Is South Sudan coming to terms with the violent five-year civil war that left 400,000 dead, and millions displaced? By 2018, a peace deal recommitted both sides to establishing a Hybrid Court for South Sudan, along with a truth-telling mechanism and reparations. The peace agreement that supporters and opponents of President Salva Kiir had agreed to now hangs by a thread.
To date, none of the peace agreement’s transitional justice mechanisms are operational. And, in an apparent setback, the United States reportedly pulled its funding for the court, a move some analysts see as a quiet signal that U.S. officials have given up on the court.… Seguir leyendo »
Few nations have seen their dreams and hopes dashed as quickly and ruthlessly as South Sudan. A mere two years after thousands thronged the streets of the capital, Juba, to celebrate independence from Sudan’s autocratic rule, the country descended into a brutal civil war. The fallout between President Salva Kiir and Vice President-turned-rebel Riek Machar, and the subsequent fighting, exerted a terrible toll. Between 2013 and 2018, up to 400,000 people were killed and 4 million—a third of the country’s population—displaced, amid numerous reports of ethnic-based atrocities like rape and massacres.
The world’s youngest country is now approaching its 10-year anniversary, and while the war has quieted thanks to a fragile 2018 peace deal, the risk of a return to full-blown conflict is never far away.… Seguir leyendo »
Although there is a long road ahead to achieve sustainable peace and formidable challenges remain, the hope is Sudan can turn the page on decades of war that has left hundreds of thousands dead and millions displaced, particularly in Darfur and the Two Areas (South Kordofan and Blue Nile).
The peace agreement, between Sudan’s transitional government and the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), a broad alliance of armed and other movements, and Minni Minawi’s Sudan Liberation Movement, is not yet comprehensive as it did not include two other important armed movements.
Expected to be formally signed in early October, the deal has been hailed as a ’historic achievement’ by the UN secretary-general, and the international community also commended the government of South Sudan for its positive role as mediator and urged hold-out groups to join the peace process.… Seguir leyendo »
By easing access to basic services, schools and farms, and allowing civilians to travel once again between villages and towns, the South Sudan peace deal signed in September 2018 was a much-needed boon for the country’s population, whose lives had been decimated by years of brutal fighting and a man-made humanitarian crisis that claimed up to 400,000 lives.
Almost two years down the line, South Sudan’s leaders have formed a unity government -- with critical support from South Africa -- and should be commended for achieving progress towards peace. But the new government, formed in February of this year, remains shaky.… Seguir leyendo »
In February, South Sudan President Salva Kiir swore in the country’s new vice president — rebel leader Riek Machar, his longtime rival. The ceremony marked a renewed hope for peace in South Sudan. As they had done in the past, Machar and Kiir smiled for the cameras and referred to each other as partners, urging forgiveness and pledging commitment to the still unfinished peace settlement. This time, they insisted, they would work together to end the country’s ethnic civil war and bring stability to the region.
Such ceremonies can signal unified commitment to a peaceful future. But seeing a leader who has targeted one’s ethnic group for violence then switch gears and endorse a peace deal might raise suspicions — does the leader really support the deal, or will there be more violence in the future?… Seguir leyendo »
En muchos aspectos, Yemen y Sudán del Sur son mundos distintos. Pero pese a las inmensas diferencias de historia, tradición y cultura, los dos países comparten una triste característica: sus pueblos soportan a la vez dos de las crisis más destructivas creadas por el hombre (la guerra y el cambio climático).
Sudán del Sur lleva casi un decenio atrapado en la guerra. Sólo en los últimos cinco años, murieron decenas de miles de personas y casi un cuarto de la población resultó desplazada; muchos se vieron obligados a huir a países vecinos como Kenia, Uganda o Sudán.
Yemen, por su parte, se convirtió en un importante frente de la batalla por la influencia regional que están librando Arabia Saudita (que tiene vínculos con el gobierno de Yemen) e Irán (que apoya a la milicia rebelde hutí).… Seguir leyendo »
South Sudan is 6. The government has canceled its birthday party. The treasury is empty. Neither the army nor rebels have command and control in a civil war that stumps peace mediators. Three million have fled their homes.
