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Thursday 23 January 2014

South Sudan Imbroglio a Threat to Regional Peace

The escalating tension between South Sudan’s warring factions threatens to tear Africa’s youngest nation down the middle, besides posing a threat to regional peace and security. There is no gainsaying that Kenya, which midwifed the peace talks between SPLM and Sudan’s National Congress Party (NCP) is already bearing the heaviest brunt of refugees fleeing the war-torn country. This, in itself, poses a security threat to Kenya, which has been a target of terrorist activities, some of which are planned in the sprawling refugee camps.

As IGAD struggles to bring the warring parties to the negotiating table, troops from the IGAD frontline states should not be allowed into South Sudan, except those serving in the United Nations peacekeeping mission. Though President Salva Kiir has not hidden his disgust for the UN, the presence of foreign troops in the country does not augur well for a peaceful resolution to the conflict. With hundreds already dead and thousands others displaced, a deadly civil war looms in a country still smarting from more than two decades of war with its northern neighbour.

Ultimately, President Kiir and his erstwhile deputy Riek Machar must drop their hard line positions to prevent South Sudan from sliding into further anarchy.

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