An Inside Story Of Power, Oil And The War That Killed Over 10,000 Civilians In South Sudan

Posted on June 18, 2014 in GlobeScope

By Kriti Rathore:

With 98.3% citizens in favour for the new nation, South Sudan has emerged as the youngest nation succeeding Timor-Leste. The country gained independence on 9th July 2011, yet there are many big concerns and challenges even today. There is a threat to social security and life in South Sudan and it all got shoddier when a civil war erupted between the two ethnic groups “Dinka” and “Nuer” tribes on 15th December 2013. Two largest groups of the nation, whose leaders had fought together before the civil war, are now against each other. As per New York Times, President Salva Kiir has claimed that the former Vice President Riek Machar had been involved in this coup and was responsible for the unrest.

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Post-independence civil war is a no innovative term. Like other African countries, South Sudan also encountered the same but the nation saw a lot more strength and cold-blooded genocide. There can be various factors responsible for the same. Be it the greed of supremacy or the control over oil-fields, everything has made the conditions worse. Feeble political system and resilient ethnic groups have increased the pace of this chaos. “Conflict in South Sudan: A Human Rights Report” by The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) stated that it all began on 15th December, 2013 in Juba, with bifurcation between two forces of the presidential guard. There was a split in Sudan’s People Liberation Party (SPLA) and people in favour of Riek Machar went against them. After the decline of Machar and his group, Salva Kirr gathered his people killing Nuer tribe all over. Civilians were affected and people were slaughtered as they fled their homes. More than 10,000 civilians were killed and around 1000000 were displaced.

Numerous foreign agencies tried to tranquil the state with United Nations playing a vital role. UN peacekeepers assisted the civilians and delivered aid and medication. Be it doctors, engineers, lawyers or anyone from UN, they gave their finest to placate the vicious situation in the youngest nation. Refugees took shelter in the UN bade and were provided with food and shelter. Be it civilians or foreigners, all lay on the same ground for some sort of faith and assistance. Circumstances got better as refugees made UN camps their second home. It appeared as if situation is under control but a larger and much fierce attack was about to begin.

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The world was in astonishment when it heard about an attack on the United Nations base of South Sudan UNMISS. We tossed the pages of The Hindu to know more about the efforts of Ban Ki- moon in curbing the civil war. This was the first time in the history that UN campus was beleaguered. Gunmen were impersonated as protestors. Civilians with guns entered the base and jumped into the refugee camp. They started firing on everyone in point blank range. Mothers cried and men roared with pain. They did not spare even 3-month-old children. Cruelty was displayed at its worst! Peacekeepers were asked to shelter themselves in the bunkers and be ready for any kind of attack. By the time UN took any action, criminals had already fled the campus and smashed the peace.

This is the fight of muscle and administration; not to forget the dependency on oil and power to control it. People are after each other’s lives and they are voracious for blood. At the end of the day, women and children are the worst sufferers. Although many foreign agencies are providing aid to the state, it requires reconstruction and proper implementation of laws. Ban Ki-moon had declared that leaders would be responsible for any kind of unrest. Things are now stable but destruction is at large. You can see fright in the eyes of inhabitants; they lost many of their near and dear ones. Political contribution and ethnic tension are the main dynamics of this contemporary catastrophe. Resources are always the big factor for escalation of any kinds of conflict. It acts as a catalyst. Big power houses like Troika countries – US, UK, Norway, China etc. are interested in South Sudan since it has oil. We never know who is aiming at this country for their interest and profit. Weak economy, malnutrition and penury are evident all over the state. In the end, it is the fight for oil and power.

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