Political Fight in South Sudan Targets Civilians

The crisis in South Sudan has broadened into a conflict in which longstanding ethnic divisions are fueling the violence and civilians are not accidental victims of the fighting.

Comments: 83

  1. Looks like this is our next war. Putin stopped Obama from getting involved in Syria so now we have turned our attention to S. Sudan.

    When will the the government learn that the American people are sick and tired of spending taxpayer money for wars in the Third World. We need to stay out of this conflict. We made a mistake ever creating S. Sudan but that does not mean that we have to supply the military for them.

    Our troops have bled and died in too many foreign lands recently - it is time to stop, bring the troops home, let these countries deal with their various internal conflicts themselves. We must bring out troops home and let countries like Afghanistan, S. Sudan etc. fight their own battles with their own troops.

  2. Actually, it's more accurate to say Bashir in Syria stopped the U.S. from taking action by admitting to having chemical weapons and agreeing to destroy them thanks to President Obama's action and, presumably, some encouragement from Putin.

  3. As usual Judyw, you twist the truth to your version of events. It was George W. Bush who sent troops to invade Iraq. The United States started that war which became a civil war. You seem to forget that it was Osama bin Laden that orchestrated 9/11 from Afghanistan. That is why we are in Afghanistan. Putin didn't stop Obama in Syria, Bashir did by giving up his chemical weapons.

    Another thing that you leave out of your commentary is that all of these regions have oil or minerals that the United States wants. If we stopped burning fossil fuel in this country at the rate that we do, just maybe, we could keep our troops home. As long as we continue burn oil, we will be sending our troops everywhere to get it.

  4. From a reading of history and some faith in humanity I think it's more likely that the Syrian outcome was a back-room deal a "deus ex machine" between Obama, Putin, the UK , Bashir and a few more of the powerful influences to avoid an even worse disaster than already is. History will tell.

    And US troops are not dying in foreign lands for foreigners they are dying for US quality of life!

    Aid , Charity, donations, and boots of the ground buys countries, policies, agreements, influence, power peddling, leaders, world power position and resources on the cheap, which makes our lives very much easier than the greater percentage of the world.

    I wonder will there be a day when people will be prepared to sacrifice the excesses in their life, many of which become more extreme by day. for the positive development of all of our species world wide.

  5. 'As the situation deteriorated, three American aircraft flying into South Sudan to evacuate American citizens in Bor were attacked on Saturday morning and forced to turn back.'

    Gulf of Tonkin any one?

    Have we gone insane in this country to the point where we're only looking for the next war to fight?

  6. no the leadership is reckless by sending 3 planes with soldiers unprotected , apparently unarmed in harms way to a war like situation.
    they were very lucky that not one plane was downed when they came under fire. at least I would have thought they would have send a helicopter gun ship for protection.

  7. Shocking news, people fighting over oil. Mix tribal and religious differences, add a touch of oil and what do you get. WAR! Just who are these Americans in S Sudan, could they be oil company employees? So keep filling up your SUV's but spare us your righteous indignation. All Americans shard in the blame for these conflicts.

  8. Hello,

    The USA has no need for imported oil.

    The USA is stopped from drilling for it's own oil by the Obama administration (and the fools like him) for the past several decades.

    For world peace; Drill Baby Drill,
    Bill Moore

  9. Oops, I accidentally clicked recommend instead of reply on the first try, you're really not that popular!

    No. This is not an oil conflict. The people who should soon start sharing some blame for the state of the world are those who look at a humanitarian emergency anywhere in the world, slap their own bumpersticker cause on it, and start mouthing off loudly as to what the world should do.

    Ignorance of the law is no excuse. In our increasingly complex and intertwined world, ignorance of the world is increasingly the cause of horror and grief. You are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

  10. Thank the British and the French for carving up Africa to allow for continued strife after World War I. Thank the Arab slavers for bringing that wonderful religion of Islam.

    Let the aformentioned great countries solve this one: not America.

