After having worked for the independence of South Sudan, the United States now watches the country from afar bogged down in violence. A country on the verge of implosion ...
It is the latest on the world stage. On July 9, 2011, South Sudan gained its independence following a self-determination referendum. Unlike other states that have declared themselves independent, South Sudan is immediately recognized by the international community and the United Nations. A status acquired thanks to the help of the United States.
In the 1980s, Uncle Sam's country notably supported the Sudan People's Liberation Army (APLS). In 2002, the United States initiated negotiations between the SPLA and the Sudanese government. Nine years later, this will culminate in the creation of South Sudan. A way for the Christian part of the Sudanese population to free itself from the yoke of Omar al-Bashir.
A civil war that never ends
But the hopes placed in the 193rd Member State of the United Nations were quickly dashed ... Before independence, via USAID, the United States Agency for International Development, America had participated in the creation of institutions in Rumbek, like a central bank. From 2011, Americans keep a close eye on the situation in South Sudan.
But from a small protege of the United States, the country quickly becomes an uncontrollable monster. Less than two years after independence, South Sudan is on the brink of collapse. Blame it on a civil war that pits the South Sudanese army against opposing groups, led by supporters of former vice-president Riek Machar.
“In 2011, a war broke out between the two groups who then shared power and rekindled ethnic tensions,” explains the NGO Médecins sans frontières. From 2013 to 2018, despite reconciliation initiatives, the conflict forced millions of South Sudanese to flee their homes again and is believed to have caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands ”.
Barack Obama's bitter failure
After George W. Bush's attempt to stabilize the region in 2005, Barack Obama then finds himself a forced observer of the conflict. The American president then appoints a special envoy for South Sudan. But Donald Booth fails to reconcile the different parts of this conflict.
In 2021, when they have invested several billion dollars to bring peace to Sudan, the United States realizes their failure: after ceasefire agreements in 2015, 2016 and 2018, the violence continues .
Today America seems to lose interest in the country it itself helped achieve independence. In a column published in Le Monde, researcher Clémence Pinaud writes that "the United States, leader of the international community in the country" allowed ethnic massacres "while reducing their diplomatic presence". The researcher evokes the "genocidal massacres" and is surprised that the United States does not denounce them.
The Biden administration will not change anything
Will the arrival of Joe Biden change anything? No, according to Clémence Pinaud, who affirms that "there is not much hope for South Sudan", Washington preferring "a genocidal state to a failed state". As for the new American president, he surrounded himself with former collaborators of Barack Obama. Which, for the researcher, in view of “their support for undemocratic elections in South Sudan”, suggests an American silence and wait-and-see attitude about the situation there.