South Sudan

As one of the world’s newest countries, it appears that the time of celebration for South Sudanese citizens has come to an untimely end, as fears of a full-fledged civil war loom overhead.

More than 1,000 people are believed to have lost their lives as a result of escalating tensions between their President, Salva Kiir and his ousted VP, Riek Machar. The official line is that tribal war threatens to tear the oil rich nation apart – with Kiir hailing from the majority faction, the Dinka and Marchar from the second largest, the Nuer.

The black gold is a significant factor in the brewing friction. Since gaining their independence from Sudan in 2011, the government has been overwhelmingly occupied with figuring out how to export oil. The BBC reported that there have been a few small armed rebellions, border clashes and the like, since their secession. James Copnal from the BBC has stated that the “crisis is essentially a political crisis that has since taken on, in part, an ethnic dimension, and that’s because the politicians have ethnic power bases.”

Both Kiir and Marchar have engaged in political finger pointing with the expelled VP accusing Kiir of weak leadership and an inability to confront corruption. Sudanese President Omar-al Bashir recently visited South Sudan’s capital for peace talks with President Kiir and it’s been reported that China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi aims to speak with both factions to reach a swift end to the aggression. According to the BBC, China is a major investor in South Sudan’s oil industry.

Nearly 200,000 people are believed to have evacuated their homes, fleeing tribal warfare – possibly the beginnings of genocide. Further BBC investigations reveal that the Nuer (Marchar’s bloc) have taken control of the towns of Bor and Bentiu, the capital of the oil-producing Unity State. Moreover the report claims The country is awash with guns after the decades of conflict and there is a history of tension between rival ethnic groups, which politicians could whip up if they believe that could help them gain, or remain in, power.”  Amidst fears of intensification, the UN has allegedly requested reinforcements for the 7,500 troops already on the ground, while stating they will stay the course to protect the lives of the innocent.

Seemingly unproductive East African mediation efforts involving both warring parties have gone down in the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. Regarding US intervention The Daily Beast reports the Obama administration is… warning Machar that the U.S. will look to punish him and his side of the conflict if he marches on Juba [the South Sudanese capital] and takes control of the government by force.” National Security Staff Spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden also warned Marchar, “The United States will deny support and work to apply international pressure to any elements that use force to seize power.”

The Beast’s examination of the conflict suggests Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, may be the newly founded country’s last hope for a ceasefire.

“Experts say the only actor who may have influence over Marchar is Omar al-Bashir, the indicted war criminal…President of Sudan and has a long history of making deals with Marchar.”

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  • BeanBean

    I just don’t understand why these things are still happening. Tribal conflicts, in 2014?? I would like to think that citizens of a country would think of themselves in terms of South Sudanese, instead of tribes, especially when everyone is black. Hopefully they find some way of solving this conflict without even more people having to die. I would love nothing more than to see Africa become a continent of 1st world countries, but for this to happen the unnecessary violence must end, and economic opportunities need to be created.

    • BeanBean

      I’m not sure why people are upset over me saying that countrymen fighting amongst themselves because of ethnic/tribe is stupid. Prosperity cannot happen when people are busy fighting over the little scraps they have. Without working together to solve problems peacefully, nothing good can be accomplished.

  • Sky

    That was supposed to be a +1 BeanBean, sorry ;) I totally agree. It’s just tragic…

  • SayWhat

    I think that there are some (white) puppet masters behind this conflict, so sad.

  • stef

    I think the reason why some people might get upset is because no offense its both naive and uninformed. The #1 thing we as a people in north america need to do is educate ourselves and not believe every western media crib note article on conflicts in Africa. Most likely written by a white people sitting behind a desk a thousand miles away.

    The truth of this conflict has less to do with a another so called tribal conflict between those savage africans and more about a power grab of the few with guns over the oil resources. the article faila to point out that less than 5 yrs ago these same “tribes” fought alongside each other for independence.

    Another thing which i believe is very naive is this myth that all racial groups work with each other except black people. Its a myth!! ethic groups work with each other not racial groups. The japanese hate the chinese even though they are the same racial group and skin tone. the Indians dont work people from nepal even though they are both the same color and from the same region. even white people yes white people have conflict just look at conflicts in russia, the basque movement in spain, how about the war between the irish and english and the independence movement from the Scottish “tribe” over the English.

    It doesnt matter if its 2014 or 2104 , the world is not a fairy tale of why we cant all get along but a reality of people will always fight over resources no matter the color or region.

  • WhatIThink

    This is nothing more than divide and conquer which is still alive and well in 2014. So one group of South Sudanese are fighting another over oil? Really? That is like saying one group of Congolese is fighting another over Coltan. The point is neither group controls the Coltan trade. It is one group of powerless disenfranchised people fighting another group of powerless disenfranchised people pretending to be a revolution. Revolution is when the powerless disenfranchised people rise up against those with the power and wealth, which in this case would be the foreign colonialists who wish to dominate the resources of the country.

    And I am sorry, I have to blame Africans for this nonsense. You mean to tell me in 2014 after 400 years of white folks raping the entire continent, the only people you see fit to fight and kill is each other? This senseless violence is about freedom and liberation as much as gang wars in the slums all over the world is. Both are a result of the same oppressive system locking people into subhuman conditions to the point where they lash out at each other over the most trivial and meaningless nonsense, while the real issues they SHOULD be fighting over are not bothered with. And lets not forget why the South is Christiana and the North is Muslim in the first place. BOTH of those are foreign ideas imposed on the region by force, from Muhammad Ali force raping the formerly Christian Nubians and Sudanese to make them Muslim after killing millions, to the British who killed many more Muslims and promoted Christianity in the South.

    So at the end of the day, these clowns are fighting each other so that foreigners can rape them better. Seriously. This makes absolutely no sense. At the end of the day they will be just as broke and poor as they were before they started this war. War is supposed to be over land and resources, but only in Africa do Africans fight over any old made up beef and not land and resources and stay broke and poor as a result. The only people who benefit are the foreign countries and companies that arm these people in the first place.

    • stef

      “War is supposed to be over land and resources, but only in Africa do Africans fight over any old made up beef and not land and resources and stay broke and poor as a result.”

      last time i checked oil is a resource correct?. if you did research you would learn what this conflict is about rather than believing what the white media wants you to believe. smh

    • WhatIThink

      Yes. Oil is a resource. The town of Bentiu is the epicenter of the conflict and is already within the borders of South Sudan. So if you already control it why are you fighting? But the South Sudanese actually have the technology to build a refinery, which means that any such facilities are built by and most likely run by foreigners, as in the Russians in this case. So the only people who will be dying over this oil are the Africans, while the foreigners will continue to make all the money. Considering that most of the people being killed are tribes living in dirt huts with no weapons, this tells you that clearly this is not about “liberating” Africans from anything. It is about killing Africans and moving them out of the way, which is pretty much what has been going on in most of these civil wars over the last 50 years.