Kenya Presidential Press Service / REUTERS

What the United States Got Wrong in South Sudan

Learning From Past Failures to Prevent Future Atrocities

When a peace agreement is signed, the international community typically responds with congratulations, gratitude, and optimism that the deal will stop the fighting. Sometimes, well-wishes are accompanied by commitments of financial support to help the countries involved recover and rebuild. But when the main belligerents in South Sudan’s five-year-long civil war signed a new peace agreement on August 5 in Khartoum, the international response was circumspect at best. The agreement is fundamentally a power-sharing deal between South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar. It resembles a 2015 peace deal between the two sides that failed spectacularly and triggered renewed …

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