South Sudan

Speeches Shim

2013 - 2016


Fighting that erupted in the capital, Juba, in December 2013 plunged the Republic of South Sudan into its most severe crisis since it became independent in July 2011 following decades of civil war. Thousands of South Sudanese had been killed or traumatized. More than 2 million people had been displaced internally or fled to neighboring countries as refugees. More than half of the population of South Sudan urgently needed humanitarian assistance.

As a result of the conflict, USAID/South Sudan personnel were evacuated, and USAID/OTI was asked to assist the Mission with the management of USAID/South Sudan Mission’s Viable Support to Transition and Stability (VISTAS) program and help with the strategic shift of the program in light of the new context created by the conflict.


USAID/OTI deployed staff in June 2014 to South Sudan to provide conflict management expertise to USAID/South Sudan’s existing VISTAS program, which is focused on mitigating the further spread of communal violence and rising tensions in critical areas where conflict may have national implications. The program aimed to:

  • Increase space and tools to manage conflict and tensions;
  • Build cross-line interdependency to promote peaceful coexistence;
  • Promote a more informed community; and
  • Engage communities in trauma awareness to lay the foundation for healing and reconciliation.


The VISTAS program supported inter-communal dialogues to manage conflict and tensions, building interdependence between communities and supporting peace messages and key peace actors.

  • VISTAS developed a trauma-awareness program within South Sudanese communities traumatized during decades of war. The goal of this program was to begin building a path toward social cohesion and reconciliation in South Sudan.
  • VISTAS helped build trade relationships to increase interdependence and strengthen inter-communal relationships in conflict-affected locations while strengthening existing local resources and capacities to mitigate conflict through inter- and intra-communal dialogue.


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