More than a million people have fled their homes in South Sudan since fighting broke out between rebel forces and the government. President Salva Kiir blamed this on a coup attempt by a section of soldiers loyal to his deputy, Riek Machar.
This could be the beginning of yet another war gradually bringing Africa’s youngest state to its knees. After more than two decades of war, South Sudan seceded from Omar Al-bashir’s Northern Sudan; becoming Africa’s newest state.
However, South Sudan has had numerous setbacks in her quest for political autonomy and national development. Ethnic violence has escalated between Kiir’s Dinka tribe who are the majority Machar’s Nuer who are the second largest tribe. These violent tensions continue to frustrate political stability despite the numerous peace agreements signed between the two. There is thus raising doubt on the commitment of these political leaders in attaining peace.
Not only has the country lost hundreds of civilians to the clashes, South Sudan also faces an influx of diseases and the continued violation of women as well as dire food shortages and a disastrous drought.
Regardless, the occurrences in this young nation have ceased to raise headlines. East Africa seems to be ignorant of the spillover effects being experienced by the rest of the region. If the war continues, the East African region’s economic output could begin to experience negative consequences.
It is also important to remember that South Sudan has already put in a formal request to join the East African Community. This thus begs a simple yet equally complex set of questions.
- Why are East African states not pushing for the political stability of South Sudan?
- Who is benefiting from the instability in South Sudan?
- Are the leaders of South Sudan bloodthirsty warmongers?