The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

#SouthSudan: Please, Pray for Peace

Posted on | December 21, 2013 | 12 Comments

It has been said by numerous observers in recent days that South Sudan is the “world’s newest nation,” and most people in America have no idea how long and how hard South Sudan fought to gain its independence from the Muslim regime in Khartoum. That the people of this newborn nation would so soon risk losing all they had fought for — well, it’s shocking beyond words.

Watching the news develop — and thanks very much to Twitchy for taking notice — I’ve been absolutely heartbroken, and trying hard not to write a long essay about this mess. Reuters reports:

The United Nations estimated on Friday that at least 11 people from the ethnic Dinka group in South Sudan were killed during an attack by thousands of armed youths from a different ethnic group on a U.N. peacekeeping base in Jonglei state.
About 2,000 ethnic Lou Nuer youths overran the U.N. base in Akobo on Thursday, killing two of the 43 Indian peacekeepers and fleeing with arms and ammunition, the United Nations said.  . . .
French U.N. Ambassador Gerard Araud, president of the U.N. Security Council for December, said there were now fears that a similar attack could occur in Bor, where several thousand armed youths had gathered near a U.N. base sheltering 14,000 civilians. The Nuer massacred Dinka in Bor in 1991.
“There were two or three thousand people with heavy weapons who were close to the camp so there was, of course, the worry about what they were going to do since it would be exactly the same scenario as what happened in Akobo,” Araud told reporters after deputy U.N. peacekeeping chief Edmond Mulet briefed the council on the situation in South Sudan.

The Associated Press reports:

Armed rebels were said to be in control of some of South Sudan’s oil fields Friday, raising questions of how long the country’s oil will flow and whether Sudan could enter the conflict.
President Salva Kiir implored his country to turn away from ethnic violence and met Friday with foreign ministers from neighbouring states, including Kenya and Ethiopia, who flew into Juba, the capital, to help calm tensions after a week of ethnic strife that is estimated to have killed hundreds.

Even if the negotiations succeed in preventing the spread of fighting, there has already been serious damage done — many tens of thousands of refugees have fled the violence — and the fragile economy of South Sudan will take months to recover. Today’s New York Times headline: “South Sudan Steps Closer to Unraveling.”

This story is developing rapidly and the next 48 to 72 hours may be crucial. You’re not likely to get much news about this crisis from the networks, so the best way to keep track of the situation is to watch the #SouthSudan hashtag on Twitter.


Bookmark and Share