Posts Tagged ‘tribal violence’


The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) today released a report on the findings of its in-depth investigation into the inter-communal violence in Jonglei State, that claimed the lives of hundreds in 2011 and early 2012. The report was compiled by the Human Rights Division of UNMISS with support from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Human rights officers undertook 20 field missions to towns and rural areas of Jonglei State that were targeted by the violence, in particular those affected by the late December 2011 attacks by thousands of Lou Nuer armed youth on Murle settlements in Pibor County

Tribal raids killed 900 South Sudanese in Dec-Feb: U.N

(Reuters) – Nearly 900 South Sudanese died during a burst of violence between rival cattle herding tribes in late 2011 and early 2012, the United Nations said on Monday, criticizing the newly formed state’s army for failing to protect civilians. South Sudan, which split away from Sudan a year ago, has been struggling to stamp its authority on an undeveloped country the size of France awash with weapons.

UN Report Says South Sudan Tribal Violence Intensifying

NAIROBI, Kenya — The United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) says inter-communal violence in Jonglei state beginning last year was perpetuated, in part, by hate speech and the proliferation of weapons.  A new UNMISS human rights report says the government failed to act fast enough to stop the violence. The UNMISS report released Monday says an ongoing cycle of inter-ethnic violence in Jonglei state has intensified in recent years as rival groups become better armed and better organized.

South Sudan must prosecute Jonglei killers and abductors – UN

NAIROBI (AlertNet) – The government of South Sudan must prosecute those responsible for killing hundreds of people in Jonglei state six months ago, the United Nations said in a report released on Monday. In its human rights report, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said 888 people were killed between December 2011 and February 2012 in a conflict between the Lou Nuer and Murle cattle-herding communities over water and grazing land.

Inter-ethnic fighting and failed promises put Salva Kiir’s administration on the spot

Photo/FILE Inter-ethnic fighting and failed promises put Salva Kiir’s administration on the spot

Posted  Thursday, March 1  2012

The YouTube video footage shows a patient groaning in pain in a bare bed. His left leg and shoulder are swathed in bandages through which blood seeps from the underlying wounds.

The narrator explains that the injured man, like the rest in this crowded Juba Hospital ward, is a victim of the recent upsurge of tribal violence in the neighbouring state of Jonglei.

“They came at dawn and opened fire randomly on fleeing people, killing women, children and the elderly before burning the houses,” Yien Tap, another patient with less severe wounds explains in the footage.

“Even those who fled were followed in the bush. We survived by hiding”.

The 25 year-old is lucky to be alive after Murle warriors descended on his village, killing more than 50 people and abducting many more as they drove away thousands of cattle.

The attack he is talking about is part of a series of raids that have besmirched the newly independent South Sudan as critics blame it for abandoning its liberation war era promises and failing to rein in negative ethnicity.

The Jonglei conflict pits the dominant Lou Nuer against the Murle.

Reportedly fuelled by need for grazing fields, cattle rustling, excessive dowry demands and negative politics, the clashes have claimed thousands of lives according to some officials and left many more destitute in displaced peoples’ camps.

The chaos peaked in January when more than 6,000 armed Nuer tribesmen, called the White Army, marched through Murleland in a scorched-earth operation that left in its wake a trail of blood, smouldering villages and thousands of homeless people.

Vowing “to wipe out the entire Murle tribe from the face of the earth as the only guarantee against long-term security of Nuer’s cattle” according to a Juba-based blogger, the Nuer climaxed their murderous march in the town of Pibor, where unconfirmed number of people were killed.

Pibor County Commissioner Joshua Konyi claimed that the invasion left more than 3,000 people dead but UN and Government of South Sudan officials said the figures were unconfirmed and may have been inflated.

Aid agencies said more than 60,000 were in urgent need of help after being rendered homeless in a region where UN and government centres are far and wide between swathes of bandit-infested, barren wilderness.

