Countless numbers of people have been left dead, thousands of children are starving, and millions of dollars are being embezzled by South Sudanese officials. On top of that, close to all of the aid sent to South Sudan is being seized.
Five years ago, in 2011, South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan. The civil war was long and hard as the South Sudanese fought for freedom from the Arab controlled government of Sudan. The South Sudanese endured genocide and enslavement. They continued to fight in conditions that are hard to simply survive in. After their great victory, which seemed almost unreachable, South Sudan was backed up by nations all over the world. Including the United States. On the day that South Sudan made its independence official, reporters said that “All around us, there seemed to be a real appreciation of what had been achieved and what lay ahead. Most important, there was unity”.
Yet, the conditions of the South Sudanese did not improve once the rebels won the civil war. Millions of people were left starving, displaced, or killed. The sense of unity that accompanied Independence Day did not last long.
There are two major ethnic groups in South Sudan, Dinka and Nuer. President Salva Kiir backs the Dinka. The two groups switched between working together to against each other throughout the entire revolution. After independence was gained, the two quickly turned against each other. The Dinka and Nuer each had their eyes on South Sudan’s main money making resource, oil. People were killed, women were raped, and children are being burned to death. People were even forced to eat the bodies of their dead relatives. These horrifying acts led to intervention by the United Nations.
The United Nations dispersed peacemakers throughout the country to attempt to contain and control the situation. But peacemakers are often too scared to act. They are out-numbered and the actions of the ethnic groups placed so much fear in them that they often do nothing.
The international powers that helped secure this country’s independence have repeatedly attempted to find a solution. So far, the best suggestion has been to start a trusteeship. This would involve outside powers coming in to run the country for about six years until a state of stability is reached. The proposed idea would involve removing all of the current South Sudanese politicians in order to attempt to remove corruption within the government.
South Sudan urgently needs peace. The solutions will not come from within the country. Outside powers will have to be involved. The problem with the trusteeship is that it would have to be done in agreement with the South Sudanese. It is known that some of the smaller groups within the country would back the trusteeship, but Dinka and Nuer would be greatly against it.
The Dinka view the trusteeship as “an affront to their sovereignty”. Yet, many South Sudanese citizens think that a great new leader is amongst them, and that a whole new group of good political leaders are waiting to come into power.
Why are these potential political leaders just waiting? The country is in crisis. This would be the ideal time to gain power and bring the country to a more harmonious state. Since there is no movement towards improvement, outside powers are going to need to step in. South Sudan is not agreeing to the proposed trusteeship so these powers might have to be forceful. In the end, if outside powers come into South Sudan, then they can lead them to a more peaceful and settled state.