Oil, security and community engagement

A collection of essays on China’s growing role in South Sudan

Independence in South Sudan has brought tangible benefits to only a small minority of people. Pervasive violent conflict, driven by local and regional factors, is arguably the country’s most pressing challenge. While conflict dynamics are rooted in local, national, and regional factors, international actors can have an impact, which can be positive in some cases and more negative in others.

Saferworld’s recent research has shown that China’s growing commercial engagement and development assistance to South Sudan will undoubtedly have implications for peace and conflict dynamics. Whether China will play a positive role in South Sudan’s development depends significantly on the level of expertise among Chinese policymakers on conflict dynamics in South Sudan, which at the moment remains limited, with few Chinese scholars afforded the opportunity to conduct independent field research in South Sudan.

This report goes some way towards filling this knowledge gap, with joint research having been carried out by Chinese, South Sudanese, and other international researchers in South Sudan. This collection intends to create a better understanding of conflict issues and people-centred security in South Sudan among a wider set of Chinese actors, including those in the commercial sector. It aims to identify policy recommendations for how China can better support long-term peace and stability in the country.

A second aim of this report is to encourage a deeper understanding among South Sudanese civil society on the nature of China’s engagement in South Sudan so it is better able to hold the Government of South Sudan accountable for its relations with China.

And third, by creating a space for dialogue and a process of discussion and interaction among this broad array of researchers, new relationships will be built, giving South Sudanese researchers direct channels to the Chinese policy community, thus helping to shape China’s conflict-sensitive engagement in South Sudan.


石油、安全与社区互动 - 中国在南苏丹日益增长的作用








“These contributions helpfully underline the need to engage with but also go beyond the central state in Juba, as part of a multi-tiered approach connecting local relations to the broader national and international political and corporate processes these are bound up in.”

Daniel Large