The Republic of South Sudan is the world’s youngest country. The republic was founded in January 2011 following a strong referendum turnout, which resulted in a resounding yes. The creation of South Sudan ended what has been called ‘Africa’s longest-running civil war’ – so why is South Sudan still engulfed in violence? BRIC Plus News gives you the key information on the problems ravaging this young nation.
A power struggle
In December 2013, just under three years after its formation, a political crisis shook the country. A dispute between the president and his deputy created a schism in the political system. The difference of opinion between the two culminated in the deputy being fired. This set off a chain of events that would rock the young country to its core.
South Sudan’s own civil war
[via Political Periscope]
Armed struggle between government troops and rebels began in 2013. Over 50,000 people have been killed, and, as of August this year, more than 2 million have been internally displaced by the conflict.
The conflict is further complicated by international actors. Uganda is a nation firmly on the side of the government. The flow of arms into the country from around the world only exacerbates the problems. Since the days before South Sudan’s formation, the British trained the army. The French, the Soviet Union, the United States, and West Germany all provided arms to the government, while Eritrea, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Israel supplied arms and military machinery to the rebels. The proliferation of arms during that conflict has ensured that there are a dangerous level of weapons circulating in the country.
[via Upper Nile Times]
The crisis in South Sudan is not simply about differences in opinion. It is a matter of politics – precisely who holds the power. This is not a purely ideological battle. The schism in the politics and society of South Sudan laid bare the fault lines of ethnic tension in the new country. Many forces loyal to the government hail from the Dinka, and the rebels, the Nuer. The political struggles have inflamed ancient ethnic tensions. It is this dimension which makes the conflict likely to continue.