Global Research News Hour - South Sudan War: Tribal Discord or Imperialist Agenda? - 01/20/14

20Jan

If observers in the West naively believed that severing South Sudan from its northern counterpart would resolve the human rights situation there, the events of the last several weeks will have decisively dashed those hopes.

The major fighting erupted on December 15 of last year when South Sudan Presisdent Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of launching a coup d’etat against him. Machar denied the charge.[2]

A faction of the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA/M) had broken off and engaged in fighting against the main army under Kiir’s control.[3]

The fighting has begun to align itself with different tribal factions – the Dinka, which Kiir represents, and the Nuer, which Machar represents.[4]

As this program is being aired, peace talks between the two warring factions continue in Addis Ababa in neighbouring Ethiopia.

The toll on the people of South Sudan has been devastating. UN Human Rights monitor Ivan Simonovic has disclosed that there are human rights atrocities being committed by both sides in the conflict, which include mass and extra-judicial killings, arbitrary detention, sexual violence and the use of child soldiers.[5]

As of January 14, one month into the conflict, the UN Office for the Coordination of  Humanitarian Affairs estimates that 413,000 people have been internally displaced by the fighting with 74,000 having fled to neighbouring countries such as Uganda.[6]

The International Crisis Group estimated a death toll of close to 10,000. [7]

The Global Research News Hour takes a closer look at the conflict and its historical and geo-political under-pinnings with two Africa watchers.

Ann Garrison is an independent journalist and broadcaster who has focused in recent years on war and resource extraction issues on the African Continent. A contributor to KPFA in Berkeley, California, she had a chance to interview Mobiar Garang de Mobiar, a negotiator for the opposition in the South Sudan peace talks in Addis Ababa. Garrison has also written for the San Francisco Bay View, the San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Focus, Macworld, Macweek, the Op-Ed News, and Pambazuka News among other publications. She is also an occasional contributor to Global Research.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is a geo-political analyst and the award-winning author of The Globalization of NATO (Clarity Press). He is Research Associate at the Centre for Research on Globalization.