The 800-strong combined force of UN and government soldiers holed up in the dusty town could nothing other than warning residents to flee their homes.

The inaccessibility of this state the size of Bangladesh, late deployment of troops from Juba and reluctance to intervene in a historical tribal conflict have been cited as the reasons why authorities were unable to stop the advance of the deadly column.

The Nuer were revenging against a spate of attacks on their villages by the Murle late last year where dozens of people, mostly women and children, were killed or abducted.

Nuer Youth in the Diaspora (NYD), a group claiming to represent members of the community abroad, endorsed the revenge attacks claiming they were a justified act of self-defence.

“It should be recalled that the right of self-defence, which includes pre-emptive strikes, is a right that can be exercised by communities in absence of a functional government that guarantees security,” the NYD said in a statement to the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA).

“Unfortunately, a functional government does not exist in South Sudan and different tribes in the South live in Hobbesian anarchy in which men live without a common power to keep them safe”.

The Lou Nuer blame their woes on the government of President Salvar Kiir which disarmed them in 2006 in an operation where, it is claimed, more than 300 died.

The new state is accused of failing to do the same to the Murle who have since been taking the advantage of the tilted balance of power to mount cattle raids and child abductions.

“The Nuer community in USA, Canada, Europe, New Zealand and Australia must raise funds for the White Army to defend property and cattle of Nuer civilians,” the NYD resolved.

These sentiments were backed by the Ngudeng Historical Society Association, a group that oversees the community’s religious heritage, whose chairman declared the Murle have committed a sacrilege by attacking the holy city of Wec Deang.

The shrine is the birthplace of Prophet Ngundeng, a religious legend of the Lou Nuer people. Stories are told of how the holy man killed British soldiers with a swipe of his divine rod when they tried to attack the holy place in 1902.

“They first attacked Dengjok Payam and killed over 30 civilians and took over 20,000 head of cattle… on January 14, 2012, the Murle fighters attacked Prophet Ngundeng’s bieh (Pyramid) and killed innocent civilians,” complained the Society’s chairman and the prophet’s grandson Gai Ngundeng.

“All Nuer officials, politicians, students, soldiers, youth, doctors, lawyers and White Army have to fight Murle youth and to bring them to justice for attacking the holy city of Wech Deang”.

Media and aid agency reports indicate that the animosity between the two communities is so fierce that even in Juba Hospital where most of the injured are nursing their wounds, the Nuer are housed in different wards from the Murle with police officers placed at the door to take care of any eventualities.

According to United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the conflict has displaced more than 50,000 people, a situation aggravated further by the recent fighting in Sudan’s southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states which forced 75,000 Sudanese refugees to cross over into South Sudan’s Unity and Upper Nile states.

With UN-backed peace talks having collapsed last December, there are no signs of lasting peace in the foreseeable future. But the Nuer-Murle conflict is just one of the numerous internal feuds afflicting the infant state.

Throughout the history of the region, conflicts have been the norm rather than the exception. From wars pitting tribes over pasture lands to blacks fighting against Arab domination, South Sudan is one of the continent’s oldest battlefields.

Although the formation of South Sudan Liberation Army (SPLA) in 1983 created a unified front through which a consistent war of independence from the north was waged, the movement also experienced breakups and revolts throughout the 22 year-old campaign.

But a peculiarity of this conflict is that many rebel groups and armed militia have emerged and flourished after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005 and the 2010 general elections.

The SPLM has pointed fingers at Khartoum but many observers tend to differ, accusing the movement of planting the seeds of discord by failing to deliver its pre-independence promises like provision of services, creation of employment and particularly the inability to address negative ethnicity.

“Minority tribes who joined the SPLA in their thousands found themselves left out in the movement’s leadership and participated only as cannon porters and nothing else,” complains an anonymous on-line writer to the SSNA who goes on to claim the root cause of current tribal hostilities has been abated by the current regime.

