Stability continues to evade citizens of the world’s newest country, South Sudan, as tensions rise and fear floods through the streets. From the declaration of statehood on July 9, 2011, South Sudan struggled to form internal peace, an issue that quickly spiraled into a civil war.
The UN has voiced concern for the situation. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated, “Those hopes were dashed by the conflict that broke out in December 2013. Thousands of South Sudanese have been killed, and atrocities have been committed against civilians,” underscoring the tragedy that has ruled during the South Sudan crisis. Born from internal political fighting between President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar, the conflict escalated into the current situation. Seven million people are on the brink of hunger and disease, and 1.5 million have already been displaced as a result of the brutal fighting.
The upsetting factor in the eyes of the UN is that this is a “man-made crisis.” The longer the warrior mentality imbeds itself in the territory, the worse the possible outcome becomes. South Sudan is currently on the brink of a humanitarian disaster, and should the status quo maintain, there’s no doubt that the situation will worsen to the point of no return.
Al Jazeera journalist Mehari Taddele Maru writes, “the root cause of the current crisis resides in the unwillingness of the SPLM/A [Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army] to transform itself into a democratic political party fit to govern.” These groups have refused to acknowledge the welfare of the people they attempt to control, inherently taking away the peoples’ basic human rights of safety and health.
The sole hope for a brighter future is the concept of a caretaker government, in which individuals who identify with neither government regime take the reigns and serve during a transitional period, during which, national dialogue would develop a permanent plan of action.
There are currently three parties attempting to govern South Sudan; SPLM/A, the rebel group and the eclectic group of former detained SPLM/A leaders. As it stands, it’s unlikely, if not impossible, for either of the three to effectively govern South Sudan in a way that benefits all levels of citizens.
– Elena Lopez