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Preventing South Sudan’s Infern

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Preventing South Sudan’s Infern

Post by chiki on Fri Dec 20 2013, 11:09

Preventing South Sudan’s Inferno
By George Clooney and John Prendergast

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After suffering so long for independence, South Sudan faces a new civil war. What the country’s leaders and the international community can do to contain the crisis.
The world’s youngest country, a mere two and a half years old, now stands on the precipice of a new civil war which threatens to hurl South Sudan back into the violence from which it just emerged. For the South Sudanese who fought and suffered so dearly for their independence, and for those around the world who supported the new state, this development is tragic and disappointing, but it is hardly surprising or without vast precedent.

Most African countries that emerged from colonial rule or long periods of dictatorship have experienced rocky transitions marked by violence and coups. Sudan itself, from which South Sudan split in 2011, was born into a civil war and has been rocked by three major coups since independence in 1956. Similar stories have plagued the neighboring states of Uganda, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Chad, and Congo. South Sudan’s own fledgling state has been rendered vulnerable by a major rift in the country’s political leadership, where past unresolved grievances were left to fester.

When politicians use ethnic mobilization to promote their agendas, violence can metastasize quickly. The potential for explosion in South Sudan is even worse because of the billions of petro-dollars that have poured into the country, much of which were used to purchase sophisticated weaponry.

That there were going to be problems and even eruptions in the early years of this new republic was widely predicted. What is much more unpredictable, however, is how South Sudan’s leaders react to this, the biggest crisis their new country has yet faced. How they respond will dictate South Sudan’s fate for years to come, and decide whether it has a future more like prosperous Botswana or bloody Somalia.

The worst-case scenario is rapidly unfolding: political and personal disputes are escalating into an all-out civil war in which certain ethnic groups are increasingly targeted by the others’ forces and the rebels take over the oilfields. This will inevitably bring opportunistic leaders from neighboring Sudan into the fray, as Khartoum’s government has long exploited divisions within South Sudan and provided support to various armed groups to sow further division and destruction. Certainly the Sudan regime might see the instability in the oilfields as an opportunity to aggressively move into bordering regions, take possession of some of the southern oil areas, and keep the oil flowing northward.

There is a real opportunity here for South Sudanese leaders and the broader international community to respond in ways that could prevent the country from plunging into chaos and protracted conflict.

President Salva Kiir has an opportunity to demonstrate leadership by following up on his offer of dialogue with his opponents, releasing political prisoners, appealing for calm through television and radio, and pressing those troops that remain loyal to not commit human rights abuses. Should the president indicate a willingness to openly discuss the deep political grievances that are driving the violence, and do so inclusively, that would send a strong signal that peace is possible. The leading rebel, former Vice President Riek Machar, must stop inflaming the situation by calling for the ouster of the current government and indicate his willingness to negotiate with President Kiir and work within the rule of law for the restoration of an inclusive government and elections in 2015.

The United Nations could play the most critical role in containing the crisis in South Sudan. There is much international hand-wringing and regret that not much can be done when violence is so quickly escalating. But recent examples in Congo and Ivory Coast demonstrate that when a UN force on the ground is buttressed with a more robust mandate and greater international support, very positive outcomes are possible. And the recent international mobilization to respond to the conflict in the Central African Republic shows that when political will is generated, military assets can be deployed quickly in defense of civilians.

Given those models, the UN Security Council can save countless lives by sharpening the civilian protection mandate of the UN force already on the ground, giving it additional resources to do the job, and instructing it to create safe havens in which vulnerable populations can take shelter. The UN mission could also be supported by New York headquarters to be more proactive in ensuring humanitarian aid reaches the neediest, thus preventing the health and nutritional crises that in the past made South Sudan one of the deadliest conflict zones globally since World War II. The Security Council could also authorize a group of experts to begin collecting evidence of war crimes for possible future referral to the International Criminal Court.

Finally, the United States should immediately deploy its Special Envoy for the Sudans, Donald Booth, and a team of diplomats who can deliver strong messages to key leaders and to the broader South Sudanese public, as well as support mediation efforts led by neighboring African states as well as South Sudanese church leaders.

Two and a half million South Sudanese died for the creation of this new state. With robust international action and statesmanship by South Sudan’s leaders, millions more deaths can be prevented.

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Re: Preventing South Sudan’s Infern

Post by silly girl on Fri Dec 20 2013, 11:37

Thanks Chiki....was just coming here to post...he does keep himself busy.

