On July 9, South Sudan commemorates its 5th independence day. And I say “commemorates” and not “celebrates” because there is not a whole lot to celebrate. The country has been mired in conflict since late 2013, when a political dispute between president Salva Kiir and his deputy Riek Machar devolved into an armed battle and then full blown civil war.
The consequences of this war for the people of South Sudan have been immense. Millions have been displaced, and though a peace deal was signed last year violence continues to flare up and the humanitarian situation is as dire as ever.
On the line to discuss recent developments in South Sudan, the role of the United Nations Peacekeepers in the country, and the humanitarian situation is Noah Gottschalk, who is the senior humanitarian policy advisor at Oxfam. He does a good job of offering some broader context to understand how South Sudan has so unraveled in the last five years.>
If you have 20 minutes and want to understand the deep challenges that face the people of South Sudan on the country’s 5th birthday — and the leaders under whom they have been so ill-served — have a listen.