South Sudan War Enters Second Year Despite Peace Deal
As South Sudan’s civil war enters its second year, conflict continues to rage – despite a peace deal that was supposed to put an end to conflict in the young country.
War broke out in South Sudan on December 14, 2013, after President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Reik Machar of plotting a coup. A peace deal was finally agreed in August this year, following pressure from international bodies, but it has failed to have any impact on the continued violence in South Sudan.
The question of incentive
The overdue signing of a peace deal in August came after years of failed ceasefires, prompting accusations that both parties have been prolonging the war. The conflict has taken an ethnic turn as President Kiir – from the Dinka – fights rebels allied to Machar – a Nuer – which has resulted in ethnic massacres and a string of human rights violations.
One international group goes as far as accusing leaders from both sides of fuelling the war for their own economic gains. Enough Project reveals how elites are profiting from oil trade and speculation over the nation’s currency, while rebel leaders are thriving off rich donors, gold mining, logging and poaching amid the chaos.
The price of peace
The group also claims the loudest voices that protested August’s peace deal were the leaders who stand to financially lose from stability in the country. Successful implementation of the deal would force both sides to effectively share the market and put an end to much of the corruption that brings riches to a select few.
So far, President Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar have missed every key deadline set out to implement the peace deal signed in August. Meanwhile, the number of deaths, displaced citizens and people facing starvation continues to rise. Two years since the war first erupted, a number of key figures in the country enjoy growing riches while millions struggle to survive in increasingly difficult – and often violent – conditions.