As the crisis in South Sudan continues to spiral out of control, the country is in urgent need of assistance - both political and humanitarian. The Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) recently reported that the world’s youngest country has 7.6 million people in need of aid. Only two-thirds of the funding request for aid has been received. There are currently 4 million displaced people with two million having fled to neighboring countries.
He reported, “While local conflicts flare — their impact magnified by the proliferation of automatic weapons — security threats are more likely to come from civil unrest sparked by potential economic collapse. The economic crisis is further fuelling public frustration and undermining the Government’s capacity to deliver services to its people. Civil servants, in many cases, have not been paid for months.”
Regional peacemaking efforts are not working as conditions on the ground become more and more unbearable for large portions of South Sudan’s population. The situation is in urgent need of a new strategy to achieve a sustainable peace.
Leadership is needed at this crucial time to bring the warring parties together, to develop a workable peace process, and to de-escalate the conflict so that there can be humanitarian access to all of those in need. The Presbyterian Office of Public Witness, in collaboration with our partners on the ground and the World Mission Africa Office, continues to advocate for stronger leadership from the US government. We need your help! Please contact the administration and ask them to take proactive leadership to end the spiral of violence and bring peace and stability to South Sudan.
Along with our partners on the ground, as well as other orgnaizations working in South Sudan, we are advocating for the following:
- Revise the current architecture of peacemaking. The current Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS), negotiated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and signed in August 2015, is clearly not working.
- The African Union and United Nations need to take a more direct, hands-on role, in collaboration with IGAD, in a process that includes a broad range of South Sudanese constituents.
- Participants in the peace process should be from a broad range of civil society – not just the political and military leaders. And, they should represent the issues that are of concern to all of the Sudanese people.
- The peace process should also include opposition leader Riek Machar, who represents a notable constituency and should not be isolated.
- Measures must be put inplace that put pressure on the armed actors to halt the conflict, provide humanitarian access, and bring stability to South Sudan as well as putting pressure on the government to address public corruption and misappropriation of state assets.
Until the conflict is resolved and development is able to take root, communities and entire countries will continue to be ravaged by hunger and suffering. Please call for the administration to exercise leadership to bring this conflict to an end.