Big Men in South Sudan A Let-down to Peace

Published on 12th July 2016

Uncertainty hangs over South Sudan after heavy fighting between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and his Deputy Riek Machar flared up last week. More than one million citizens of South Sudan perished during the 60 years struggle for independence in the hope for a better future. Mr Machar’s return to Juba in April 2016 was seen as a positive step towards peace.

While the fighting may be attributed to civil misunderstanding on the outside, it is no secret that it accrues from internal factors (such as the politics of exclusion, corruption, self-seeking and bloated egos) and external factors such as resource and dominance generated global geopolitics,when looked at critically.

As the international community keenly watches what Africa’s regional economic communities and the African Union are doing to restore calm in the disintegrating country, they have an obligation to ensure a timely implementation of the peace agreement and ceasefire. The warring factions should invest in sobriety, avoid sacrificing the young state on the altar of short term gains and appreciate the concerted efforts -- both internal and external --that led to its rebirth. Meanwhile, the crisis in South Sudan tests the 'African solutions to African problems' mantra.

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