Before it gained independence, South Sudan was a part of mainland Sudan. Since before colonial times, the northern part of the country had more of a Muslim population and southern country had a mixed population of Christians and other traditional groups. But in the 1950s the divide turned violent. The Northern region became more powerful and the Southern region became poorer. The two parts began a war which ended in 2005 with an agreement, declaring Sudan a free nation of self governance. The decided voting held in 2011 made them an independent nation.
The Ethnic War:
South Sudan’s Civil War began in 2011, and it is considered as a forgotten conflict, I must say. The country comprises of many diverse groups, with the two majority ethnic groups being the Dinka and the Neur. The new president, Salva Kiir, a Dinka and the Vice President Riek Machar, a Neur led a civil war in the country because of their different caste perspectives.
South Sudan was also unable to celebrate its first birthday because of this unwise act of reckless killings. People were encouraged to take up arms and to slaughter the other group.
Reported in a world report of Human Rights Watch:
Government soldiers killed, raped, and tortured civilians as well as destroyed and pillaged civilian property during counterinsurgency operations in the southern and western parts of the country, and both sides committed abuses against civilians in and around Juba and other areas. An additional 200,000 people were forced to flee their homes, bringing the total displaced to 2.4 million. Those left behind, including people with disabilities, have faced serious abuses.
In November, UN Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng said the ongoing violence had transformed the conflict into an “ethnic war” and warned of a “potential for genocide.”
Hideous Outcomes of the War:
- Attacks on Civilians and Civilian Property
- Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
- Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers
With a thousand plus population affected and children wailing, this country is swinging in between the two groups fighting.
The United States of America had allied itself with this nation, under Obama’s presidency, but such support is not expected from the new president, Donald Trump.
A warm urge to The African Union, United Nations and other helping organizations to please come forward to join this fallen nation to be one again.
In the words on Martin Luther King Jr, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”