Anatomy of the Largest State Massacre in South Sudan


February 22, 2024 at 3:00 PM Pacific Time
Taper Hall, Room 309K
(Join us in person)

A public lecture by Clémence Pinaud (Associate Professor, Department of International Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington), Center Visiting Scholar

Organized by the USC Dornsife Center for Advanced Genocide Research

In this lecture, Center Visiting Scholar Professor Clémence Pinaud (Indiana University, Bloomington) explores the largest state massacre in South Sudan. The massacre started at dawn on December 16, 2013 and targeted the Nuer, the second largest ethnic group after the Dinka, killing thousands – 15,000 to 20,000 according to Nuer elders. Various Dinka troops were involved in perpetrating atrocities, and Nuer army generals reacted by mounting a rebellion against Dinka President Salva Kiir. The Juba massacre is the origin of the country’s last decade of war. As such, it remains an extremely sensitive topic and is rarely discussed publicly. The massacre is also understudied, and most academic works that mention it cite the three main sources on the massacre (the UN, the African Union, and Human Rights Watch). In this talk, Professor Pinaud will explore in depth what those sources offer and what they lack. She will discuss her research in progress and present new historical evidence based on interviews with survivors and witnesses in order to better understand the massacre.

Image Description: Remains of a house destroyed during the Juba massacre of December 2013. Photo taken by Adriane Ohanesian in the neighborhood of Munuki West on January 19, 2014.

Clémence Pinaud is an Associate Professor at the Department of International Studies of Indiana University, Bloomington. Trained as a historian, she first published articles on South Sudan’s military history, including on war economies, predatory behaviors, and marital practices. For the past decade, her work has focused on genocidal violence in South Sudan with references to Sudan. Her book War and Genocide in South Sudan (Cornell University Press) came out in 2021. In her spare time, she is a printmaker and the co-host of ‘The G-Word: A Podcast on Genocide’, where academics, advocates and survivors discuss why and how genocides occur.


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