“It took Col John Garang and his henchmen nearly three years to create fictitious titles like the one known as “Alternate Members” of Politico Military High Command to accommodate few non-Dinka like Galario Ornyang, James Wani Igga… and Dr Riek Machar in the SPLA leadership’s hierarchy”.

With his name withheld by SSNA for “security reasons”, this author launches a scathing attack on the SPLM government which he blames for the high number of rebel movements that have been popping up in every corner of the new state in recent times.

“The Political Bureau (PB) which is the highest political organ of the ruling SPLM is actually a rubber stamp used by one ethnic group (Dinka) to dominate others by using their numbers to impose decisions on others,” he alleges.

The discontent stirred by the dissatisfaction with the Juba-based administration has led to the emergence of several rebel groups in recent times, the most prominent being South Sudan Democratic Army (SSDA) and South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA), said to be in the process of forging a united fighting alliance.

The two group’s new friendship is said to have bee triggered by the killing of SSDA leader Gen George Athor Deng in December by government forces along the Uganda-South Sudan border.

The 49 year-old Athor was a former member of the SPLA high command who revolted after losing the race for Jonglei governorship during the 2010 general elections.

“Another Athor will emerge tomorrow unless real progress is made in providing political and economic opportunities to communities that feel marginalised in the process of independence,” explained John Prendergast, co-founder of the Enough Project that operates in South Sudan.

“The South Sudan government, with international support, must address inter-communal divisions within the South”.

As we went to press the South Sudan Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin said that the government had signed an agreement with Athor’s fighters to be incorporated in the national army.

The fighters, he added, had accepted President Salva Kiir’s amnesty.
As things stand now, the delivery of social services in South Sudan remains a tall order for the SPLM government partly because of the unresolved oil revenue sharing formula with Khartoum.

The South Sudan government recently claimed that the north had stolen more than two million barrels of her oil worth $200 million and stopped pumping it to the north for export.

Sudarsan Raghavan/WASHINGTON POST – Kayoi Maze, 42, was separated from her two daughters, ages 18 and 16. Her neighbors later informed her that the fighters had abducted them. “I don’t expect to ever see them again,” said Maze, who like hundreds of villagers returned to the city Likuangole over the weekend to receive food aid from the UN’s World Food Program. ”At least I have two daughters left.”

By , Published: January 30

LIKUANGOLE, South Sudan— Nothing is intact in this town, save the memories. Every hut was burned to the ground. The only health clinic and the only school were torched. Hundreds were killed or injured. Thousands more fled.The United Nations and South Sudan’s government had combat forces in this town at the time of the assault late last year. But witnesses say they did nothing to stop the killings.

South Sudan map: Likuangole; Jonglei state; Pibor; Duk Padiet; Likuangole; Nuer tribe; Murle tribe

When the attackers reached a village nearby, they shot Nyandit Allan, 28, twice in her left leg and again in the face, then slit the throats of her two stepsons. “They were singing as they left,” said Allan, who is now recuperating in a clinic.Six months after celebrating independence,the world’s newest nation is grappling with a virus of tribal violence. In many ways, the inevitable has happened, as ethnic and political tensions exploded after being suppressed by the promise of separation from the north, after a decades-long war against rulers in Khartoum.

The United States and its allies have spent billions to help South Sudan become a stable, pro-Western pillar in a region plagued by terrorism and militant Islam. But now the intensifying attacks have ignited tribal violence and threaten to undermine a government already facing a long list of daunting challenges.

Stopping the violence “would demand a very, very significant military operation, and the government also would have to move significant forces to make that happen,” said Hilde Johnson, the head of the U.N. mission in South Sudan.

The state of Jonglei has long been gripped by poverty, ethnic and political tensions, a massive influx of weapons and a history of cattle raiding between the Nuer and Murle tribes. Last year, the United Nations documented 208 attacks that displaced more than 90,000 people.

But the current bloodletting appears far more vicious and widespread. Once, only cattle camps were raided. Now, entire villages and towns are being razed, infrastructure destroyed.

