August 5, 2019

British Ambassador Designate to South Sudan, Chris Trott, joins Alberto Lidji to discuss conflict resolution, power sharing agreements, Ebola and working in the frontlines

British Ambassador Designate to South Sudan, Chris Trott, joins Alberto Lidji to discuss conflict resolution, power sharing agreements, Ebola and working in the frontlines.

 

Chris talks about his career trajectory and the rewarding challenges of being posted to South Sudan, Afghanistan and other precarious settings. He explains why this is important to him and provides advice to others who may be drawn to similar postings while having to juggle family commitments.  Chris is motivated by wanting to make a difference in a conflict environment.

 

He is quick to note that despite the challenges of being posted to South Sudan, these pale in comparison with the hardships the South Sudanese population has to endure.

 

Chris sheds light on the state of affairs in South Sudan and the region. He provides statistics on the death toll from the conflict, along with staggering numbers pertaining to refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). 

 

He then proceeds to discuss the challenges of securing – and maintaining – power sharing agreements and the difficulties of bringing enemies to the negotiating table.

 

Chris notes that the statistics around the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in South Sudan are horrifying. He talks of girls’ education and explains how a girl in South Sudan is more likely to die in child birth than complete secondary school.   The country has one of the highest maternal and child mortality rates in the world.  This is but one element of the myriad of problems facing the country, from high rates of sexual violence in conflict to lack of adequate healthcare, malnutrition, the threat of Ebola and more.

 

Chris notes that “it’s really, really important that we focus on the Sustainable Development Goals, because they are a long way from achieving them here”. 

 

Chris’ key takeaway: The international community has a hugely important and supportive role in trying to help address crises around the world – we need to find ways to offer that support in a way that empowers local partners, local governments and other key stakeholders.

 

Full episode notes, guest bios and useful links are available at Lidji.org  -  Please subscribe to the podcast if you enjoy it. Thank you!

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