Introduction: Negotiating Borders, Defining South Sudan

  • Mareike Schomerus
  • Lotje de Vries
  • Christopher Vaughan
Part of the Palgrave Series in African Borderlands Studies book series (PSABS)


In Maridi, a town near South Sudan’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in 2009 residents judged their situation harshly: “We see ourselves as unlucky because of the kind of border we have,” said a senior church leader.1 He talked about how those living in other towns near the border were benefitting through cross-border trade, through access to services, and through exchange: “Because in Yei, they have an open border with DRC and Uganda; they can improve their trade and education. Same in Kajo Keji and so on. With us here, there is no cross-border trade, no road.” In Maridi, it was not even clear where the country’s border ended and the next began. Nobody from the government in the capital city of Juba seemed to particularly care. Other South Sudanese borders—with the Republic of Sudan, Uganda, or Ethiopia—were much more important.


International Border Society Relation State Elite South Border Northern Neighbor 
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© Christopher Vaughan, Mareike Schomerus, and Lotje de Vries 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mareike Schomerus
  • Lotje de Vries
  • Christopher Vaughan

There are no affiliations available

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