in-depth analysis leaves no stone unturned in her search for answers in this excellent and well-researched book. South Sudan: The Untold Story tells it all – with sharp observation, honesty and uncompromising objectivity. It is a must read for anyone interested in Africa and the fate of South Sudan, as it stands on the brink of state implosion.’  – John Prendergast 

“In 2011 South Sudan became the world's newest nation. I was among those who celebrated with the people who had endured and lost so much. It was a jubilant time. But instead of the longed for peace and justice, there came mayhem; massacres and atrocities of the worst kind. How could the leaders, liberators of South Sudan betray themselves and their people? Hilde F. Johnson was there. In South Sudan: The Untold Story, she gives us an inside account. With insight and uncommon objectivity, she details the corruption and greed for power that brought this hope-filled, newborn nation into catastrophe. This is an invaluable, outstanding book.” – Mia Farrow

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

ISBN: 9781784536442
Publication Date: 29 Jun 2016
Number of Pages: 304
Height: 216
Width: 135

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