Three years after independence, South Sudan is facing a crisis that threatens to tear the young nation apart. Political clashes, ethnic violence and widespread humanitarian crises are exacerbated by the growing role of social media. What solutions can be found to re-boot the peace process and #DefyHateNow?
On July 8th 2014, the eve of South Sudan’s third anniversary of independence, the Germany Africa Foundation in collaboration with r0g_agency and Talk of Juba will be hosting South Sudan Inside-Out: Rebooting the Peace – #DefyHateNow in Berlin. This event explores the role of social media in aggravating the conflict, yet perhaps providing a path to peace and reconciliation.
Since December 15th 2013, merely two years after its hard won independence, the world’s newest country, South Sudan has hit the public’s attention for all the wrong reasons. Headlines rife with reports of brutal violence, a massive humanitarian crisis and ongoing political chaos question whether true peace is at all possible. Although ceasefires and peace agreements have been been signed by president Salva Kiir Mayardit and his opponent, former vice president Riek Machar, a viable solution for solving the conflict is yet to be found.
We now turn our view to the broader forms of active public interaction with the current situation both inside and outside the country. What role, for example, does the international diaspora play in either fueling the conflict or re-establishing peace? In what may be an increasingly globally manipulated conflict, waged in part by the ubiquity of social media, what are the creative means that can be found to counter hate speech and directed campaigns that incite violence on the ground? How can we harness the power of new media to open up civil society? And what are the chances and challenges that South Sudanese youth see for the future of their country … can they play a stronger, more influential role to #DefyHateNow?
This conference, held in Berlin, will not just be open to those in immediate attendance, but streamed for a global audience. We are aiming to create a truly open discussion, inviting those online from South Sudan and all corners of the world to add their thoughts to the discussion. Follow the video stream live and contribute to the effort to #DefyHateNow. Questions and comments by the online community to the panelists will be moderated live in Berlin by Brett McKenna via Talk of Juba.
Christoph Strässer, German Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid.
Prof. Dr. Leben Nelson Moro, University of Juba
Dr. Leben Nelson Moro is Director of External Relations at the University of Juba. He recieved a Master of Science in Forced Migration and Doctor of Philosophy in Development Studies at Oxford University, UK.
He primarily conducts research on development-induced displacement and resettlement focussing on oil, conflict, and displacement in South Sudan.
Sieta Majok, Co-Founder of Talk of Juba
Sieta Majok is a South Sudanese digital activist based out of Birmingham, UK. One of the primary and most vocal youth activists in the Diaspora, she is the co-founder of Talk of Juba, South Sudan’s only entertainment, lifestyle, and breaking news website.
Sieta has also been active in monitoring hate speech and its role in social media within the context of the growing ethnic conflict in South Sudan, and how it can be used as a path to peace and reconciliation.
Marina Peter, Sudan Forum e.V.
Achwil Biong Arop Kuol, First Secretary, charge d’affaires, Embassy of the Republic of South Sudan in Germany
Dr. h. c. Volker Faigle, Official Envoy of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany to Sudan and South Sudan.
Date: July 8, 2014
Time: 19:00 – 20:30
Unter den Linden 6, 10099. Berlin.
For local times online, please consult the Time Zone Converter!
Join the event also on Facebook or tweet us your thoughts to #DefyHateNow