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Ongoing Crisis in South Sudan – Famine Ahead?

Kartikey Shukla for BeyondHeadlines

Since December, 2013 when conflict erupted in the newly liberated nation of the world has faced catastrophic violence, political unrest, shutdown of oil operation and crime against civilians. Incident of ethnically targeted killings of civilian, cases of women rape and people took refuse in the nearby countries.

It has been over six months since the ongoing conflict started, leaving behind political discussions I would rather focused on ‘present humanitarian crisis’. Emergency shutdown of oil production has created a space for China to react, emerging Asian oil players leading by China, Malaysia and India have faced various challenges to operate after liberation. Apart from shrinking economy, South Sudanese people have been victim of the ongoing conflict.

Political pundits describe this incident in many ways – ‘resource war’, ‘first South Sudanese civil war’ or ‘political crisis of South Sudan’. International humanitarian organisations criticised the sate for failing to govern the country, lack of political consensus and inefficient steps towards state reconstruction.

Country before liberation has faced two longest years of civil wars of Africa, after 2011 political era of ‘Northern-Southern divide’ came to an end. Exploited and forcedly displaced civilians came back to their land with the hope to live respectful peace life in liberated South Sudan. This is the second occasion when conflict speeded all over South Sudan and direct affecting civilians.

Western debates over the present crisis hold its previous stand based on ‘ethnic conflict’ which is not fully correct if we see it politically. It can be direct confronted while questioning, ‘how can a handful political goon’s military actions seen as ‘ethic conflict’ or ‘Tribalism’?”. I see it politically motivated ‘ethnic division’ in the process power struggle in post-liberated South Sudan. Consequences of the conflict include diverse set of questions to the ruling party and its involvement in the peace building process to ensure civilians rights during conflict.

Whenever conflict break out, minorities have been historically targeted in most of the ‘conflict driven society’. While keeping aside ethic orientation, women and children are victimised in all ethnic groups. Thousands of people were killed and displaced, UN has warned for the possibility of famine in South Sudan. The development narratives start and end with ‘human development’ but here is the case where primary development institutions are yet to realise. This ‘imagined land’ of prosperity and liberation has halted into a political trap which is under constructed by its former guerrillas.

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