Once a complete nation, The Republic Sudan (Now North and South Sudan) has appeared to consistently suffer damage since the beginning of this conflict began in 1983. In 2011, Southern Sudan voted to succeed from the state of Sudan to form it’s own independent country known as The Republic of South Sudan. Since this revolutionary mark, there have been consistently more aggressive and dangerous conflicts within each of the states.
The Republic of South Sudan
Since the formation of the independent nation, political corruption, civil war, and border violence between the North and South have escalated from one violent conflict to another. Ethnic differences within the state have caused an orientation towards genocide and crime in order to resolve power conflicts.The government of South Sudan is lead by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), who once fought against the Northern Sudanese troops. Yet, both the government and rebel groups, that have attempted to overthrow government forces, are guilty of committing hate crimes. Therefore, it appears that in this situation, there is no “good” or “bad” only a “bad” and a “worse”. While the rebels may be attempting wide-scale massacre based on ethnic differences, the government also appears to attack the UN forces that are attempting to mediate the conflicts and well as the rebel forces that are challenging the government and putting civilians at risk. One of the greatest issues in South Sudan that appears to persist is the conflict between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and some of the rebel groups that exist to cause death and destruction in the country. The oppression of the government on these forces, and the consistent feedback from the groups have escalated to civil war, resulting in the death and displacement of the civilians that are caught in the middle. Rape, ethnic targeting, death, mutilation, and other horrific crimes have been perpetuated throughout the entire country and this has definitively setback any potential progress from the newest country in the world.
What is most interesting and difficult for South Sudan is the fact that this nation has suffered from inner and outer conflicts. Northern Sudan has implemented border conflicts, and Southern Sudan must fight inner issues as well. Not only must this exhaust militia forces and governmental resources, but this “double conflict” has also lead to the escalation in crime and conflict. Due to lack of resources, the SPLA has resorted to the easiest and most convenient forms of crime which also happen to be some of the most damaging and violent forms as well.
While negotiations have been made between the two nations, North and South Sudan continue to seize fire on one another, resulting in a perpetual state of conflict. This inter-state war will go on until both countries can come to an agreement about border control and resolve ethnic conflicts WITHOUT the use of war and crime to implement policy. Hostilities about territories, ethnic differences, and resources like oil have been the at the heart of the dispute between the 2 countries. The territory of Abyei has become a “hot spot area” for forces to enter full scale conflict. The violence in this area has displaced those civilians who reside there, and while conflict has appeared to subsided there for now, it is difficult to determine how long this perceived peace will last in the area.
The Republic of Sudan
While South Sudan has experienced intra-nation conflict as well as inter-nation conflict, Sudan has also experienced intra-state conflict. Much like South Sudan, there have been power and government conflicts. The Sudan Liberation Movement (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) attempted to overthrow and attack Sudanese government forces. So what did the government do? They armed a group of tribes to counter the attack on the government forces. These tribes formed what is known as the Janjaweed, which have killed over 300,000 civilians and displaced roughly 4 million. This 11 year conflict has been referenced as the Darfur conflict of Sudan. This issue continues to occur in the North Sudanese area and peace agreements have proven ineffective in bringing this conflict to an end.
This is not the only “broken” area of North Sudan, the country has experienced escalated conflict in the South Kordofan and Blue Niles Regions of the state as well. After political elections occurred, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement‐North (SPLM‐N) fired an attack on the government and as a result, the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) have followed through with a counter-attack. The SAF has perpetuated mass genocide of the area and the attacks have become more severe. Satellite Images have actually captured the damage in the areas, and it is evident that famine and destruction are taking over the regions.
What do we do?
Sudan. A complete country, to a broken country, to 2 broken countries, to broken regions within 2 broken countries. How will this progress? Will regions in both countries continue to break apart into separate areas perpetuating the conflict forever? How much more can these civilians take? How do we stop the violence? Will peace ever be settled?
I think the most obvious answer is we don’t know. Genocide is a much larger issue than it may sometimes appear. Specifically the Sudans, where each nation is incredibly troubled despite interventions and attempts at peace. The fix will not come from more violence, and it also won’t come from a force of embracing ethnic differences and power structures. The fix must come from humanitarian interventions, education, and teaching tolerance. The UN and other organizations have made strides in attempting to solve the conflicts that have been occurring in these countries, but even they are finding it difficult. I don’t have the simple answer to the problem, but it is an issue that is undeniably gaining attention and will require a lot of awareness and effort to solve.
While we may not be able to tape together the cracks in these states, we can at least make efforts to slowly glue them back together.