“Crisis Spreads in South Sudan as War Rages”
The New York Times, June 23, 2015, p.A1
“In places where the fighting is fiercest, no one is even attempting to count the dead. Nearly half the population of the world’s newest nation, South Sudan, is in danger of going hungry. New atrocities are reported almost every day. And more than 1.5 million people have fled their homes, the vast majority to swampland villages where they hope rising waters during the rainy season will keep them safe from marauding soldiers. ‘There is no more country,’ said John Khamis, 38, who has spent much of his nation’s existence sheltered in a camp on a United Nations base. ‘I don’t know how the fighting stops now.’ It has been less than two years since a power struggle between the nation’s leaders plunged South Sudan into chaos, inflaming old ethnic tensions that almost immediately tore this new country apart. Despite repeated attempts at peace, some of the deadliest fighting of the civil war has erupted in the last few months. The warring leaders are unflinchingly entrenched in their positions, and the kinds of abuses that shocked the world early in the conflict, including the use of child soldiers and deliberate attacks on civilians, are reoccurring with new ferocity. … The country’s economy is in free fall, and the cost of food, gas and other essentials has skyrocketed. By April, 3.8 million people did not have enough food. Within a month, that number had grown by nearly a million. … While exact figures are impossible to determine, international officials and human rights activists say tens of thousands of people have been killed since 2013.”
Quickie analysis: A very sobering look at one of the most senseless (even according to the participants) conflicts raging in the world today.