Posted on | December 24, 2013 | 17 Comments
— Aaron Myracle (@synthaaron) December 24, 2013
There has been relatively little conservative commentary on the crisis in South Sudan. Part of this could be explained by low expectations: Anarchy in Africa is not exactly unusual, and why should this particular episode of mayhem deserve our attention? Part of it may be due to the sense that no important American interest is affected by events in South Sudan. But it may be that conservatives are just overlooking an excellent opportunity to hoist President Obama by his own petard, to cite this crisis as further evidence of the Nobel Peace Prize winner’s ineptitude.
— Alexis Akwagyiram (@alexisak) December 24, 2013
Things are getting out of control in South Sudan. There are now reports of massacres, mass graves, rape, and it’s getting worse. A refugee crisis is brewing as tens of thousands flee the ethnic cleansing underway.
South Sudan could easily become another Somalia — a failed state run by gangs and warlords who target the innocent. Will the world stand by and let it happen again?
Of course we will.
Quite likely true, but why should we pass up this chance to point out the vast distance between President Obama’s “Hope and Change” rhetoric and the dismal result of his policies? Because the dismal result is staring the world right in the face:
U.S. Marines stood by to help evacuate Americans in South Sudan as the top U.N. official there warned Tuesday of a “breakdown in respect for the most basic rights of people” amid the country’s widening military and humanitarian crisis.
U.N. Assistant Secretary-General Toby Lanzer tweeted that more accounts were reaching him of human rights abuses amid widening violence that has stoked fears of an all-out civil war in the world’s newest country.
In Geneva, Switzerland, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called human rights abuses in the country a “serious and growing” problem.
“Mass extrajudicial killings, the targeting of individuals on the basis of their ethnicity and arbitrary detentions have been documented in recent days,” Pillay said, according to the statement. “We have discovered a mass grave in Bentiu, in Unity State, and there are reportedly at least two other mass graves in Juba.”
One U.N. official saw 14 bodies at the mass grave in Bentiu and another 20 on a nearby riverbank, said Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for the commissioner.
“As for the other two reported graves in Juba, we are still working to verify but it is very difficult, and there are reports that some bodies may have already been burned,” she said.
On Monday, the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, urged a major increase in peacekeeping troops in the country, where the organization’s bases in Juba and other cities have become de facto sanctuaries for tens of thousands of civilians trying to escape the violence. Bor, the capital of Jonglei state, and Bentiu, the capital of Unity state, an oil producing area, are considered especially tense and dangerous.
Hundreds of people, and possibly many more, have been killed in more than a week of clashes and confusion around the country. . . .
On Monday, the Pentagon said it was stepping up its planning to evacuate Americans and protect those who remain in South Sudan. About 150 Marines and six transport aircraft are being sent from Spain to Djibouti, where an emergency force was created in the wake of the deadly attack on the American Mission in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012.
The move was hinted at in a letter President Obama sent to congressional leaders on Sunday in which he said that he might take “further action” to support American citizens and interests in the strife-ridden region.
The United States also put forward a Security Council resolution on Monday to approve Mr. Ban’s plea for more international peacekeepers. . . .
“The leaders of South Sudan face a stark choice,” said Samantha Power, the American ambassador to the United Nations. “They can return to the political dialogue and spirit of cooperation that helped establish South Sudan, or they can destroy those hard-fought gains and tear apart their newborn nation.”
Diplomats from Africa, the United States and elsewhere have tried to bring the warring parties to the table, hoping to cobble together a cease-fire before the cycle of violence gathers momentum and leads to a protracted civil war.
So far, U.S. policy in South Sudan is to issue strongly worded warnings that the combatants ignore. Good luck with that.
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) December 24, 2013
- Dec. 19: Anarchy in Africa: U.S., U.K. Evacuate as South Sudan Spirals Out of Control UPDATE: Rebels Hit U.N. Mission
- Dec. 19: Quick #SouthSudan Update
- Dec. 19: #SouthSudan Update: Obama Urges Calm, Reconciliation, Sends Small U.S. Force
- Dec. 21: #SouthSudan: Please, Pray for Peace
- Dec. 21: #SouthSudan 3 U.S. Troops Wounded as Rebels Fire on Transport Plane UPDATE: Four U.S. Casualties; Rebels Claim Overthrow of Oil Region Capital
- Dec. 22: Obama to #SouthSudan: Good Luck
- Dec. 23: #SouthSudan: It’s Civil War Now
- Dec. 23: The Sudden #SouthSudan Crisis