Since South Sudan established its independence in 2011, it has been plagued with conflict. Particularly in December of 2013, President Salva Kiir and his deputy clashed and rebel groups emerged. Within the month, thousands were killed and 800,000 fled to UN bases established around the country. Its economy tanked as oil production fell. In December, the UN Council decided to increase peacekeepers in South Sudan but their efforts have been stalled.
Recently, the conflicts have continued. Mass killings in villages have been ethnically motivated. Revenge killings have been a popular course of action. Rebels have taken over one of the nation’s Universities and have hindered the work of UN peacekeepers. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide have recently visited South Sudan and reported back that that recent attacks has “changed the trajectory” of the nation. Radio stations have been used to encourage violence against government supporters. The two are pursuing the UN to actively end the violence in the nation.
As tensions rise, the nation has become ethnically divided and sexual violence has started to increase. The Secretary-General’s Special Advisor has specifically called out to the leaders of South Sudan to ensure those under their power do not cause human rights violations. Furthermore, the UN World Food Programme has been hindered by violence taking place on transportation routes to refugee camps. Because of this, some refugees have begun traveling to search for food and other life necessities. They have resorted to selling off whatever valuables they still have and burning wood, that was supplied as building equipment, to produce charcoal in which they sell. As a result, malnutrition rates among refugees have greatly increased.
How do you think the UN will step up and try to prevent the impending catastrophe that will threaten the nation? Do you think it is too late or can this nation be salvaged?
With all the resources that the UN has in its grasp, I feel that there could still be hope for the newly independent South Sudan. However, if the UN does not act quickly, South Sudan will quickly be lost to the rivalries occurring within the country. Although the UN has already tried to intervene and increase peacekeepers within the country, this effort is not enough. The main goal of the UN is to bring all nations to peace and development, and in this situation the UN might need to work around the barriers placed by the violence in order to provide aid to the people within South Sudan. Food seems to be the most important necessity that the people are lacking, so the UN needs to find some way around the normal routes that are plagued with violence. Without an increased attempt by the UN to intervene and stop the fighting, South Sudan’s independence will quickly be lost.