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Friday, 17 January 2014

The crisis in South Sudan—Who will stop the violence?

On 17 January 2014, World Vision, together with Amnesty International, Welthungerhilfe, the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC) and the Society for Threatened Peoples, invited Members of Parliament to the Bundestag in Berlin to discuss about the deteriorating situation in South Sudan.

Photo: World Vision Deutschland e.V.

In December last year, the conflict in South Sudan escalated again. The reason for this was the long, ongoing political power struggle between President Salva Kiir and his former Vice-president, Rieck Machar in the world’s youngest country that has been independent since 2011. In December, Salva Kiir accused Rieck Machar of plotting a coup. Following this, violent clashes between the followers of both camps keep flaring up. Only a few days ago did the city of Malakal in the north of the country witness heavy fighting, with many civilian casualties. Up until today, more than 10,000 people have died in the conflict in South Sudan; more than 400,000 have been displaced. 

Despite all attempts by the international community, both parties are not willing to come to a compromise. Military means alone, however, will not be a solution to the conflict. Therefore, the eight Members of Parliament who participated in the discussion on the situation in South Sudan today still hope for a political solution.

“First of all, unhindered access to humanitarian aid and the protection of the civilian population by the United Nations is essential,” Ekkehard Forberg of World Vision stresses. In addition to this, the international community—and thus the German government—ought to call for an immediate ceasefire between both parties to the conflict. At the same time, an international arms embargo should be imposed to prevent a further militarization of the conflict. It is now up to the German government to act and introduce the necessary steps so that the bloody fighting will soon come to an end. 

Text: Fiona Uellendahl, World Vision Deutschland e. V.

 

“Die Krise im Süd-Sudan – wer stoppt die Gewalt“ (in German)