“Our clinic is full of women and children,” said Karel Janssens, field coordinator for theaid agency Doctors Without Borders in the town of Pibor, where many of the wounded have sought refuge.

Torn apart by revenge

Since the attacks by the Lou Nuer, a subgroup, on this area in late December and early January, the Murle have risen up. They have marauded Nuer areas across Jonglei. Two weeks ago, 47 people were killed in the village of Duk Padiet. Aid agencies have launched a massive humanitarian effort to help those harmed by the raids, which the United Nations now numbers 120,000 people.

On Dec. 17, a Nuer militia known as the White Army announced that it would protect the Nuer population and their cattle from the Murle because the government was not doing enough.

The militia, which has a fundraising and media arm in the United States, said it was also seeking revenge for the massacre of 700 Nuer by Murle warriors in August, a month after South Sudan declared independence.

In a telephone interview, Gai Bol Thong, a Nuer spokesman who lives in Seattle, said his group had raised $45,000 from supporters in the United States and Canada for food and other “humanitarian” needs of the fighters.

Sudarsan Raghavan/WASHINGTON POST – Kayoi Maze, 42, was separated from her two daughters, ages 18 and 16. Her neighbors later informed her that the fighters had abducted them. “I don’t expect to ever see them again,” said Maze, who like hundreds of villagers returned to the city Likuangole over the weekend to receive food aid from the UN’s World Food Program. ”At least I have two daughters left.”

On Dec. 25, the White Army e-mailed a statement vowing to “wipe out the entire Murle tribe on the face of the earth.”The next day, 6,000 Lou Nuer fighters attacked Likuangole.

They stole thousands of heads of cattle. They destroyed all the boreholes, eliminating the main source of water here. Groups of warriors targeted Murle men, while others tracked down women and children who had fled into the thick bush.Kayoi Maze, 42, was separated from her two daughters, ages 18 and 16. Her neighbors later told her that the fighters had abducted them.

“I don’t expect to ever see them again,” said Maze, who like hundreds of villagers returned to Likuangole to receive aid from the U.N. World Food Program. “At least I have two daughters left.”

Local officials estimate that 850 people were killed in Likuangole and nearby villages, including 660 women and children. An estimated 150 women and children were abducted. An additional 2,250 people were killed in surrounding areas. But neither the United Nations nor the government have confirmed those figures.

In Likuangole, two human skulls lie on a patch of charred ground near the U.N. base. The smell of rotting flesh still wafts through the air. In graffiti covering the walls of the school, the Lou Nuer fighters have declared the town part of their territory.

“We have done this to you,” reads one message, “because you have done it to us.”

‘The U.N. failed us’

When the gunmen attacked, Achiro Manibon remembered running in one direction as his three wives and four children ran the other way. They were all shot dead.

Manibon, 35, had expected the United Nations combat force and South Sudanese troops stationed in the town to fend off the attackers. But they didn’t fire a weapon, he said. Across this area, people feel betrayed by their military and the U.N. peacekeepers, which has a mandate to use force, if needed, to protect civilians.

For weeks, the peacekeepers had tracked columns of Lou Nuer fighters making their way toward Likuangole and Pibor. Yet they dispatched only 400 of their 3,000-member force.

Simon Ali, a local administrator, said he brought five disabled people to the U.N. base for protection. The peacekeepers told him to put them in a hut about five yards from the base, he said. When the Lou Nuer arrived, they fired into the hut. Then, they torched it with the people inside, Ali said.

“The U.N. failed us,” he said. “We asked for their help and they did nothing.”

Johnson, the head of the U.N. mission in South Sudan, said U.N. forces in Likuangole had evacuated 41 people, mostly disabled and elderly, before the attack, “but we cannot rule out there might have been some civilians left.” She added that she was not aware of any incidents in which U.N. forces did not provide assistance to civilians seeking refuge.