  11. "Thank the British and the French for carving up Africa to allow for continued strife after World War I"

    Great comment. No one seems to discuss the root cause of all of the ethnic strife in Africa. Maybe if the Europeans hadn't arbitrarily drawn these political boundaries, then people like the Dinka and Nuers would be forced to be under the same government leading to the fights we see today. The consequences of imperialism continue.

  12. "Thank the British and the French for carving up Africa to allow for continued strife after World War I"

    You forget that these ethnic groups live mixed and that there are also some 60 other ethnic groups in the territory of South Sudan so that you cannot draw clear borders.

    You also forget that South Sudan is a new state and that the US had more influence on its shape than Britain and France.

  13. Hopefully we have learned the Reagan lesson from our dead Marines in the barracks in Lebanon.

    Along with the Clinton lesson of the Black Hawk down Special Ops operation dead in Somalia.

    Both men wisely cut and ran.

    Unless there is a vital immediate national security threat to the American homeland or American targets abroad then stay out of any ethnic or sectarian civil war. Responding to any past attacks should be limited against only the attackers and deterring any future attacks.

    Ignoring the typically ignorant stupid immature intemperate reckless fickle advice of Panama Canal Zone John Sidney McCain, III, who imagines that we always have the same interests and values as those under attack, shows that we are on the right path. His fellow traveler the Confederate Southern Belle Lindsay Olin Graham should also be ignored. While the unctuous insufferable Joe Lieberman has been replaced by the slightly less obnoxious Kelly Ayotte. Ignore the draft dodgers/ military service evaders.

    The American people are tired of the costs of eternal counter-insurgency regime change wars on the tactic of terror. Particularly when there is no vital national security existential strategic threat or attack on the United State States of America.

    If some other nation or organization wants to put their blood and treasure at risk then fine. America can not and should not be World Cop. We have more than enough problems governing our own interests and values right here in the home land.

  14. real marines do not cut and run, sir.

  15. Real Marines don't cut and run, and real leadership does not put those Marines in harm's way for no reason.

  16. Had you served, you would know that Marines do not run away.

    But I guess you did not serve your country. You sound pretty ungratefully stating that 'Marines cut and run' right on Christmas eve sir. Without them, you would not have the freedoms you enjoy.

  17. Perhaps the US and others could fly some of their drones over these ethnic cleansing and lawless areas and document these atrocities for the rest of the World to witness with hi-tec imaging cameras and the pictures will speak louder than "free" politicians around the World, and hopefully it will kick start the People Power Peaceful Revolution that the planet so desperately wants and needs. Patrol from the heavens. Global security for All....OK UN?...Happy holidays somewhere.....

  18. My son and his fiancee were able to make it out of Juba last Wedneday after several years of selfless devotion to the people of S Sudan. They are heartbroken over the atrocities, and have numerous Sudanese friends that they have not heard from since last Sunday. But, they will go back in a heartbeat to their adopted land to help the people, when, and if, things settle down.

    We are so very thankful that our loved ones have been able to get out in time but my heart aches for those that are not so lucky.

    Perhaps, Judyw, you should consider giving of yourself and maybe, just maybe, you would have some compassion for others. I would rather we go in now to help then allow the situation to escalate further and for more precious lives to be lost.

    I am confused by the statement from Judyw regarding our creating S Sudan. We had nothing to do with it's creation, the Sudanese people voted for a separate state. Please be aware of what is going on before making such statements.

    On this Christmas Eve hold your loved ones close, and please, try to take the time to be more cognizant of what is going on around you and lend a helping hand, and heart, when you can.

  19. Do you think the creation of South Sudan would have been possible without the support of the US, EU etc? So I'm sure the " Sudanese" people **really** voted for a new state. Did the ones in "north" Sudan vote for separate state?

    Historically, US meddling in failed states has proven to be a disaster. Remember Haiti in 1994 when Clinton invaded the country to restore to power a murdering, corrupt, ex-priest dictator ? So what be of Haiti today?

    I suggest you leave your typical American naive view of the Third World at the door, before calling others to task here for making obvious statements.

