Sudan and South Sudan have had a tumultuous and bloody history. Too long and too bloody to recount properly here. A ceasefire took effect in 2005 and there was a tenuous peace until a referendum made South Sudan into an independent state in July 2011. But the violence has been on the rise since then. Over the last several months, well over 100,000 people have been displaced as a result.
Thousands of South Sudanese lives are at risk if this conflict isn’t resolved peacefully. In addition, the LRA has been active in South Sudan, and the LRA thrives in regions of discord and unrest. It allows their attacks to slip under the radar. For so many reasons, the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan demands attention.
President Obama made a video directly addressing the people and governments of Sudan and South Sudan. He argues for a peaceful negotiation to end the violence, and concrete steps that, if taken, could speed peace.
“You have made remarkable progress towards breaking the violent cycles of the past. Towards building the future of peace and greater prosperity. Now all that progress is at risk of unraveling….Conflict is not inevitable. You still have a choice. You still have a chance to avoid being dragged back into war. Which only leads to one place. More suffering. More refuggees. More death. More lost dreams for you and your children.”
“In times of tension it’s easy to forget that your future is shared. You’ll never be at peace if your neighbor feels threatened.”