On March 1st, The Institute of World Politics hosted a discussion on South Sudan entitled “South Sudan: State of Affairs, New Prospects, and Needs of a New Nation.” The lecture, given by the State Minister for Health and Environment, Eastern Nile for the Republic of South Sudan, the Honorable Jehan Mechak Deng, opened with a conversation on the 2005 Peace Agreement, the history of Sudan, and the creation of South Sudan.
According to Ms. Deng, conflicting identities were the main reason for the cycles of violence and ultimate peace agreement in Sudan. Historically, the predominantly Muslim north felt entirely separate from the mainly Christian south, leading to major conflicts and ultimately the 2005 peace deal and separation of North and South Sudan.
Ms. Deng concluded that the people of Sudan deserve better — better identification and better opportunities. Since South Sudan lies in a conflict zone where terrorist groups have been on the periphery, it is particularly crucial to develop the country. With a sustainable government, they can prevent the expansion of terrorism. Given its tensions and conflict, Ms. Deng believes that the best option for South Sudan is to empower the people through education and proper governance.