The fragile peace in South Sudan seems to be collapsing. About two weeks ago First Vice-President Riek Machar fled the capital, Juba. His wearabouts is unknown. The news agency Al Jazeera found him and he agreed to a telephone interview. He claims he is near Juba.
On Monday the country’s president Salva Kiir announced the appointment of a new first VP. Taban Deng Gai has been sworn in to replace Machar.
The world’s newest country descended into a particularly nasty civil war when Machar and Kiir disagreed, rallied fighters and tore the country apart. It rapidly devolved into an ethnic conflict. Those people sheltering in UN camps were not safe as assaults and killings continued.
A peace agreement was worked out in Ethiopia to bring the carnage to an end. Part of the agreement allowed Machar and Kiir to return to Juba with their armed groups. Machar was to resume his post as VP.
Machar has stated that he is expecting the international community to intervene in the current dispute. The UN spokesperson has stated that the terms of the peace agreement must be adhered to.
Following is a quote by Machar with regard to the situation.
"But if they fail, this will be an indication that the whole agreement is forsaken by the international community and the regional body that brokered the peace agreement." Al Jazeera
When S. Sudan was declared independent from Sudan in July 2011, there was a great deal of optimism. The way seemed clear for a peaceful and prosperous country. December 2013 saw the disagreements between president and VP explode into the bloody civil war.
The human tragedy that has been playing out in S. Sudan has repercussions beyond its borders. We have seen that countries mired in war and lawlessness are ripe for exploitation by extremist groups.
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