On July 9, 2011, the Sudanese, by popular referendum, voted overwhelmingly to create the nation of South Sudan. After years of war, repression and neglect, this event was celebrated around the world. The country's independence was largely viewed as a win for justice. Having long supported efforts to split Sudan into two different countries the United States shared this sentiment and was optimistic about the future of the world’s newest nation. Yet by 2013 South Sudan had plunged again into civil war and chaos as political and ethnic tensions arose. Today, the country is still entrenched in a civil war with 4.4 million having fled their homes, nearly two million people internally displaced and seventy percent of families at risk of famine.
Zach Vertin, worked in South Sudan from 2009-2017 and offers a firsthand account of its creation and the current crisis taking place there in his new book “A Rope from the Sky, The Making and Unmaking of the World’s Newest State”. The book ties together narrative stories from within the country to an investigation of how international actors such as the United States played a role in this unprecedented experiment in state building.
Join Vertin to learn more about how the current conflict in South Sudan has unfolded, what role America played, and the ongoing challenges of statehood as he discusses "A Rope from the Sky."
The author will sign books at the end of the program. A limited number will be available for purchase at the event.
Zach VertinAmerican writer, foreign policy expert, and former diplomat