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.”
WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN:
- 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