It’s been more than a month since soldiers in South Sudan, a country that gets more than a billion dollars a year in U.S. assistance, singled out American aid workers for beatings and abuse amid an orgy of theft, intimidation, and gang rapes. The U.S. embassy in Juba knew what was going on when it was happening, but proved powerless to stop it, The Daily Beast reports.
A power-sharing agreement to end a conflict that started in December 2013 was centred around two people – President Salva Kiir (above) and opposition leader First Vice President Riek Machar – who are irredeemably compromised among segments of the population, who view them as posing an existential threat to their communities, note National Endowment for Democracy board member Princeton Lyman and Kate Almquist Knopf.
An African Union (AU) Commission of Inquiry found Kiir and Machar’s forces both responsible for killings that constituted war crimes and crimes against humanity. Sharing power between them has now failed disastrously on two separate occasions, and further attempts can only be expected to produce more of the same: immense human suffering and regional instability, they wrote for The Financial Times:
There is, however, another way: put South Sudan on “life support” by establishing an executive mandate for the UN and the AU to administer the country until institutions exist to manage politics nonviolently and break up the patronage networks underlying the conflict. This will realistically take 10-15 years. Planning for it at the outset, however, is more sensible than the accumulation of one-year mandates over decades, as is the case with other peacekeeping missions.