South Sudan: The Painful Rise and Rapid Descent of the World’s Newest Nation
January 24, 2019
Within two and a half years, that dream lay in ruins. In December 2013, fighting erupted between army factions loyal to Kiir and supporters of the man he had ousted as his deputy, Riek Machar. The fighting escalated into mass killings, the renewal of old enmities, and the outbreak of a civil war that quickly pitted the nation’s main ethnic groups against each other.
How did South Sudan, which entered independence on a wave of international support—including the steadfast backing of the United States—fail so fast? Warning signs were present from the outset for anyone who looked past the facile narrative advanced by U.S. advocacy groups and congressional allies that depicted the civil war as a clash between virtuous (mainly Christian) liberation heroes in the south and malevolent (mainly Muslim) oppressors in the north.
This is a chapter in Independence Movements and Their Aftermath. Please click here for more.