In Likuangole, there’s also deep mistrust of the government. Many senior officials, including Vice President Reik Machar, are Nuer, and Lou Nuer soldiers number in the thousands in the military and are unlikely to intervene, residents said.

Col. Philip Aguer, a South Sudanese military spokesman, said that only 500 soldiers were in Likuangole at the time of the attack, and that it would have been like “sentencing your soldiers to death” if they had tried to fight the 6,000 Lou Nuer warriors.

“The real reason why they did nothing is because the force was not capable of confronting the attackers,” Aguer said. “Not because many are Nuer.”

Today, roughly 1,500 U.N. peacekeepers — half the force — are patrolling Jonglei state. But it has become even more difficult to stop attacks. The Murle fighters are moving in small groups, staging swift stealth attacks, making the violence harder to monitor and predict. “You could see a pattern of where they are moving, but we, with all our helicopters, are not able to detect that they are going to that village or not that,” Johnson said.

Back in the United States, Gai Bol Thong is continuing to raise funds for the White Army. If the government cannot protect the Nuer community, “we will do some revenge against the Murle,” he warned.

South Sudan official: Cattle raid kills 70; nation struggles to contain internal violence

By Associated Press, Published: January 30

JUBA, South Sudan — An official in South Sudan says more than 70 people were killed in a recent cattle raid.Interior Minister Alison Manani Magaya said Monday that a Nuer tribe from Unity state attacked a Dinka community in neighboring Warrap state Saturday. He says 70 people were wounded and attackers took more than 4,000 cattle.

The Warrap attack is the latest in a series of cattle raids since December. Ongoing raids between Nuer, Murle and Dinka communities have killed hundreds. The United Nations estimates over 120,000 people have been affected in Jonglei state alone.Magaya said authorities had not found any links connecting the attacks in Warrap to violence in Jonglei.

South Sudan broke away from Sudan in July and is struggling to contain internal violence that has plagued the region for years.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

South Sudan roads ministry unveils 10-year plan
Middle East North Africa Financial Network
JUBA, Jan 21, 2012 (Sudan Tribune – McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) — South Sudan’s roads and bridges minister, Gier Chuang Aluong, spoke to journalists at a press conference in Juba on Tuesday about a 10-year strategic plan that 

South Sudan to unveil pipeline plans next week: minister
Chicago Tribune
JUBA/BEIJING (Reuters) – South Sudan will announce plans for an oil export pipeline through East Africa next week, a priority for the new nation because its crude is “no longer safe” in Sudan, a government spokesman said on Saturday. 

US looks at possible aid for Sudan border states
Reuters Africa
Activist groups have urged Washington to help in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan, where Sudanese government troops have repeatedly clashed with rebels following the independence of South Sudanin July. The fighting has already forced about 417000 

Over 120000 affected by South Sudan clashes – UN
20 (Xinhua) — More than 120000 people affected by the recent violence in South Sudan’s Jonglei state may need emergency assistance, which is twice the original estimate, the United Nations humanitarian official in the African country said on Friday. 

Fire guts parking yard at South Sudan-Ugandan border
New Vision
By Vision Correspondent A fire has reportedly broken out at a parking yard in Nimule town at boarder of South Sudan and Uganda. A police officer at the scene who did not want to be quoted says the fire broke about a few minutes ago, followed by a loud 
South Sudan: Plan scales up critical aid as violence continues
Reuters AlertNet
Child rights organisation Plan International is scaling up its relief food distribution in Pibor County –South Sudan as tribal violence continues to rage in the strife-torn region. The additional food supplies, secured from the World Food Programme, 

South Sudan: Zimbabwean Appointed Deputy Special Representative for Unmiss
Juba — The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon today announced the appointment of Mr. Raisedon Zenenga, a Zimbabwean, as the Deputy Special Representative (political) in the United Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). 
Nigerian peacekeeper killed in Darfur ambush: UN
UN leader Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned the attack on the patrol in South Darfur and called on the Sudanese government to carry out a speedy investigation. The joint UN-AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) said the attack was staged around midday, 
South Sudan plagued by ethnic violence
James Kumen a young district administrator stands in the compound where he sleeps in Jonglei state South Sudan. Armed only with a credit-less satellite phone and a university education he is responsible for administering dozens of remote hamlets and

