Richard Cockett

War without End

Breaking Sudan: The Search for Peace

By

Oneworld 370pp £25 order from our bookshop

South Sudan has two claims to distinction. It is the world’s newest country and it has pretty much cornered the market in dismal statistics. The possible connection between these two facts is the subject of Jok Madut Jok’s book Breaking Sudan. 

Consider the bleak roll call. At the time it gained independence in 2011, this east African state of about eight million people had a literacy rate of less than 27 per cent and the worst childhood immunisation rate in Africa. A fourteen-year-old girl was more likely to die in childbirth than graduate from high school, almost half the population suffered from malnutrition and millions were living as refugees in various countries around the region. There was, though, something of an excuse for this litany of misery: over fifty years of on-off civil war between the mainly Christian south Sudanese and successive government regimes in Khartoum in the largely Muslim north of Sudan.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Why did the 'bold and determined' Empress Matilda never manage to become Queen regnant? Peter Marshall reviews a n… ,
    • From the Archive: Martyn Bedford on Ian McEwan's 'Atonement' ,
    • In 'Silenced Voices' reports the ongoing story of the human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has been… ,
    • The mystery of Jack the Ripper's identity has long been agonised over. But what do we know about his victims?… ,
    • A piece of Literary Review history from way back in 1983: John Haffenden talks to the great Iris Murdoch. ,
    • Britain’s only travelling lit fest, the Garden Museum Literary Festival is heading to Houghton Hall, Norfolk, for a… ,
    • 'The 19th-century German sage is not my idea of a pleasant travel companion' goes hiking with Friedr… ,