A recent article written by the Washington Post, highlights the fact that the humanitarian disaster in South Sudan is man-made but suggests that it might be reversed with a number of measures including pressing Egypt, Uganda and Ukraine to stop the flow of arms to South Sudan.
The article says that responsibility for the catastrophe in South Sudan rests on the shoulders of two men who led South Sudan to independence in 2011 and then squandered their legacy on war and enriching themselves.
In a recent interview with The Post, one of them, President Salva Kiir, was defiant. He did not accept any blame for the ruinous conflict with his rival and former first vice president, Riek Machar. Wearing the cowboy hat he received as a gift from President George W. Bush, Kiir declared, “I did not do anything that can make me regret.” Asked whether his troops have made any mistakes, he responded, “I don’t remember.” He deflected a question about the role of his soldiers in violence by claiming that their uniforms were being stolen by Machar’s men. Then he went on a rant about shootings in the United States.
Kiir is now in the driver’s seat. Machar is in South Africa, although the remnants of his army still fight. The core problem for all those who have ambitions to save South Sudan is how to help its suffering people while forcing Kiir out of the way. For years, efforts have been made to get Kiir to agree to a sustainable peace, hold accountable those responsible for war crimes and build a functioning state. Talk doesn’t work. Sanctions seem to bother him little. Peace agreements and various cease-fire arrangements have been reached and tossed away like tissue paper. An arms embargo failed to get off the ground in the U.N. Security Council.
On a recent visit, the U.S. Agency for International Development administrator, Mark Green, found Mr. Kiir in denial, disputing every concern he raised.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley will visit Kiir this month, in her remarks at the Security Council in September, she declared that “this is the last chance” at salvaging a peace for South Sudan, the article says.