I have been following the situation in South Sudan for sometime now, since my attention rested on the cases of gross human rights violations, war crimes and various crimes against humanity.
The world’s youngest nation has seen intense violence, killings, massacre and crises for about five months.
Five months ago, tensions escalated when South Sudan’s President, Salvar Kiir sacked his Vice, Riek Machar after accusing him of an attempted coup.
Machar later became the rebel leader and since then, violence has been a daily affair in South Sudan.
The United Nations has accused both sides of crimes against humanity and other war crimes and France and US have called for sanctions.
The violence in the country has led to the death and displacement of many. Many South Sudanese have fled to neighboring countries like Ethiopia for refuge.
So, it came as a relief to me when the peace deal agreeing on a cease fire was finally signed by the two sides. President Kiir and Rebel leader Machaar recently signed this peace deal which was facilitated by intervening countries after negotiations in Ethiopia.
This peace deal is supposed to be a great source of hope, Right?
…but what I fear is that this peace deal might not last. So many other equally share the same concerns. I watched the video of the signing of the peace deal and the atmosphere looked pretty tensed. There were no smiles, no hugs or looks of reconciliation as the President and Rebel leaders signed the agreement. Even the statements that followed after didn’t seem comforting, as President Kiir took time to emphasize that he was still the president of South Sudan. Just as I feared, this morning, the two sides started accusing each other of violations of the agreement. This comes just two days after signing the agreement!
What concerns me most if this deal does eventually fails is the civilian population; innocent men, women and children, dying, suffering in hunger and extreme poverty. The violence between the two sides of the conflict has brought intense difficulty in providing humanitarian assistance and aid these people so desperately need. The cease fire deal was greeted with so much optimism that aid will finally get to these people. So, if this deal falls apart and violence continues, it simply means that the crimes against humanity will continue, the suffering and neglect these people face will continue, the starvation and sickness will continue!! The world is not paying enough attention to the plight of civilians in South Sudan but we must, because in our fight for humanity, everyone is equal. We musnt neglect them because they dont have a voice. We musnt look away while they suffer powerlessly.
It is a huge pity that the leaders of South Sudan have put their selfish ambitions and power lust above the well being of their own citizens. They do not care if people are dying or perishing, as long as they hold onto power.
However, I appeal to the UN to do whatever they can to ensure that aid and assistance get to the internally displaced people in South Sudan and refugees in other countries.