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Alan Boswell

Senior Analyst, South Sudan

Crisis Group Role

Alan Boswell is Crisis Group’s Senior Analyst for South Sudan. He joined Crisis Group in this role in October 2018.

Professional Background

Alan is a leading expert on the conflict in South Sudan. His analysis appears regularly in the media, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Foreign Policy, Associated Press, and Reuters. He first covered South Sudan's run-up to independence as a journalist in Juba before serving as the Africa correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers and a regular correspondent to Time.

Following the outbreak of South Sudan's civil war, Alan served as a formal advisor and researcher to a number of organisations, including the UN, USAID, US Institute of Peace, European Institute of Peace, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, Folke Bernadotte Academy, Friedrich Egbert Stiftung, and the World Peace Foundation. Alan regularly researched the South Sudan conflict and its armed groups for the Small Arms Survey institute in Geneva and has presented his research at London’s Chatham House. Alan is an associate of the three-year Conflict Research Programme at the London School of Economics.

Select Publications

In The News

9 Aug 2021
There is still no sign of a broader reset in South Sudanese politics [...] instead, the divisions just keep mounting. New York Times

Alan Boswell

Senior Analyst, South Sudan
9 Jul 2021
[South Sudan] is just, unfortunately, in a much worse spot than it was 10 years ago. Whenever I talk with various diplomats from different countries [...] they all fear cutting humanitarian aid to South Sudan would just cause more misery. Both the South Sudanese and the outside world feel a bit stuck at the moment. Al Jazeera

Alan Boswell

Senior Analyst, South Sudan
13 Aug 2020
Disarmament in South Sudan resembles an abusive counterinsurgency operation, not an orderly collection of arms, which the local militias often resist giving up. The New York Times

Alan Boswell

Senior Analyst, South Sudan
8 May 2020
The disagreement between Kiir and Machar has endangered the gains made toward a lasting peace. Reuters

Alan Boswell

Senior Analyst, South Sudan
20 Feb 2020
"[South Sudan president Kiir and former rebel leader Machar] still have much to work through, but Machar was unlikely to extract more significant concessions before forming the government. Reuters

Alan Boswell

Senior Analyst, South Sudan
16 Feb 2020
[In South Sudan] the dispute over the configuration of states became a major impasse blocking the peace process from moving towards a unity government. Al Jazeera

Alan Boswell

Senior Analyst, South Sudan

Latest Updates

Podcast / Africa

Eastern Africa’s Jihadis: The “War on Terror”

In the final episode of a mini-series of The Horn exploring jihadism in East Africa, Alan Boswell speaks with Murithi Mutiga, Mary Harper and Michael Woldemariam about how the post-9/11 global “war on terror” changed the Horn of Africa, and what comes next.

Podcast / Africa

Eastern Africa’s Jihadis: The Big Picture

In this episode of the The Horn’s mini-series exploring jihadism along the Swahili coast, Alan Boswell and Rashid Abdi discuss the connections and competition among jihadist groups in the region and the future prospects for governments to counter their militant movements.

Podcast / Africa

Eastern Africa’s Jihadis: Mozambique

In this episode of The Horn’s mini-series exploring jihadism along the East African coast, Alan Boswell talks to Dr. Adriano Nuvunga about what caused the insurgency in Mozambique to grow and the need for a coordinated regional strategy that addresses its root causes.

Podcast / Africa

Eastern Africa’s Jihadis: Somalia

In this second episode of The Horn’s mini-series exploring jihadism along the Swahili coast, Alan Boswell talks to regional expert Samira Gaid about the evolution of Al-Shabaab and how Somalia can use external stabilisation support more effectively.

Podcast / Africa

Eastern Africa’s Jihadis: The Roots

This special mini-series of Crisis Group’s The Horn explores jihadism along the Swahili coast. In this first episode, Alan Boswell talks to Ngala Chome ​​about the history of militant ideologies in Eastern Africa and how states can better address their growing threat.