South Sudan gained its independence from Muslim (North) Sudan in 2011 after decades of hot and cold Civil War. The world rejoiced. The Arab North would no longer be oppressing the non-Arab, non-Muslim South. Unfortunately the regions and tribes of the newly independent country had been united mostly by their opposition to the North. The new country, unfortunately, is still riven by tribal and other sub-national rivalries, some older than the bloody conflict with the North. Other questions arose. How would the new country define itself? How could it reconcile its jealous components? How could it redirect its peoples’ energies in a manner consistent with the modern world?
Traditionally in South Sudan, cattle provide the only means of employment. But cattle raising all too frequently includes cattle raiding – and the casualties can be massive. A USAID project targeted 220 youth in the Sobat Corridor of South Sudan with a relevant and sustainable livelihood alternative to cattle-raiding. What were the obstacles to success? Were there quantifiable, sustainable successes that could be built upon?