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Re: Preventing South Sudan’s Infern

Post by party animal - not! on Fri Dec 20 2013, 17:31

Thank you so much, Chiki. Really wondered how long Our Hero would leave it before he felt he had to say/do something.

I can imagine he and Prendergast's phones are off the wall at the mo with calls to the relevant governement departments..........


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Re: Preventing South Sudan’s Infern

Post by Nicky80 on Fri Dec 20 2013, 19:41

Thanks Chiki for the update

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Re: Preventing South Sudan’s Infern

Post by Carla97 on Fri Dec 20 2013, 22:14

Well as long as I´ve heard about Sudan there has been internal conflicts. And there seems no end to those...

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Re: Preventing South Sudan’s Infern

Post by watching on Sat Dec 21 2013, 09:05

Comments from Daily Beast (taking out posters names):

Always heartbreaking to see yet another African nation boil over into absolute violence and chaos. However, if South Sudan used all of the billions of dollars it received in petro money on improving its infrastructure and government programs instead of new military technology then maybe there wouldn't have been a coup.


"Finally, the United States should immediately deploy its Special Envoy for the Sudans, Donald Booth, and a team of diplomats who can deliver strong messages to key leaders and to the broader South Sudanese public, as well as support mediation efforts led by neighboring African states as well as South Sudanese church leaders."
Yeah, that will help. Harsh language always works when dealing with murderers.  That bit about the UN is great too, all they need to do is to instruct the peacekeepers to refrain from raping the women and children as they have done in the past.


Its is quite striking that entertainers can fool people into believing they are intelligent because they are pretty good actors. That lasts until they start talking or writing about something that isn't scripted for them.


It's all admirable, but these savages have to be left alone, They have been fighting each other since the big bang, so let them fight and develop their own civilization eventually. Europe used to be a wild place as well. Look at it now.


@ChuckFinley Don't desecrate the good name of Chuck Finley with your callous indifference. The people of South Sudan do not deserve this.


In the last twenty years, the worst wars and acts of genocide, resulting in millions of deaths, have been in Africa,  although these have never been widely reported in the U.S. media.


As long as they dont have any nukes let them fight it out


It had to be a miserable life for great great grandpa but those cotton fields sure saved me from Africa.


@Goldenrule It's a shame as it's such a beautiful continent with great potential.  I wish we could do more to protect its natural beauty (e.g. elephants, rhinos, lions) and stop the violence stemming from people, both insiders and outsiders, looking only to exploit and plunder.


Nobody can say they were surprised.  You have a country (Sudan) that discovers it has oil. The part of the country that has oil splinters (with international backing and celebrity endorsement), gets official nationhood credentials, elections, a flag, a seat in the UN, etc, in record time. Soon after the leaders of this new country (who wear black cowboy hats) are depositing millions (derived from the oilfields) into foreign bank accounts instead of using it to build schools and hospitals, etc, (boring things like that). Not surprisingly people in this new country are ticked off.


Record time? You obviously don't know much of the South Sudan history.


It seemed only like yesterday we were first hearing about Sudan's civil war.


When will George and the millions of others stop sending money to this nation and others  in Africa who have no other form of govt but revolution


Sorry, tired of spending blood and treasure to save people from themselves. Work diplomatically for a complete ban on international arms sales to warring states. Otherwise stay out and let the South Sudanese, the Afghans, the Congolese, etc., etc., etc., kill one another until they run out of bulelts or decided to act like civilized human beings.


Have clooney strap on a backpack and hand him an M16 and let him loose.


Hey George, let me tell you about this place called Chicago. or Philly, or Oakland or Detroit or ....


not our battle, George. We've tried nation-building. Repeatedly.  It no worky.  


Oh, gracious, let's charge into Africa for "humanitarian reasons". Whom are we kidding? AFRICOM now has boots on the ground, for "humanitarian reasons", of course. The CIA's 1975 wet dream. Here we go again.


Thank you for writing. It's encouraging to see some unbiased, and HOPEFUL reporting on what has been a very painful story for so many of us. According to the New York Times the UN is expected to hold an emergency meeting the situation. Here's to hoping they opt for action instead of more hand wringing.


@mrmacks I could be wrong but UN is synomynous for hand-wringing.


An enlightening starting point in the Sudanese disarray, and the terrible price of human despair - avoidable, begins with (in part) Robert "Dud" Mcfarlane. No small player in this fiasco, Bud has been an old sub manipulator since his day as Ronnie Reagan's ineffectual National Security Adviser. Grill old "Bud", the answers lie there.


