The people of South Sudan are starving, and recent violence has only increased the humanitarian crisis. The path toward peace is now even more distant on the horizon.
South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in July 2011 and ended Africa's longest-running civil war. But, the new state plunged into conflict in December 2013 when a power struggle erupted between the President and the Vice-President. Violence spread like wildfire. The two warring factions signed a peace agreement this past August but the fighting has not stopped. Now violence has erupted in Juba increasing the number of displaced people.
It is estimated that there are now over 2 million displaced South Sudanese and almost 5 million needing humanitarian assistance - probably 500,000 -1,000,000 in danger of starvation.
The international community must take strong action in order to help the people of South Sudan. Leaders encouraging the violence must be held accountable and the flow of weapons in to the country must be stopped. The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) must be strengthened. The mission needs additional materials in order be able to fulfill their mandate and protect civilians. And, all countries supporting UNMISS must continue to do so. Any withdrawals would send precisely the wrong signal, in South Sudan and across the world.
Please write to President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry today and urge them to publicly support these four steps. Urge them to advocate strongly for the UN Security Council members to do the same.