A Responsibility to Protect

July 9th, 2011: The day South Sudan became an independent state from Sudan ending the 22 year long civil war between South Sudan and the Sudanese government.


While this initiates thoughts of excitement, a sense of freedom and a joyous time, it is quite the opposite for South Sudan. Since this date, they have seen violence from rebel militias, violence from the government, and overall corruption. Only two years ago, Decemeber 2013, a civil war broke out killing thousands upon thousands and brought South Sudan to a state of famine. The tensions stem from political issues between the President and former Vice President.

At this time, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement dominated the government. This group was once a rebel group adamant on transforming into a “legitimate” government. “Tensions came to a head when members of the presidential guard and members of the army loyal to Machar fought in the capital, Juba, in December 2013. Since then fighting has killed tens of thousands and displaced some 2 million.”


The cruelty committed by the government and by groups of rebels is sickening and evil. The rebels have gone into hiding places of innocent people, including hospitals, and holy sanctuaries killing hundreds. They have felt the need to find a way to broadcast on radios urging rape as a tactic and encouraging atrocities due to ethnicities. Pro‐government forces even have attacked UN peacekeepers and the civilians they are mandated to protect. As of 2015, approximately 100,000 civilians continue to seek assistance from the UN, despite knowing their risks.76310A78-9286-4133-9B99-1F39A9E6121F_mw1024_s_n
Since the outbreak of the war in 2013:
Killed: Tens of thousands
Displaced: 2 million
Risks: famine, genocide, mass atrocities




The threat of famine demands urgent attention. The international community and the United States should be aware of these needs!


  • Demand humanitarian access: The US and the international community should continue to push for access to these areas to help these innocent people.
  • Use targeted sanctions: Those responsible for harming others should be sanctioned! The US and the UN Security Council should expand targeted sanctions and follow through.
  • Arms Embargo: The United States should push the UN Security Council to consistently check the flow of weapons and ammunition that are contributing to the growing violence.
  • Reinforce diplomatic and aid efforts: The United States should have more on the ground and continue to have high-level engagement including by President Obama.
  • Establish mechanisms for justice and accountability

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