This Week in South Sudan – Week 1

Tuesday 2 January The Troika (the US, the UK and Norway) called on the armed factions to end all military operations, while threatening to impose individual or group sanctions on those violating the December 2017 cessation of hostility agreement. Radio Tamazuj Factbox: “Protection camp populations in South Sudan” Wednesday 3 January The SPLA claims opposition… Read more »

The Soldier We See

By Julia Welland In contemporary Britain, the figure of ‘The Soldier’ is increasingly visible. S/he (although the figure is, of course, nearly always a ‘he’) appears in documentaries, in art and museum exhibitions, in Armistice Day commemorations, guarding the 2012 Olympics, in ‘boot camp’ exercise regimes, in schools, as the ‘real heroes’ of reality TV… Read more »

Agamben, Hobbes, and Rethinking Security in the Messianic Key

By Sergei Prozorov Contemporary critical security studies increasingly turns to the problematic of political theology. This interest and inquiry into the theological origins of today’s political concepts and categories enables more effective critical interventions in contemporary politics. “Messianism” is one of the less explored aspects of political theology in security studies. While its connotations of… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 51 & 52 

Tuesday 19 December Clashes reported in Lasu area, Central Equatoria State as diplomats began another round of IGAD-led peace talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Wednesday 20 December Volunteers from the “Remembering the Ones We Lost” project continue to gather the names of South Sudan’s uncounted war victims, as the conflict’s official death toll remains unknown…. Read more »

Brief News Update from Week 51

The IGAD-led High Level Revitalization Forum concluded its first phase on 21 December with an Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities, Protection of Civilians and Humanitarian Access. The agreement was signed by the various conflict parties, including GoSS and SPLM (IO), and came into force on 24 December. However, clashes between government and SPLA (IO) forces in… Read more »

Robot Wars

By Ian G. R. Shaw There isn’t a day goes by without predictions—wild, wacky, and horrifying—about the future of warfare. Robots stand at the centre of so many of these prophecies. Although robots have existed for decades, and even longer in the human imagination, recent leaps in artificial intelligence (AI) promise to break with old… Read more »

Inter-group Conflict: The Role of Weak State Structures and Exclusion

Why do non-state groups engage in violent conflict with each other? Non-state conflict has been widespread in several countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, including D.R. Congo, Sudan, Somalia and Burundi. This type of fighting includes both formally and informally organised groups who fight each other without engaging the state, such as Al-Shabaab and the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONFL) in Ethiopia, Christians and Muslims in the Central African Republic, and violence between Birom and Fulani in Nigeria.

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Water Stress and Conflicts in Africa

Water scarcity is widely believed to be a common source of violent conflict. However, in a recent policy brief I wrote with Clionadh Raleigh, we show that a direct water-conflict link is largely refuted by empirical research. In the conventional narrative, it is believed that population growth coupled with scarce water resources will lead to… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 50

Dear Readers, please note that there will be no news update next week. We will be back on Tuesday 2 January with a two-week TWISS update for week 51 and 52. Tuesday 12 December Reuters on the situation in Ganyiel, Unity State: “In war-torn South Sudan, one town nurtures a small-scale peace” Wednesday 13 December… Read more »

War-Making, International Law and Environmental Infrastructure

By: Jeannie L Sowers, Erika Weinthal, and Neda Zawahri The extensive targeting of civilian water and energy infrastructures by a range of state and non-state actors, including regional powers and armed groups, has marked the post-2011 wars in the Middle East and North Africa. The effects on human welfare and ecosystems are long-term and poorly… Read more »