South Sudan crisis: Refugees and massacres
Kanako Mita and Hiroshi Saito
Modern Tokyo Times
The creation of South Sudan (Republic of South Sudan) was meant to have ushered in a new dawn. This new dawn was freedom from Arabization and Islamization concerning the policies of past Khartoum elites. However, since South Sudan split from Sudan: ethnic massacres, political power plays, and corruption entered the vacuum instead of “hope” and “a new start.”
The environs of Kodok and Fashoda in South Sudan are caught up in a vicious cycle of violence. Reports claim that at least 4,000 people have been killed in the ensuing violence. Therefore, tens of thousands of internally displaced people are now internal refugees: stemming from the violence in the Upper Nile State.
France 24 reports, “The fighting has spread to the bordering states of Jonglei and Unity with grave fears for civilians trapped in the town of Kodok.”
The United Nations Protection of Civilians Site is now overrun by the sheer size of people fleeing the violence. This site is situated in Malakal.
Voice of America reports, “The protection camp in Malakal, which was designed to hold 12,000 people, is now at three times its capacity. Those who cannot be accommodated here are being forced to cross to neighboring Sudan, a country already grappling with high number of refugees.”
Peter Van der Auweraert (United Nations humanitarian agency OCHA) said, “The humanitarian community in South Sudan is appalled by the continuous violence that has a devastating impact on the lives and livelihoods of ordinary men, women and children.”
The political office of President Salva Kiir said, “Despite the complexity, the president is determined to do whatever it takes to end this violence in Upper Nile and other regions of South Sudan.”
The above statement from the office of Kiir doesn’t imbue confidence. Yes, the crisis is complex. However, the leader of South Sudan should be doing more to stem the violence.
Reuters reports, “A peace agreement signed in September 2018, the latest in a series reached since the conflict began in late 2013, is largely holding. South Sudan’s civil war, often fought along ethnic lines, is estimated to have claimed close to 400,000 lives.”
Since independence, this new nation-state is failing to protect its citizens from ethnic, regional, and political conflicts. Therefore, the people of South Sudan need fresh hope and for all involved parties to seek a way out of the endless cycle of violence.
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