You will notice Western governments and MSM NOT push for intervention like they did in Libya and been trying in Syria. All the Arab League countries and Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) are behind the Sudanese genocidal barbaric war criminal Bashir. Under Bashir millions suffered for years. So when the elite in government and news media talk about how we should get involved in places like Syria for humanitarian reasons, remember countries like these and know if intervention was truly based on humanitarian concerns Western troops would have been in Sudan years ago and Bashir would have ended up like Qaddafi.



"Bashir"? Are you referring to Bashir Assad of Syria? Why use just his first name, a la George Bush with "Saddam"? The PNAC or whatever they call themselves now had a laundry list of countries to knock over, and it looks like they've failed in Syria. Thank God. Assad is all that's standing between us and WWIII. Screw the bankers/PNAC/AIPAC, whatever label fits. The globalist, corporate secret team.


Omar al-Bashir of Sudan.


Was there ever a home for a viable South Sudan after John Garang died?


...in August of 2012 Hillary Clinton was in the Sudan advocating the use of drones...let us hope that the conscientious Mr.Clooney while hosting one of his fundraisers for Obama at his house will announce his opinion of the use of drones and their possible continued use under a Hillary administration...

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Re: Preventing South Sudan’s Infern

Post by party animal - not! on Sat Dec 21 2013, 10:12

John Kerry is sending a US special envoy to South Sudan.........Samantha Power has recently been in the Central African Republic. That would seem logical

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Re: Preventing South Sudan’s Infern

Post by Mazy on Sat Dec 21 2013, 20:05

Thank you Chiki for this article. There are certain activists whose articles I don't like to miss, Eric and Kristof being my favorite other two. Thanks again.

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Re: Preventing South Sudan’s Infern

Post by theminis on Sat Dec 21 2013, 22:20

Putting this here as I am assuming its related?


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Re: Preventing South Sudan’s Infern

Post by party animal - not! on Sat Dec 21 2013, 22:59

Excellent.

Just wish the warring factions in South Sudan would realise that all their infighting creates massive instability, and plays straight into al Bashar's hands

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Re: Preventing South Sudan’s Infern

Post by chiki on Sun Dec 22 2013, 19:31

Yes, Theminis, thanks for the link.
An article about the attack

South Sudan: U.S. Military Aircraft Hit By Rebel Fire

US military aircraft flying in to South Sudan on a mission to evacuate American citizens have been shot at by rebels. Four US soldiers have been wounded. It follows a week of violence in the country.

The US military aircraft were heading from their base in Uganda to Bor, the capital of the state of Jonglei, which has been the scene of some of the worst violence over the last week.

There has been fighting in South Sudan since President Salva Kiir accused vice president Riek Machar of attempting a coup earlier this month. The South Sudanese army is trying to retake Bor which was reportedly captured by rebels several days ago.

DW.DE

Kerry urges end to South Sudan violence as US sends envoy

The US has said it will dispatch a special envoy to South Sudan as a wave of ethnic violence sweeps the country. The UN, meanwhile, has expressed "grave alarm" as the number of fatalities rises. (21.12.2013)

The US helicopters were flying in on Saturday to evacuate American citizens, according to the US military. After the aircraft came under fire, they turned around and headed back to Uganda's capital Kampala and then on to Nairobi, Kenya to seek medical treatment for the wounded soldiers, the officials said.

The US military's Africa Command said in a statement: "After receiving fire from the ground while approaching the site, the aircraft diverted to an airfield outside the country and aborted the mission."

South Sudan's army spokesman Philip Aguer was unable to confirm any aircraft had been hit by gunfire in Bor. But he said that any attack was the fault of forces loyal to deposed vice president Machar fighting government troops.

"Any such shooting is the fault of the forces of Riek Machar who have taken Bor... we are not there," he told news agency AFP.

Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, said this week that it was the attempted coup by Machar, an ethnic Nuer which set off the violence. But officials have since said a dispute between Dinka and Nuer members of the presidential guard triggered the initial violence.

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Re: Preventing South Sudan’s Infern

Post by chiki on Sun Dec 22 2013, 19:43

party animal - not! wrote:Excellent.

Just wish the warring factions in South Sudan would realise that all their infighting creates massive instability, and  plays straight into al Bashar's hands

sad true!

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Re: Preventing South Sudan’s Infern

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