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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 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.

Podcast / Africa

Behind the Front Lines in Ethiopia’s Tigray

This week on The Horn, Alan Boswell talks to Declan Walsh, Chief Africa Correspondent for The New York Times, about the dramatic events he witnessed firsthand in Ethiopia’s Tigray war. 

Podcast / Africa

Does a Better Decade Lie Ahead for South Sudan?

This week on The Horn, Alan Boswell welcomes Dr. Luka Biong Deng Kuol, a South Sudanese former minister and academic, to reflect on South Sudan’s trajectory since achieving independence ten years ago and whether it can still change course toward a more stable future.

Op-Ed / Africa

South Sudan's Dismal Tenth Birthday

The world's youngest country needs an overhaul, Crisis Group Interim Vice President and Africa Program Director Comfort Ero and South Sudan Senior Analyst Alan Boswell write in Foreign Affairs.

Originally published in Foreign Affairs

Podcast / Africa

Ten Years of South Sudanese Statehood

This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh talk to Alan Boswell, senior analyst for South Sudan, for an in-depth look at South Sudanese statehood ten years after independence.