Preventing Mass Atrocities in Africa: The Case of the Two Sudans

  • Francis M. Deng


This chapter argues that preventing mass atrocities in Africa requires addressing the root causes of conflicts. It focuses on the experience of Sudan–South Sudan, which is, in many ways, a microcosm of Africa. The chapter argues that a crisis of identity lies at the heart of conflicts in the two Sudans, reflecting their failure to manage diversity constructively. As in all such conflicts, the root cause is not the mere existence of differences, but the policy implications of those differences. Political, economic, social, and cultural practices have created a dichotomy between “in-groups”, who enjoy the full rights of citizenship, and “out-groups”, who are marginalised and denied, or perceive themselves to be denied, these rights. The chapter argues that peaceful and sustainable conflict resolution in the divided Sudan—as in other countries facing identity conflicts—must seek, therefore, to ensure inclusivity, equality, and human dignity for all, without any discrimination.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francis M. Deng
    • 1
  1. 1.Former Permanent Representative of South Sudan to the United NationsNew YorkUSA

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