This situation escalated from a shootout in the presidential guard on the night of Dec. 15, 2013. The misunderstanding spread through the army barracks, to the capital, and then the rest of the country.
But the civil war has older roots, in 50 years of Sudanese conflicts. When British colonizers left Sudan in 1956, Khartoum’s carousel of military juntas continued a British policy of mistreating southerners.… Seguir leyendo »
As South Sudan marks five years of independence, the regionally-brokered August 2015 peace agreement is under severe threat. In the five day period 7-11 July, nearly 300 people are reported to have been killed in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, and tens of thousands have fled their homes as a result of fighting between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) loyal to President Salva Kiir and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-in Opposition (SPLA-IO) loyal to First Vice President Riek Machar. On 10-11 July, the SPLA used helicopter gunships and artillery against Machar’s military base and heavy fighting took place around the airport and elsewhere in Juba.… Seguir leyendo »
Reunir una lista de las guerras a las que más atención y apoyo debe prestar la comunidad internacional en 2016 es difícil, y no por buenos motivos. Tras el fin de la guerra fría, durante veinte años, el número de conflictos mortales disminuyó. Había menos guerras y mataban a menos gente. Sin embargo, hace cinco años, esa tendencia positiva se invirtió, y desde entonces cada año hay más conflictos, más víctimas y más personas desplazadas. No parece que en 2016 vaya a mejorar la situación de 2015: lo que está en alza no es la paz, sino la guerra.
Dicho esto, hay algunos conflictos cuya urgencia y cuya importancia son mayores que las de otros.… Seguir leyendo »
Pulling together a list of the wars most in need of international attention and support in 2016 is challenging for all the wrong reasons. For 20 years after the end of the Cold War, deadly conflict was in decline. Fewer wars were killing fewer people the world over. Five years ago, however, that positive trend went into reverse, and each year since has seen more conflict, more victims, and more people displaced. 2016 is unlikely to bring an improvement from the woes of 2015: It is war — not peace — that has momentum.
That said, there are conflicts whose urgency and importance rise above.… Seguir leyendo »
After about a year of on-off negotiations between the government of South Sudan and rebels led by its former vice president, Riek Machar, the two sides have yet to make any meaningful progress.
The violence first erupted in December 2013 after a power struggle between Mr. Machar and the country’s president, Salva Kiir, which soon plunged the fledgling republic into civil war. Despite signing a cease-fire agreement in January 2014, and again in May, the two sides have continued to attack each other. Tens of thousands of people have been killed, and nearly two million people have been displaced. South Sudan now ranks first on the Fund for Peace’s Fragile States Index.… Seguir leyendo »
The U.N. Security Council delegation visiting South Sudan last week came face-to-face with a troubling reality: The country has been seized by an eight-month civil war between parties that have committed violence against civilians on a devastating scale.
The result is an unprecedented challenge for the organization, which now finds itself protecting almost 100,000 people seeking refuge from the conflict in peacekeeping bases across South Sudan. Yet despite the high cost and risk, the U.N. should be prepared to host and protect them for months, if not years, to come.
This crisis ignited on December 15, when fighting broke out between the President of South Sudan Salva Kiir and his former Vice President Riek Machar along with other opposition leaders.… Seguir leyendo »
The government of South Sudan and rebels led by its former vice president, Riek Machar, are scheduled to begin a second round of negotiations on Friday. During the first round last month the parties agreed to a cease-fire, but the violence has not stopped and an agreement to end the rebellion has yet to be reached.
Yet even peace would be a partial solution, because it cannot address the underlying cause of the strife: the lack of competent institutions of governance in the fledgling republic.