  20. Do Gooders sometimes do more harm than good. Stay here and do good.

  21. I got a feeling it is NGO like your son's that add fuel to the fire that lead to the break up of Sudan. Somehow there still are people thinking they are bringing civilization to the "savage" and could mess around with native's politics.

  22. Everybody knew from the start that South Sudan as a country was unviable. Yet the UN, the US and the EU pressed for the creation of what will now be another failed state. It is high time the international community learns to stay out of a country's internal matters.

    I wonder what the Hollywood limo liberals are thinking now....

  23. They are probably thinking about whatever they are doing at the moment.

  24. Yep....

    "Sudan Darfur? Wasn't that a cause I supported because George Clooney asked me to support it even if I had no idea what it was and I did it because it sounded cool"

  25. Before reading the comments of Phil and Mike, I would never have guessed that the NY Times had such a following among radical Tea Party conservatives who, by all appearances, would prefer that the US simply cease all diplomatic activities and focus solely on domestic issues. That's what international relations experts refer to as short sighted and xenophobic. The comments regarding South Sudan's creation are, on their face, incorrect and misleading. As other (more informed) commenters have pointed out, all national boundaries in Africa are the result of "unnatural" lines drawn by European colonizers centuries ago. In the case of South Sudan, the citizens DID vote in favor of secession, and the US, EU and UN merely assisted to ensure a peaceful transition to statehood. North and South Sudan are as different (geographically, culturally, etc.) as Haiti and Florida.

    By all reports, the Obama administration is attempting to evacuate Americans who are caught in S. Sudan. We are not sending in the cavalry. With that said, however, I read Phil's/Mike's comments to suggest that the US government should never intervene, even when events look eerily similar to the Rwandan bloodbath several years ago.

    As a brand new country, we (and the int'l community) should be helping S Sudan to stabilize itself and move forward. To pull up stakes and go home would have terrible (and bloody) consequences for decades to come.

  26. So the US sends in the marines, as usual. And as usual they only make matters worse. It's the American Way!

  27. Greene distinguises not vis-a-vis interventions or intervenors -- the Third Reich, Korea, Vietnam, hostage rescue, evacuation, natural disaster, it's all the same to him. Mr. Greene, you are an adult who seeks to comment in the Times, but can do no better than sloganeering? No wonder, with his kind of intellectual discrimination on display in the newspaper of record, the nation's educational status is so glaringly behind.

  28. Phil Greene '' So the US sends in the marines as usual ..It's the American way ! '' Can you tell us where it says US is sending marines, ? If you read carefully it is UN troops

  29. The only marines being sent in are evacuating US Citizens. That's one of the things they do, "as usual". And thank god for that.

  30. There are killings in the South Sudan. And what do we do? We send in the marines to do more killing. The marines are trained to kill, not for negotiating.

    The natural response from our government. We don't know how to solve it, then we send some of our troops to kill so we can say, "we are doing something".

  31. So, sarin gas and the reappearance of polio wasn't enough for US to help Syria? Are we cherry-picking our beneficiaries now? What criteria do we use: chance of retaliation low? We're so brave and strong these days. Kind of like Superman with that albatross of Kryptonite around his neck.

  32. This is not US getting directly involved other than assuring the safety of American citizens, it's a UN effort supported by the security council.

  33. Believe the journalists writing this could have better eduacted the reader on the backgroud to these clashes. They write;"But the rivalry between two of South Sudan’s political leaders, President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar, along with the divisions between their ethnic groups, threatens what little cohesion holds the state together." but no mention as to what about or which ethnic groups. In the next paragraph they reference oil resources, very likely an important catalyst to this tragic situation, but really don't put it all into context.
    I expect better from the NY Times.

  34. There should be 1000 comments on this article already. This is the true definition of ethnic cleansing and ethnic killing and it has been the case for years -- too many years. Where is the UN and immediate security counsel resolutions? Where is the world community to express outrage at the situation? Where is everyone who ever despised mass murder? Goodness!

