After decades of civil war, the people of southern Sudan voted to secede from the north in an attempt to escape the seemingly endless violence. On declaring independence, South Sudan was one of the least developed places on earth, but with the ability to draw upon significant oil reserves worth $150 million a month, the foundation for a successful future was firmly in place. How, then, did the state of the new nation deteriorate even further, to the point that a new civil war broke out two years later?
Today, with both Sudans still hostage to the aspirations of their military and political leaders, how can their people escape the violence that has dominated the two countries’ recent history? By giving voice to those who, after the break-up of Sudan, have had to find ways to live, trade and communicate with one another, Jok Madut Jok provides a moving insight into a crisis that has only rarely made it into our headlines. Breaking Sudan is a meticulous account, analyzing why violence became so deeply entrenched in Sudanese society and exploring what can be done to find peace in two countries ravaged by war.
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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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