On December 15, violent clashes erupted on the streets of Juba, South Sudan’s capital city. While the details surrounding the spark of the violence are unclear, it is already apparent that these clashes have the potential to destabilize the entire country. Serious fighting rocked Juba for three consecutive nights, a 6pm-6am curfew is in force, movement is severely restricted, and reportedly at least eleven senior party officials, including Pagan Amum, have been detained by state security services. More than 20,000 people have sought shelter in the U.N. mission’s compounds in Juba, and at least 500 killed and many more wounded.
Watch Sudan and South Sudan Policy Analyst Akshaya Kumar speak about the unfolding issue on Al Jazeera English:
The United States has long been a friend to the South Sudanese people. Both President Bush and President Obama have played influential roles leading to the peaceful secession of a democratic South Sudan in 2011. While the situation is still unfolding, the Enough Project commends the U.S. State Department for publicly “calling on all parties to resolve their differences through peaceful democratic means” and recognizes U.S. Special Envoy Donald Booth’s ongoing efforts to reach out to key stakeholders. Ambassador Page has met with President Kiir to discuss the United States’ concerns over violence, growing humanitarian challenges, and ensuring the rights of the political detainees. Earlier today, the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon spoke on the issue. However, boh the international community and the U.S. can and must do more.
In a memo to Secretary of State John Kerry, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, the Enough Project calls on the United States to take steps to help avert a return to civil war in South Sudan, including the following:
- Facilitate or support mediation with key stakeholders to secure a political solution.
- Support the creation of safe havens and press for unrestricted humanitarian access.
- Enhance international public diplomacy and multilateral cooperation toward solutions.
Take Action Now. Tweet this message to U.S. Government officials calling for swift international action to prevent further violence:
— Enough Project (@EnoughProject) December 19, 2013