  35. Question shouldn't be "Where IS...". Question should be: "Where has the UN been the past number of years?"

  36. Oil is involved. Where do you think the outrage is at the U.N.? The world community will only respond if the oil is threatened. As far as mass murder, these African tribes have been killing each other off for centuries. Leave them be & let them have at it. Maybe when they eradicate each other, the country can finally have peace & advance.

  37. We have to send our troops someplace. Otherwise they just "train" and they don't use up supplies & then contractors might have to lay off some of their employees.

  38. and those politicians get voted out of office.

  39. And no mea culpa from the colonialist countries who created this situation. Memory is a very selective faculty.

  40. This is the telling point; the Europeans sat over maps and drew straight lines to create countries with borders guaranteed to foment difficulties. In a natural world, it is rivers, mountain, oceans, et al. that are the natural borders and should be respected for what they are; rational boundaries that allow people of similar religions, ethnicity, and whatever to have their own space in this planet.

    There will always be conflict between various regions, but all those straight lines penciled onto paper maps have exacerbated the problems beyond all reason.

    It really calls into question the rationale of statehood. The Basques and the Kurds are two peoples without borders or recognition as a state, but they have existed for hundreds of years.

    It is interesting to think how the future would be if you just erased all of the national boundaries which would allow people to live their lives in whatever place they wish, while still maintaining a standard of decency and laws.

    So, where would you live if all choices were open to you?

    Merry Christmas

  41. France have sent troops to Mali and now CAR to halt violence against civilians so there is at least some sense of responsibility. As Phil Z points out in other reply, perhaps maps should be redrawn, like when South Sudan seceded in the first place.
    Still number one priority now must be to quell violence against civilians with whatever miliary personell can be brought in quickly enough.

  42. Many days late, and many dollars short. Where has the U.N. been? Thought we were getting out of wars.

  43. Thank God for the ones that serve!!!!

  44. Why would any American that needs protection be allowed to remain in South Sudan?
    Who benefited from the thousands of American lives wasted and the billions of dollars misspent in Iraq? What lasting accomplishments were achieved?
    Who is benefiting from the American lives still being wasted and the billions of dollars still being misspent in Afghanistan? Exactly what lasting accomplishments have been achieved? Keeping the terrorists under control?
    How many American lives will be wasted and how many billions of dollars will be misspent in South Sudan?
    Our Veterans just had their benefits cut but there is money for another war? Is this some fuzzy math that I don't understand?
    Our government makes me furious, makes my head hurt, makes me want to cry and makes me sick to my stomach.

  45. With the world’s newest country slipping further into violent chaos, the UN sought to bolster peacekeeping forces in South Sudan as the US and other nations tried to evacuate foreign citizens.

    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed to the Security Council today to reassign around 5,500 troops from other UN missions in Africa to South Sudan to help protect civilians. He also asked for attack helicopters, three transport helicopters and one military transport plane.

    The US, meanwhile, moved around 150 Marines from Spain to a base in the Red Sea nation of Djibouti to prepare for the evacuation of more US citizens and other foreign nationals. An estimated 100 US citizens are believed to be in South Sudan. Approximately 380 American citizens and about another 300 third-country nationals have been evacuated.

  46. A country carved out of an existing one by western imperialists is failing. What a surprise. Maybe subdivide the entire country into household sized "nations" will stop the violence. If not, we can station a peace keeper at each household.

  47. What's the statute of limitations on using past western imperialism as an excuse for contemporary inability to govern effectively?

  48. I agree with Elliot. South Sudanese lost tens of thousands of relatives, neighbors and friends to become a free and independent nation. Your "western imperialists" comment is an insult to their desire for freedom.

  49. Watch The Four Feathers 1939 and 2002, then read the book, and you will have a better idea of the conditions in the area. .

  50. Im interested in hearing how factors like Joseph Kony LRA and Phil Heilberg landgrabs all come into play.....not just the usual ethnic tensions.,..

  51. FOB, you know, I was stating the obvious. It was sarcasm aimed at Phil. Tea PArty? Right. Lighten up. And Shark? oh boy, once again...

