Today marks one year since conflict broke out in South Sudan. South Sudan seceded in 2011 from the Khartoum regime in the north following decades of war thanks to the help of Western goodwill and Chinese-led investment in oil. Although the two sides in the conflict agreed on steps towards peace in January at talks facilitated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a group of East African countries, neither side has made good on its commitments. Fighting has continued, including atrocities on both sides and attacks on hospitals and humanitarian aid convoys.
The latest peace effort would reunite in a power-sharing deal. Mr Salva Kiir, a Dinka, would remain president and Mr Riek Machar would take up a secondary post as vice-president or prime minister, with elections after a 30 month transition, – a new beginning that was supposed to be founded on tolernce, good governance, accountability and unity. But, the leaders of South Sudan have allowed thier personal ambitions to jeopardize the future of an entire nation. It is a sorry situation for the world´s youngest nation. Leadership that recalls the promise of South Sudan is what the country now needs to end this senseless conflict. South Sudanese of all ethnic groups and political persuasions expect greater things of their leaders.
Carl Bildt, who visited the country last year, writes the conflict in south Sudan is nearly forgotten by the world. Tens of thousand of South Sudanese have died. 1,9 million people have been displaced by the conflict,and millions more have become vulnerable to food insecurity. This is tragic and unacceptable.
As Mediators see little sigs for a peace deal that brings sustainable peace in South Sudan the United Nations call on the international community to put its collective weight behind the peace process led by the inter-Governmental Authority on Development and commend the African Union Peace and Security Council for creating a Heads of State ad-committee for this purpose. There could be no better gift to the people of South Sudan than a ceasefire that is respected on all sides and a sustainable peace agreement.