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South Sudan is a sovereign state in east-central Africa, bordered by Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Central African Republic; in 2015, its estimated population exceeded 12,000,000 people. Both the creation and the first years of the sovereign state of South Sudan were marked by the existence and consequences of war. In a wider sense, violent conflicts constituted a formative element for both state building and societal relations, a circumstance that demands a deeper understanding of their context and their impact on the country’s population.

Successive rulers imprinted an understanding of southern Sudan as a difficult administrative area throughout the 20th century, marked by uncontrollable outbursts of violence among the population. Under British colonial rule, social anthropologists, such as Edward ...

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