The euphoria of South Sudan’s independence six months ago after decades of civil war with the north has been replaced by fears of escalating tribal violence
AFP , Saturday 14 Jan 2012
South Sudan

In this photo of Thursday, Jan.12, 2012, victims of ethnic violence in Jonglei, state, South Sudan, wait in line at the World Food Program distribution center in Pibor to receive emergency food rations . (Photo: AP)

Sitting on the edge of the bed beside his nine-year-old daughter recovering from a gunshot wound, Mangiro recounted how he lost the rest of his family in recent tribal clashes in South Sudan’s troubled state of Jonglei. “This child was carried by her mother, and her mother was killed,” the next day we carried the child out from under her mother,” said Mangiro, who did not give a second name.

“They were gunned down as a family. Her mother and sisters, all four of them are dead there,” he added, glancing at his surviving daughter Ngathim.

An unknown number of people — at least dozens, some fear hundreds — were killed in tribal clashes this month in Jonglei, declared a “disaster zone” by the Juba government, with the UN warning some 60,000 people had been affected by the violence and are in need of emergency aid.

In Pibor’s clinic run by medical charity Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres-MSF), Ngathim was in one of the few functioning rooms after attackers looted and ransacked the town’s only concrete structure and medical facility.

In a dramatic escalation of bitter tit-for-tat attacks, a militia army of around 8,000 Lou Nuer youths recently marched on Pibor county, attacking villages and taking children and cows away with them, to exact revenge on the Murle whom they blame for abductions and cattle raiding.

From the air, black spots pockmarking the earth show where homes and fields were razed as attackers left villages smouldering in their wake. Large herds of stolen cattle were also seen being driven towards Nuer villages.

In Gumruk, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Pibor, the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) registered more than 2,000 people this week who fled attacks on surrounding villages. “We were just sitting at home, and then we were attacked. These Nuer guys came in with their machetes and started cutting people and so we ran,” said Ismiah Shan, a mother of eight who saw villagers shot and slashed with knives, spears or machetes in Thaugnyang, two hours’ walk away.

The government has confirmed around 80 people killed in revenge attacks in Lou Nuer areas this week, but the UN and government cannot confirm the number of Murle killed in the first assault. Some estimates by local government officials in the thousands are not yet verified, as teams asses a vast area lacking roads.

Access difficulties and a state the size of Bangladesh have been cited as the reason why UN peacekeepers and government troops failed to stop the deadly column advancing. Others say troops were dispatched late and were clearly outnumbered, or were hesitant to intervene in a tribal conflict that last year killed around 1,100 people in a series of cattle raids.

When the violence started, Philip Mama Alan fled his village of Lawol, three hours’ walk from Gumruk, but ran into more attackers. “These people came and took some of my colleagues. One of them came and held my hand and said ‘sit down’. Before I sat down, I saw them kill my colleagues and so I ran,” he said.

Running for his life, Alan described the scene as a “slaughter”, saying the men were gunned down and women knifed. He does not want revenge, just for the government to build roads to bring trade into the neglected state, that was one of the worst hit during the decades of civil war with the north.

In the meantime, the huddled masses sitting in the glaring sun outside food distribution centres in Pibor and Gumruk were not thinking about home. Many had been living off wild berries and said there is nothing to go back to after they saw villages destroyed. Others seemed to be taking matters into their own hands in an effort to regain their livelihood.

WFP head of security Wame Duguvesi said that in Pibor this week the body of a Nuer army officer was discovered, while the death toll from other suspected revenge attacks continues to climb in increasingly remote areas far from the security forces.

