- Tribal conflicts and a struggle for resources are tearing South Sudan apart
- Humanitarian efforts based on outdated peace deal inadvertently aid ethnic cleansing
- Global powers’ eagerness to avoid intervention could allow a Rwanda-scale bloodletting
Political conflict, ethnic violence and man-made famine have turned South Sudan into Africa’s worst humanitarian disaster since the Rwandan genocide more than two decades ago.
This devastating crisis will have deep, long-lasting effects. It reflects inconvenient political truths that can be seen elsewhere in Africa – the residual effects of colonialism, the dysfunction and lack of democracy in post-colonial regimes, and how differences in ethnic identity and access to resources breed political and armed conflict.
South Sudan also poses a test for the so-called “international community” at a time when multilaterialism and value-driven politics are giving way to realpolitik and bilateral diplomacy.