  52. Having just returned from Brazil and South America I now understand why Americans are so deeply resented. We don't belong to be involved in the affairs of other nations. We're not wanted, not needed and not welcome. Although the human slaughter in Sudan is horrific it is not our business. The people of Sudan and other nations must learn to solve their own problems without our intervention at any level. America underwent a great civil war that led to the slaughter of more than 600,000. We had to learn the hard way how to live together as a nation. Our intervention or the intervention of other Western nations only leads to prolonged warfare and more death and destruction. Great nations must not be involved in wars of small tribes. Let's stay out of Sudan.

  53. Where would our revolution have led without the aid of France? South Sudan chose English as its official language because its goals include the civil institutions that took western democracies a millennia to develop. The Sudanese people want and need assistance from outsiders.

    The problem is that Sudan elected military people to lead them, and Selva Kiir and Riek Machar only know war, and grabbing the spoils of war. Neither of them respects life nor cares about building civil institutions: schools, hospitals, accountability, free press or an economy. These "leaders" are greedy, cold blooded murderers who will fight as long they can incite people to fight for them and it will take an outside force to stop this current brutality.

  54. Very interesting perspective, but this is different in one regard. The violence is targeted at civilians, and with global communication a stable, we should try to protect unarmed people. Its the same view a lot of people have with Syria, they want to help the civilians that are caught in the cross fire.

  55. And would you have not intervened in the Holocaust? If only nations did much earlier, perhaps some of the six million could have been saved. These are crimes against humanity, not Africans only. It's imperative that we (and other nations) help.

  56. Has there been poor rainfall or some other environmental stressor in the area over the last few years? South Sudan and Central African Republic are blowing up at the same time. I thought that the Rwandan genocide occurred coincidentally to poor harvests, but might be misremembering.

  57. I wonder if the American Studies Association will ban South Sudanese academic cooperation soon.

  58. My thoughts and prayers go out to all people in South Sudan. Absolutely heartbreaking.

  59. Is John Mc Cain not in South Sudan yet?

  60. I used to work in South Sudan. I can tell you a few things I know for certain:
    ------ The north is helping to fuel the flames of this fire;
    ------ The number of dead is far greater than is being reported;
    ------ I fear this will get worse before it gets better.

    The tension in South Sudan is not new. It has been there since before independence. Every foreign worker and all the locals knew this was more than likely to happen. All I have to offer is hope for the nation.

  61. The New York Times coverage is truly missing the mark in South Sudan. The Times is too busy quoting UN officials. The Guardian, from the UK, is truly talking to the victims. They tell the story of bodies being tossed in the Nile and mass graves. The imposed curfew is a time for the government to move the bodies at night. There are, sadly, possibly thousands dead.

    The Times needs to get on the ground and talk to the real people and ignore, for now the government officials. We need real journalism here.

  62. The world map with colored pins that identify trouble spots is cluttered across Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Asia Minor, South America, Central America... and things are looking more and more like what was experienced in 1914 and before. This is the post Cold War period - with Cold War separated nations twitching again. Japan, China and her vast reaches, the Koreas, the Philippines and others all exhibit trouble.

    With the USA in retreat, the forces of evil are rising. The Tower of Babel is leaning. The UN is failing, really. And the waters of our planet are rising.

    South Sudan shows us a world gone mad.

    Syria the same.

    We must sit down with Putin in Russia - but would he believe anything we tell him? And can we believe what he Putin tells us?

    Not much is said, but American oil interests are drilling in S. Sudan. They would know...

  63. We should not be surprised by these tragic developments in South Sudan. A decade ago, before the resolution of the long standing war with the Khartoum government, I worked with UNHCR in south western Ethiopia in the camps there for South Sudanese refugees. It was clear then that a large percentage of the refugees were not fleeing from the Khartoum government, but rather from opposing factions in South Sudan, mainly based on ethnic lines.

    Moreover, this article, in stating that it was only conflict with the North that united the groups in South Sudan, misrepresents the history. Periodically, one ethnic group in the South would unite with the Khartoum government against the other southern ethnic groups. There was never any real unity, even against Khartoum.

