Celebration Overshadowed By Conflict
As South Sudan celebrates its 4th anniversary of its independence, conflict continues to loom over the African country.
In a press statement in Washington DC, US Department Spokesperson John Kirby said the ongoing conflict in South Sudan overshadowed the celebration of its independence.
In fact, thousands have been killed, more than 2.2 million displaced, and 4.6 million people remain at risk of life-threatening hunger since December 2013.
In addition, both the government and the armed opposition are responsible for ongoing military actions, violations of international humanitarian law, and widespread human rights abuses against civilians, including horrific crimes against women and children.
“The country’s economy is also deteriorating as its leaders squander its oil wealth on a senseless war.” – Mr. Kirby
US and UN Collaborate To End The Violence
The US and UN have been voicing condemnation of the recent violence in South Sudan. Both have been urging leaders of the African country to uphold their commitment to end the hostilities and foster peace.
The US says it is prepared to work with the international community, including the UN Security Council, to hold political spoilers and human rights abusers accountable.
In addition, the United States reaffirmed support for UNMISS and urged those countries that have committed troops and equipment to the mission to deploy them quickly.
The commitment of the United Sates to the people of South Sudan is unwavering. However, the country’s political and military leaders must demonstrate courage and lead the nation out of the horrific, self-inflicted, and pointless cycle of violence. The country’s leaders will own responsibility for war and mass atrocities.
Raging Violence in South Sudan
In mid-December 2013, South Sudan’s military lost control of a key town in the country’s east, to army mutineers.
The army lost Bor, the capital of Jonglei state, to a military faction associated with former Vice President Riek Machar, who denied attempting a coup. Riek Machar claimed it is President Salva Kiir who is inciting ethnic tensions.
Jonglei state has been plagued with ethnic tension between the Nuer and Murle tribes in recent years with recurrent attacks and massacres of civilians.
Reports coming out of the area say the clashes between the country’s army and army mutineers have killed some 500 people, mainly soldiers.
South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011 after decades of war.