“Peaceful dialogue is the only way forward to reach a final and durable settlement to their differences,” said Kouider Zerrouk, spokesman for the UN mission in South Sudan, who urged communities to end the worrying cycle of violence.

“The reconciliatory peace process must restart immediately,” he said, after peace talks between the two tribes collapsed in early December.

Written by John Daly
Saturday, 14 January 2012 13:30

There’s bad news and then there’s South Sudan, the world’s newest state. Less than six months after peacefully seceding from Sudan in the wake of an internally supervised plebiscite, South Sudan, potentially one of Africa’s richest petro-states, is descending into rising tribal violence.

The interethnic clashes have killed more than 3,000 and displaced thousands in South Sudan’s Jonglei State, with the UN reporting that tens of thousands of people displaced by the violence are in urgent need of food, water, health care and shelter.

But not to worry, Washington is now engaged, sending…



Health care?


No, on 10 January the Pentagon said that the five officers are expected to depart for South Sudan later this week to join the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS.) The same day South Sudan’s Oil Minister said that north Sudan was siphoning off his country’s oil and threatened to instigate legal proceedings against any country or company involved in buying the allegedly stolen crude. The South Sudanese government also threatened to sue Khartoum over its decision to unilaterally impose monthly charges on its crude oil transported through its pipelines.

South Sudan’s Minister of Petroleum and Mining Stephen Dhieu Dau told journalists in the capital Juba, “Rather than view the New Year as an opportunity for renewed cooperation, the government of Sudan unilaterally decided to impose economic sanctions by blocking exporting our crude and stealing our oil,” gravely adding, “The Government of Sudan and all those that benefit from such illegal acquisitions will find no refuge from South Sudan’s legal authorities and will enjoy no future business with the Government of South Sudan.”

South Sudan is considering building a pipeline to Kenya to bypass having to use north Sudan’s infrastructure, but the project is years away from being implemented. As for the importance of oil to the new government’s economy, South Sudan is one of the world’s poorest countries, with oil export revenues currently accounting for around 98 percent of the government’s annual budget.

Why should the West care?

Because after South Sudan seceded in July 2011, it took with it 75 percent of the Sudan’s known oil wealth. South Sudan is also claiming that Khartoum is arming South Sudanese rebel groups in order to destabilize the new country and retake control of its oil fields.

Ever optimistic, on 12 January South Sudan issued a tender to sell 4.7 million barrels of Dar Blend and 1.6 million barrels of Nile Blend crude for loading in February despite concerns its shipments were being blocked by Sudan at the Bashayer oil export terminal.

Just to make sure that no untoward incidents occur, the quintet of American soldiers would not engage in combat operation but would be armed for personal protection and oh, President Obama issued a memorandum noting, “I hereby certify that members of the U.S. Armed Forces participating in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan are without risk of criminal prosecution or other assertion of jurisdiction by the International Criminal Court (ICC) because the Republic of South Sudan is not a party to the ICC and has not invoked the jurisdiction of the ICC pursuant to Article 12 of the Rome Statute.”

Coincidentally, but hardly as an afterthought, the Obama administration also authorized U.S. companies to operate in South Sudan’s oil sector.

And last but not least, Washington last week added South Sudan to the list of countries eligible to receive U.S. weapons and defense assistance, a gesture certain to enthrall the South Sudan’s northern neighbors in Khartoum.

And oh, that humanitarian crisis? The UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres, currently visiting Juba said, “This country is facing at the present moment, six months after independence a number of huge humanitarian challenges that needs massive solidarity from the international community.”

As for the intrepid U.S. military personnel boldly going where no U.S. servicemen have gone before, what is the Dinka word for “incoming?”

By. John C.K. Daly of

South Sudan caught in a cycle of violence

South Sudan caught in a cycle of violence
BBC News
In South Sudan, more than fifty people, mostly women and children, were killed on Wednesday in continuing tit-for-tat attacks and cattle raids between the Lou Nuer and the Murle people in the state of Jonglei. Aid agencies say more than 60000 people .