Can the U.S. Forge a Relationship with South Sudan?
[Date:2014/12/15] [Read:639] [Return]

The U.S. ushered the nascent country into independence; now, were struggling with diplomacy. What happened?

South Sudan, the worlds newest country, was created in 2011 with the hope that it would become a prosperous, self-governing nation able to successfully harness its resources after years of conflict.

Unfortunately, that dream has not been realized. In July of last year, President Salva Kiir dismissed his vice president, Riek Machar, and the rest of his cabinet. Violence broke out on Dec. 15, 2013, in what Kiir said was an attempted coup by Machar. Since then, factions supporting the two men have fought for control of the country. The exact figure of people killed is unknown, but is expected to number in the thousands. An estimated 1.8 million people have been displaced from their homes, and humanitarian organizations fear the country may experience a famine next year.

U. S. diplomatic efforts, meanwhile, have been hampered by both President George W. Bushs gleaming legacy in Africa and criticism of President Barack Obamas apparent ambivalence toward the region. While Bushs personal relationship with Kiir eased South Sudans birth, Obamas lack of one has made it difficult for the U.S. to lead the country back to peace – both within itself and with neighboring Sudan.

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