In this article Raymond Van Neste writes about the extent and atrocities in South Sudan and offers a glimpse into the reality of the people’s lives in this part of Africa.
The article also looks at the consequences of the war in South Sudan. The amount of human suffering resulting from the war has meant that both human development and also the country’s sustainability and development are put on hold indefinitely.
Continuously, people are losing their lives on a daily basis and this situation which is not different to some other countries around the world where people are the victims is without doubt a terrible tragedy of our world today.
Raymond Van Neste
12 July 2018
South Sudan – what’s going on there?
In the region of Africa known as South Sudan, situated in the centre of Africa, the number of people who have died during the last two decades as a result of war, violence and hunger has totalled more than 1.5 million people. And yet this terrible war with all of the consequences just continues regardless, in today’s world.
Wars like this, deny a country’s people a positive chance to develop their country. This denial is shameful because the people in this part of Africa want peace and want their families to be safe and free from fear, violence, hunger and malnutrition.
In 2011, South Sudan gained freedom from Sudan and became an independent country. This process of achieving independence had already begun in 2005. It was hoped that the civil war in this country would come to an end and independence and freedom from dominance and neglect (from the government of Sudan in Khartoum) would finally become a reality.
In 2013, the president Salva Kiir Mayardit ‘fell out’ with the Vice President Riek Machar. It was believed that there was a plan to oust the president. The Vice-President Riek Machar was accused of offences against the South Sudan government and the result was that the president sacked his entire cabinet. The consequences of this were that civil war was, once again about to take hold.
In 2015, there was a peace agreement with both sides. The intention was to end the civil war. However, Conflicts and violence once again took hold and the agreement was not long lasting.
There are two main ethnic groups in South Sudan. The Nuer and the Dinka. Salva Kiir is an ethnic Dinka and this is the country’s largest group. The vice president who was sacked, Riek Machar, is a part of the Nuer ethnic group. The Nuer is the second largest group. Both of these groups along with smaller ones are the main groups who live there on a daily basis.
At the present moment both the Nuer and Dinka continue in their conflict with each other. Also, and unfortunately, the ethnic struggle is made even worse because of a continuous conflict with the main government in Khartoum over the ownership of oil.
It is believed that one of the reasons why atrocities, fighting and killings are allowed to continue indefinitely is because of a lack of people who are unwilling to come forward and give testimony against the perpetrators for fear of retribution against them or their families. And so their is a mind-set of mindless violence and killings which never comes to an end.
In answer to the question: What is going on there? The last word should go to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, who says: “The human cost of the conflict has reached epic proportions. The conflict is purging South Sudan of the people who should be the greatest resource of a young nation. They should be building the country, not fleeing it.” See: article on the UNHCR website: ‘Grandi says South Sudan’s leaders must restore peace and hope to ‘broken’ people’.
Raymond Van Neste’s blog: ‘Learn English by Thinking Globally’