The Struggles of South Sudan

South Sudan is the world’s newest country, gaining its independence from Sudan in 2011, yet there has been telltale signs within the country that a genocide is in the midst. The internal conflict between the two majority groups, the Dinka and the Nuer has created friction resulting in wanting to destroy one another (Lustig, 2014). And to make matters worse, a heavy famine has struck in South Sudan, leaving hundreds of thousand of adults and children without food and water resulting in many deaths (Lustig, 2014; Wire Services, 2014c). I feel that all of this tension and brutality and the role of scarcity inside the South Sudan have really opened up the country to a destructive genocide. As humans, I feel it is our right to attempt to put an end to this genocide by reinforcing the notions that the Genocide Convention put into place. I know that countries such as the United Kingdom, and the United States might not want to call it genocide, but innocent people are being brutally murdered and starved and they need our help!

The South Sudan genocide is seen to have had several visible indicators that could have potentially sparked the event (Maya, 2014).  As I wrote in the previous paragraph, there was already tension between the governance and the people. President Salva Kiir, a Dinka, butted heads with the former vice president now turned rebel leader Riek Machar, a Nuer (Lustig, 2014). The two groups had been fighting since December and with the entire world fearful of the outbreak of genocide, the US and UN created a cease-fire agreement to welcome peace between the two (Wire Services, 2014a). Alas both ethnic majority leaders destroyed the agreement not even two days after they had agreed with both accusing each other (Wire Services, 2014b). Although both sides have seen deaths, most news articles have shown the genocide to be favored towards the Dinkas attempt to destroy the Nuer (CHUOL Puoch, 2014; Puoch Riek Deng, 2014). Kiir and his Dinka militia are seen as cruel, fueled with power and anger resulting in their plans of an “ethnic cleanse”: destroying all other groups in South Sudan (Puoch Riek Deng, 2014).

The Dinkas have used news alerts on radio stations to help influence other Sudanese citizens to go along with the slaughter (Lustig, 2014). No one was safe in Juba, the capital and largest city of South Sudan. Hundreds of Nuer are seen to being tortured and kidnapped with many of the women being raped and killed (Lustig, 2014). People began fleeing to other countries to refugee camps trying to become safe from a life that has already been filled with exile and discrimination (Maya, 2014).

With the fighting that has happened, the South Sudanese people are experiencing a deadly famine with a side of disease. Being unable to find proper medication as well as nourishment due to being driven out of their homes, over seven million South Sudanese are at risk of diseases such as cholera and malaria, and starvation (Wire Services, 2014c). The heavy rains and war has disenabled these people to obtain the health care that they need to survive. I feel that the scarcities found in South Sudan have been able to predict the signs of the makings of genocide. The power struggle between the two majorities affected the entire country, plunging it into a civil war and generating the starvation of their country (Wire Services, 2014c). These people could all perish if they do not get the proper health care, sanitation, food, and water in the next few weeks! Countries need to check themselves and understand the damages they are doing to their people by destroying themselves through war and genocide.

I feel that South Sudan has been plagued with relatively bad luck ever since their introduction as a country. With two hostile ethnic groups fighting over a power struggle, there was no way this situation would end up nicely and peacefully. As things in South Sudan have begun to show more signs of genocide ever since the breaking of cease-fire agreement, I feel that other countries need to continue to relay information and begin to aggressively push for the fighting in the nation to stop in an attempt to save the South Sudanese from starvation and disease. The world does not and should not take the use of genocide lightly so I feel that having more people become aware of what is happening in South Sudan can hopefully help put a stop to the destruction and save a country from certain annihilation.

-Joshua

References below:

Puoch, B. C. (2014, June 26). South Sudan: Nuer Genocide in South Sudan Is Very Typical to That Committed in Rwanda in 1994. allAfrica.com. Retrieved June 27, 2014, from http://allafrica.com/stories/201406270407.html

Lustig, R. (2014, May 18). South Sudan crisis: famine and genocide threaten to engulf nation. The Observer. Retrieved June 27, 2014, from http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/18/south-sudan-crisis-famine-genocide

Maya, L. (2014, June 22). I Survived a Genocide That Could’ve Been Avoided – Forward Thinking. Forward Thinking. Retrieved June 27, 2014, from http://blogs.forward.com/forward-thinking/200574/i-survived-a-genocide-that-couldve-been-avoided/

Riek Deng, S. P. (2014, June 3). South Sudan: The Ongoing Genocide By Kiir and His Militias Against Nuer and Equatorians in Juba. allAfrica.com. Retrieved June 27, 2014, from http://allafrica.com/stories/201406040456.html?viewall=1

Services. (2014a, May 9). South Sudan president, rebel leader agree to ceasefire | Al Jazeera America. South Sudan president, rebel leader agree to ceasefire | Al Jazeera America. Retrieved June 27, 2014, from http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/5/9/south-sudan-presidentagreestoceasefirewithrebelleader.html

Services. (2014b, May 11). New fighting in South Sudan after cease-fire agreement | Al Jazeera America. New fighting in South Sudan after cease-fire agreement | Al Jazeera America. Retrieved June 27, 2014, from http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/5/11/new-fighting-in-southsudan2daysafterceasefire.html

Services. (2014c, June 14). UN: 50,000 children could die of hunger, disease in South Sudan | Al Jazeera America. UN: 50,000 children could die of hunger, disease in South Sudan | Al Jazeera America. Retrieved June 27, 2014, from http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/6/14/south-sudan-un.html

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