November 16, 2019

"Couldn't there be more intercultural exchange OUR way?"

November 13, 2019

Who talks about refugees in Tanzania, and what do they say?

November 10, 2019

#SudanUprising in Copenhagen

June 23, 2019

On 26 June I moderate talks & debate on #SudanUprising in #Copenhagen.

The Sudanese artist Khalid Albaih joins via Skype.

Kindly read Khalid's article a...

Update: Everyday Poetics: Instagramming Life in East Africa in Belgrade

April 26, 2019


April 12, 2019

Owl in Tanzanian Parliament - bad omen for freedom of speech and assembly.

January 30, 2019

On 29 January, when the Tanzanian Parliament (Bunge) was assembled in Dodoma, an owl flew in and watched the assembly. The owl is seen in Tanzanian (e...

''We've died''

January 22, 2019

Bikozulu tells the stories of the people making it through last week's terror attack in Nairobi.

See the Instagram post here

If you ask me, and someti...

FILM: Wakamba Forever

January 21, 2019

Colonianism revisited:

..''a hilarious take on Masaku and McMillan’s first encounter set in the 21st century. From a dramatic re-telling of the Kamba o...

Chuchu: ''We are not the audience. We are the story''.

January 20, 2019

Two important tweet threads (see below) which take point of departure in the New York Times coverage of the Riverside terror attack on 15 January 2019...

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South Sudan analysis by Alex de Waal

Monday, April 13, 2015

Back in 2000, in an international NGO head quarter in Copenhagen, I asked what instantly turned out to be categorised a 'stupid question'. I remember the immidiate feeling of being less clever, less academic, less experienced.  


At that point I had never been to Africa, and the closest I got to post-conflict and peace-building was the grassroot and youth work I did in ex-Yugoslavia. I asked: 'Why are we supporting SPLM/A? What do we expect to happen when soldiers turn politicians? What's the logic?'


In 2005 I went to northern Uganda to work with a civic education programme for South Sudanese refugees, preparing them to return home with some basic knowledge of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between north and south Sudan. Occasionally I would visit Equatoria during those years, and I had my first encounters with SPLA. Like the soldiers demanding lifts for themselves or their relatives when we crossed the border at Kaya. The drunk, angry and always armed soldiers at various checkpoints. Much later, after South Sudan's independence, I met the seriously incompetent who had been granted authority to rebuild the country. I also met some seriously competent, but they were not always in charge.


In this interview at Aljazeera, Alex de Waal discusses how South Sudan, the world’s newest country, was set up to fail. It also seeks to explain the blind support given from international aid organisations and governments to SPLM/A. Somehow, it seems that the needs of those before mentioned came first. Way ahead of the Souths Sudanese population's needs. 


Read and watch here


Photo from Yei Prison in South Sudan (2007). Photo: Pernille Bærendtsen

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PhD Student, MA in African Studies, journalist and former development worker. Heart tilted towards the Balkans & East Africa: Refugees, Peripheries, Imaginaries & Humanitarianism