Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 3.57.41 PMA “purely personal power struggle” between South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar could lead to genocide top U.N. Officials said on Friday.

South Sudan became the world’s newest state when it declared independence from Sudan in 2011. Thousands of people have been killed, and more than 1 million have fled their homes – exacerbating ethnic tensions between Kiir’s Dinka people and Machar’s Nuer since December 2013 when fighting began.

On Monday, United States Secretary of State John Kerry threatened sanctions against Machar if he refuses to commit to peace.

“He has a fundamental decision to make. If he decides not to (go) and procrastinates, then we have a number of different options that are available to us,” said Kerry to reporters in Angola’s capital Luanda, his last stop on a nearly week-long trip to Africa.

“Let me make it clear, if there is a total refusal by one party or the other to engage … not only might sanctions be engaged, but there are other serious implications and possible consequences,” he added.

In an interview on Saturday with the Sudan Tribune, Machar was quoted as saying he thought a face-to-face meeting with Kiir could be “counterproductive.” But Kerry noted that Machar didn’t rule out a meeting.

“He expressed some doubts, but he didn’t say he wouldn’t go,” Kerry said, noting that Machar’s wife was in Ethiopia, where the face-to-face talks were meant to take place.

Read more here and here.



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  • Anthony

    All of the people who reduced this conflict to Christian versus Muslim can now take a damn seat.

    • eve-audrey

      Well i think when south sudan separated from sudan it was a muslim vs christian thing but now it is just turning ugly from the inside.
      In central africa it is a muslim vs christian thing though. And south sudan is taking the same route. That’s sick.

    • Anthony

      Between 1956 and the early1980s, the South saw two wars. The first was mainly one set of ethnic groups against the Muslim North, the second was started after then President Nimieri ran out of things to rally his political base, and turned to Islamic fundamentalism for legitimacy. That war targeted the Dinka because the government supported Bagarra (cattle) Arabs against the Dinka. This war also started after Chevron had begun work developing oil resources in the South. My point is that there was a strong religious component to this war, but focusing solely on religion resulted in the Bush administration listening primarily to fundamentalist missionaries instead of people trained in Sudanese history and culture. Obama, like he had done inso many cases, continued the Bush policy.

  • constance

    Black people have a strange affinity for killing each other, which I cant quite understand. Africa is well known for its conflict, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, the Congo, and currently the Central African Republic. I really cant think of a non black region which has seen this much CONTINUOUS ethnic violence against each other. I just don’t get it.

    • eve-audrey

      Well there have been conflicts in eastern europe and some asian countries during the past years you just don’t hear about that very much. Example you’ll hear about boko haram in nigeria but you won’t hear much about the islamists in eastern europe or the philippines.