UN to debate South Sudan conflict as six-year-old country struggles for peace

UN to debate South Sudan conflict as six-year-old country struggles for peace

Today the United Nations Security Council will hold a briefing and consultations on South Sudan’s four-year-long civil war. The conflict

A UN peacekeeper stands guard in South Sudan

Photo: UN/Isaac Billy

Today the United Nations Security Council will hold a briefing and consultations on South Sudan’s four-year-long civil war.

The conflict has killed hundreds of thousands and displaced almost a third of South Sudan’s 12 million residents. Experts warn the country is on the cusp of genocide, with mounting evidence of atrocities committed by President Salva Kiir’s ethnically Dinka forces against the ethnic Nuers that form the bulk of rebel groups.

Last month the US Treasury Department sanctioned a trio of generals and government officials accused of profiting off of the civil war, supplementing existing UN sanctions against the country. USAID administrator Mark Green also threatened to reduce the $730 million in aid the country receives from the US.

With international pressure against Kiir mounting, western countries may well heed the calls of American UN ambassador Nikki Haley to tighten sanctions and institute an arms embargo. But even if the measures impoverish South Sudanese leaders, they will do little to stem Africa’s bloodiest ongoing conflict.

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