South Sudan: South Sudan’s Elusive Peace

| February 4, 2015 | 0 Comments


Will the latest ceasefire bring peace to South Sudan? A look back offers little hope. Fighting has been going on for more than a year. Negotiations often silenced the guns, but only for a few hours at a time.

February 1, 2015: South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and his rival Riek Machar agree on a ceasefire deal in Addis Ababa. The two opponents are expected to form a power sharing government with Machar once again serving as vice president. Machar was Kiir’s deputy until 2013 when Kiir accused Machar of plotting to overthrow him. Since then tens of thousands of people in southern Sudan have been killed in civil war pitting Kiir’s Dinka ethnic group against Machar’s Nuer. Almost two million have been displaced.

Talking peace as killings continue

August 2014: President Kiir and Machar attend peace talks mediated by IGAD, East Africa’s regional bloc for the first time.

But while he was speaking in Addis Ababa, the killings continued back in South Sudan. After two months of unsuccessful negotiations, the UN Security Council threatened sanctions against those who impeded the peace process. It also extended the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) until May 2015.

A few days of peace

May 2014: the UN Security Council decided that its UNMISS peacekeeping mission would now focus on the protection of civilians. The task was allocated to 14,000 blue helmets. Previously, the UN had been seeking to help build the world’s youngest state. In early May, there were reports of a ceasefire, but also of murder and destruction. A peace deal signed after direct talks between Kiir and Machar lasts only a few days.

Rich in oil but short of food

April 2014: The crisis escalates. Almost four million people face hunger, the UN warns. Every third citizen doesn’t have enough to eat. In an assault on the oil city of Bentiu, rebels loyal to Machar allegedly kill hundreds of civilians. Oil now fuels the conflict. The warring parties fight to control the third largest oil reserves in sub-Saharan Africa.

Power struggle in Juba

December 2013: The conflict erupts. Earlier in July, President Kiir dismissed Machar and the entire cabinet. He would later accuse his former vice president of mounting a coup against him. In the capital, Juba, heavy fighting breaks out between supporters of the two leaders. Kiir is supported by soldiers mainly from the Dinka ethnic group, whereas Nuer fighters side with Machar. After a few weeks, a ceasefire is agreed only to be broken shortly thereafter.. Within 100 days, almost one million people lose their homes.

How it all started

July 9, 2011, South Sudan celebrated its independence. Majority African South Sudanese had fought for two decades against the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum in northern Sudan. More than two million people lost their lives in this civil war. There were hopes life would improve.

Some observers were skeptical. Machar and Kiir seemed to put their own interests and those of their ethnic groups before teh concerns of the nation. Corruption was rampant and billions in international aid disappeared without trace. South Sudan was engulfed in an oil dispute with rump Sudan. The two sides had failed to draw a new common border properly and clashes erupted in disputed border regions.

Culled from :Here

We enjoin our readers to send their stories/articles/reports, including pictures to



Category: Africa News