    The divisions between the Dinka and the Nuer are historic and generic to the societies along the Great Rift in Africa. The Dinka/ Nuer conflict is essential the South Sudanese version of the Hutu/ Tutsi conflict further south. It is the age long conflict between agrarian and pastoral ethnic groups in the region. Unfortunately, it is unrealistic to hope for an early resolution of this conflict that has plagued the area for generations.

  64. See Prof. Natsios' op/ ed on Sudan in today's on line NYT. Prof. Natsios documents much of the longstanding, ongoing tribal conflict is South Sudan and the alliances of S. Sudanese tribal groups with Khartoum against other S. Sudanese ethnic groups.

    Prof. Natsios and I differ only in that he sees the conflict in S. Sudan as essentially politically driven. Such political manipulation would be much less destructive if it were not supported by age old ethnic animosities. The problems of S. Sudan cannot be fully addressed by political change alone. Some cultural solution must be found for the agrarian/ pastoral conflict in Africa's Rift Valley.

  65. It's interesting that human rights violations are always reported heavily by "Western countries" wherever there's oil involved!

  66. Violence in other countries is sad, but has nothing to do with us. I don't understand American (and Western) "do gooders" who are obsessed with Africa, when our own country is crumbling around us. If you're concerned about black people killing each other, go try and help quell the violence in places like Detroit and Camden. Want to help malnourished kids, head to Appalachia. For that matter, go take care of your own loved ones and immediate community...like it or not they're likely not doing so hot. Of course I pray for the best for Sudan (and all places), but it just seems like misplaced energy when every indicator shows our own society is trending in the wrong direction.

  67. South Sudan is a creation of American (and Western) "do-gooders". It was peeled off from North Sudan so that the Western "do-gooders" can control its OIL FIELDS. As the civilians are being displaced or killed, the exploitation of the oil goes continues without interruption. This is a repeated popular strategy for exploiting natural resources in Sub-Saharan Africa: create tribal conflict, secure the location of natural resources by using UN troops, armed local allies and African Union troops, remove/kill the civilians from the resources areas using the armed locals and exploit the resources while the conflict rages on!

  68. Chris - Kony is (thank God) only a peripheral factor in South Sudan. LRA lurk around the borders and occasionally raid/kidnap villages in South Sudan. I'm not familiar with the name Phil Heilberg, but there is land-grabbing in South Sudan - the worst I'm familiar with was by the cabal around the president. For example they reportedly "sold" a plot the size of Switzerland to the Saudi royal family for use as a hunting ground. (Unclear to me by what right the president/friends can simply sell the land - hence "sold" in quotes.)

  69. Dinka vs. Nuer, herders vs. farmers.
    Tutsi vs. Hutu, herders vs. farmers.
    When and how did we settle this in the US Wild West?
    The sad thing is that, yet again, the little people suffer.
    Not the one in distant capitals, not the ones with power.
    World, please let this not get out of hand any further.

  70. Some of the comments are so callous and heartless. How can anyone look at those vulnerable little faces of the children in the photograph and not be moved to compassion?

    We as Americans have been incredibly fortunate in that we have not experienced the ravages of war in our own land for almost 160 years. Sadly, apparently this gift of peace has made it impossible for some of us to imagine and empathize with those of our fellow humans who will be spending this Christmas Day in terror and great suffering.

  71. Amen. The vast majority of us in this country could handle this kind of scenario for roughly five minutes.

  72. Fear not, Samsara, fear not.

  73. Hope the USA is happy with its support for the separation of south Sudan and its full support with it allies to the South in its war with the North,The billions spent for separating the country could have built a model country with a federal system that would have saved thousands of lives and offered better infrastructure, health and education.This is the model the USA has built for a hundred years and never tried to make a full assessment of its so called humanitarian aid

  74. From the time humans walked on two feet they have been killing each other, primarily in the name of religion. "When will they ever learn?"
    The message for Christmas Day is "peace on earth, good will to men".
    That is probably "The Impossible Dream".

  75. Christianity went through its reckless days long, long ago, and no one is persecuted for espousing different beliefs by Christian groups, unless we get around to politicians not picking up votes for certain decisions they make. Real religions don't intentionally kill people.

