Tag: south sudan

Country profile: South Sudan

Eleanor Hobhouse considers the state of Africa’s newest nation, five years after independence.

The road from Juba airport (one of the few paved roads in the country) is a dilapidated parade marked by unfinished and decayed buildings, which sprung up in the heady days following hard-won independence from Sudan in 2011. Juba itself, once a small trading outpost on the Nile, is now a dusty urban sprawl, teeming with UN personnel, military and motorcades. The marked lack of infrastructure (more notable still outside the capital) speaks to a long history of neglect.

At Sudan’s independence in 1956, the British failed to deliver on promises of autonomous rule to the southern states, which were culturally, ethnically, linguistically and religiously distinct. This opened the door to inevitable conflict. A brief period of stability was heralded by the 1972 Addis Ababa Agreement, which awarded the South the right to self-government. But this disintegrated in 1983 and hostilities resumed, leading to the formation of the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), headed by the charismatic John Garang.

Rise in child recruitment as conflict in South Sudan enters fourth year

https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45282270

Three years after fighting first erupted in South Sudan, children continue to be recruited by armed forces and armed groups, with 1,300 children recruited in 2016, UNICEF said today. This brings to more than 17,000 the total number of children used in the conflict since 2013.

“Since the first day of this conflict, children have been the ones most devastatingly affected by the violations,” said UNICEF’s Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Leila Gharagozloo-Pakkala. “Now, as the fighting intensifies – and despite repeated pledges by all to end child recruitment – children are once again being targeted.”

Security Council Press Statement on the Ethnic Violence and the Situation in South Sudan

The members of the Security Council were briefed by the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General Ellen Løj, the United Nations Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng, and the Chair of the South Sudan sanctions committee on the situation in South Sudan.

The members of the Security Council expressed deep alarm ‎over the escalation of ethnic violence in South Sudan reportedly carried out by the SPLA, the SPLA in Opposition, as well as militias, and unidentified armed groups.

Constitutionalizing Peace in South Sudan

The constitution-making process must remain wedded to the public interest in the peace process, and not simply the narrow interests of political elites.

Constitutions comprise the rules, principles, and laws that define relations between the government and people. Edmund Burke, a noted statesman and thinker of the eighteenth century, regarded the constitution as “an evolving contract between the past and present”, one that required constraint to control revolutionary passions for liberty. He of course railed against those who used it for revolutionary purposes, which included Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine. Yet it was precisely this passionate aspiration that has sustained the US constitution and helped drive efforts to assert its influence overseas.

In the early 1990s, for instance, some US pundits insisted that in order to fill the political vacuum left by the fall of the Soviet Union, countries should incorporate the US bill of rights into their constitutions. Few of course took these calls seriously; however, they have helped underscore the difficult and often delicate process of using constitutional ammendments to advance democratic values and peace-making, particularly in parts of sub-Saharan Africa.