Enough Project: Changing the Calculus of South Sudan’s Deadly Conflict
February 8, 2015
Justine Fleischner/Enough Project
“South Sudan’s civil war, which has exacted a terrible toll on its civilian population, has its origins in a power struggle between factions aligned with President Salva Kiir and those who have joined former Vice President Riek Machar. Despite repeated pledges to put down their weapons, both sides have demonstrated a clear commitment to a military “solution” instead of a negotiated settlement.
The country’s competing privileged elites are sacrificing their own peoples’ lives to secure the political and economic benefits—including massive state-corroding corruption—derived from control of the state. In his opening remarks at the latest round of peace talks underway in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, chief negotiator Seyoum Mesfin told the parties, ‘If you are committed to peace, you will not find it through the barrel of the gun, but around this table.'”