    The groups killing innocents in Africa now don't so much have a religion as are simply following military or political demands by wannabe tyrants, with or without the shiny tin badges.All wars target innocent civilians.

  76. Riek Machar and Salva Kiir need to act as responsible leaders and take a stand to support the unity of the country. Everything they are both doing now is only fuelling the flames. Both have to demonstrate tangibly that they are not interested only in personal power, but in democracy and accountable governance. Nothing short of them both stepping down as presidential-contender and President, respectively, and allowing moderates not associated with the current violence to lead the party and the country will heal the deep wounds already inflicted. Do they have the moral strength to do that? It takes a Mandela to do that. Can they? All those with influence on these two figures needs to insist that they do this -- nothing less -- as anything less will be of no consequence.

  77. Solution is simple. Southeast Sudan and Southwest Sudan.

  78. The only thing worse than UN and western intervention would be the lack thereof.

  79. This social political public violent ‘roiling’ in South Sudan illustrates in a manner most manifest, the fundamental ordinal fragility in post conflict ‘nation building’. 'Nation Building' ought/must be considered as a social public policy prescriptive process measured in multi-generational decades. The majority of post conflict civil social political organizations find that public administrative institution stability is most illusive. Institutional fragility can degenerate into the civil breakdown. There exists no ready facile constructive response as to what went wrong--- save that the majority of citizens in this new country now find themselves as 'social fragments’ now existing to live. This 'social fragmentary' element will not enhance ‘post roiling civil social cohesion’. Do we in the West have an ontological obligatory responsibility to assist?—if so; what form ought civil assistance to assume presuming that facile ‘band aid’ bromides will not suffice, My suggestion would be for the African Union to intervene only to trench social stability; as long term governance stability trenching will require as in all post conflict social order long term realignment in political public policy discourse. Sensitivity grounded in ‘real politick’ ought to be a 'real' consideration when engaging in dialogue amongst the various political and civil actors. This will require long term civil social institution trenching. South Sudanese Local Mores and Societal Norms must be valued.

  80. The lyrics of the song "Imagine" written by the late John Lennon will continue to haunt us humans until we heed the words and learn to live on this one country of ours called "Earth" as one human race. My heart bleeds for my fellow humans living and dying senselessly in a place called "South Sudan" located in another place on Earth branded negatively by other humans as "Africa".

  81. i think there is WAY more going on here than herders vs farmers honestly...not to say there arent tribal tensions...but between oil interests, landgrabs being politically connived by wall streeters on the ground there (like Phil Heilberg)....not to mention Joseph Kony LRA hanging nearby....yes this goes way back, even way before Miir and K were pres and vice pres that hated each other....but in this immediacy, i sense a connection with the altercation between CAE/US Special Forces with Kony/LRA earlier this month ,,,,and a push by land and oil grabbers to let the disease run its course faster (call it manifest destiny still).... M U C H more is going on here than religious and lifestyle tensions. those are just the warmongering red herrings employed by foreign greed.

  82. The UN says it has reports of three mass graves in South Sudan, amid "palpable fear" among civilians they will be killed for their ethnicity.

    The UN said 34 bodies had been found in Bentiu in the north, with two more sites reported in the capital, Juba.

    One man in Juba said he was rounded up with 250 men and only 12 survived.

    UN officials say at least 80,000 people have been displaced by the crisis - approximately half of them seeking shelter at UN bases - with fighting now having spread to half of the 10 states.

  83. “We thought that the war was fought between the soldiers....”

    We cannot separate "soldiers" from "people" as if they were separate species.

    Sadly, the fact is that these soldiers are people and that the people most likely to join a particular group of soldiers (army) are those with an affinity – ethnic, racial, religious, national – for the purposes and aims of the soldiers of a particular bend so it "makes tactical sense" for one group to decimate, as a precautionary measure, the number of potential enemy combatants by targeting civilian groups who are prone to join the opposing side in a conflict, reducing the enemy's numbers and threat "in advance."