The crisis began on Dec. 15, 2013, when fighting broke out within the Presidential Guards between forces loyal to the president, Salva Kiir, who belongs to the Dinka tribe, and supporters of Machar, a Nuer.… Seguir leyendo »
Las guerras en Sudán son las de más larga duración en toda África. La primera tuvo lugar entre 1963 y 1972, cuando los rebeldes de Sudán del Sur se alzaron contra el gobierno de Sudán dominado por las élites arabizadas. Aunque Sudán dio cierta autonomía al sur en 1972, no fue suficiente. El conflicto se reanudó en 1983 con la creación del Sudan People´s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A). En 2005, después de una cruel guerra, el gobierno de Jartum, capital de Sudán, firmó la paz por la que concedió el derecho a la autodeterminación de los territorios del sur, con excepción de los Estados Nilo Azul y Kordofan del Sur.… Seguir leyendo »
The last time the world’s eyes were on South Sudan, it was a time of jubilation. In July 2011, its secession from Sudan after decades of civil war was feted as a triumph of international advocacy. It seemed a long overdue deliverance for the people of the South, who had borne the brunt of successive Sudanese military assaults. South Sudan has always been viewed through the prism of its victimhood at the hands of its former northern neighbor.
Now, two and a half years later, South Sudan is in the news again. It has become clear that the country is not a bucolic land ruled by the freedom fighters.… Seguir leyendo »
There is an opportunity to halt South Sudan’s slide into war and state failure, but it must be seized within days or it will be lost. This requires the leaders of South Sudan to rise above narrow, tribalistic, zero-sum politics and develop a national program. President Salva Kiir and other members of the country’s political elite — in government and in opposition, inside South Sudan and in the diaspora — must respond to this challenge now or go down in history as having betrayed their people.
Nine years ago, on Jan. 9, 2005, the Sudanese government and the southern-based Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) signed a historic peace accord that brought an end to more than 20 years of war between northern and southern Sudan.… Seguir leyendo »
President Omar al-Bashir’s 23-year rule in Sudan has known almost ceaseless civil war, the recent secession of South Sudan and an indictment for genocide by the International Criminal Court against Bashir himself. Currently, his government is under attack by various rebel armies with an estimated combined strength of 60,000, as well as protests sparked by the withdrawal of gas subsidies, massive budget deficits, failed harvests and steep increases in food prices. Bashir’s days may be numbered.
Yet his removal would not end the conflict; it could even trigger a new civil war. The groups challenging Bashir are united by their common hatred of him and his party rather than by a shared vision for Sudan’s future.… Seguir leyendo »
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is scheduled to visit South Sudan on Friday, a little more than a year after it seceded from Sudan. Despite all the predictions at South Sudan’s birth that it would become a failed state, the much more vexing problem lies across its border — what to do about Sudan, whose government is responsible for more death and destruction than all of its neighboring Middle Eastern and North African dictatorships combined.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, wanted by the International Criminal Court for genocide, exhibits vulnerabilities that marked the final chapters of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and Libya’s Moammar Gaddafi.… Seguir leyendo »
Less than a year after South Sudan declared its independence, it appears headed for war once again with its northern neighbor, Sudan. At the same time, marginalized northerners are rebelling against the government of Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir. The international community has called for a cease-fire and peace talks, but the return of violence is not necessarily a bad thing. Soldiers killing one another in war would be far less devastating than thousands of women and children starving to death while waiting for a negotiated peace that will never come.
Mr. Bashir’s government cannot be trusted. It has for years systematically betrayed its agreements — signing dozens of treaties and then violating them.… Seguir leyendo »
Le Soudan et la République du Soudan du Sud, devenue indépendante le 9 juillet 2011, connaissent en 2012 une extension des conflits près de leurs frontières (Sud Kordofan, Nil bleu au Soudan), Jonglei au Sud mais également dans les zones contestées comme Abyei. Après les bombardements de Khartoum au Sud, le SPLA, armée de la République du Sud Soudan, a fait une incursion dans la zone pétrolifère de Heglig le 11 avril. Les pourparlers entre le Soudan et le Soudan du Sud sont interrompus. A l'Ouest, les conflits du Darfour demeurent, avec une intensité moindre, mais pourraient resurgir notamment avec des alliances avec le Sud Kordofan et le MPLS contre Khartoum.… Seguir leyendo »