The Rest

Jan 6, 2014

How South Sudan fell apart so quickly — and how it might be saved

South Sudan has been in a vulnerable position since its independence in 2011, and there is no clear end in sight to the sectarian violence. How does the fledgling nation move forward?

Professor Damien Kingsbury

Crikey international affairs commentator

South Sudan

A plan to end the South Sudan conflict being brokered by neighbouring governments is not likely to come to fruition. Despite talks around a ceasefire proposal since before the first of the year, there has been no sign of movement towards ending a spiral of violence that has torn apart the world’s newest state.

The key protagonists and the immediate causes of the conflict are well known. In mid-July, ethnic Dinka President Salva Kiir sacked his government following a power struggle within the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A). In the face of a claimed attempted coup d’etat, in mid-December ethnic Dinkas in the presidential guard began disarming their ethnic Nuer colleagues, linked to former vice-president Riek Machar, leading to tit-for-tat killings that quickly spiralled out of control.

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2 thoughts on “How South Sudan fell apart so quickly — and how it might be saved

  1. Cozmond

    Professor – the essential problem with your proposed second solution is that it treats South Sudan as something that can be neatly divided between Dinka and Nuer. There are over 60 ethnic groups in South Sudan. Having recently returned from an 18 month stint in South Sudan, I would suggest the only solution is the hard and long process of reconciliation supported by an international community that is no longer willing to counternance serious human rights abuses as the “teething problems” of a new nation.

  2. Rena Zurawel

    Sudan should have never been chopped up like a piece of meat, in the first place. Along those artificial borders, families and tribes found themselves, all of a sudden, in different countries without their will.
    And now, One Sudan is without oil, and another- without access to the sea. Whose idea was it?

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