Saturday, October 21, 2017

36.5 - We Are Not Alone: renewed hopes for peace in South Sudan

We Are Not Alone: renewed hopes for peace in South Sudan

There is another glimmer of hope in the on-going tragedy that is South Sudan. In the next couple of weeks government leaders, the opposition, and a cadre of armed groups are expected to come together to try to get peace talks restarted.

The peace process is supposed to be lead by the east African regional body known as the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, or IGAD.

For the first time in months, a whiff of possibility hangs in the air - but we have heard this tune before, and much remains to be proven both to and by those involved.

Meanwhile, the past year has seen South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis sink to new lows. As armed conflict has spread, militia groups have fragmented and multiplied, making a comprehensive peace even more difficult. Some 7.6 million South Sudanese – about two-thirds of the entire population – depend on aid to survive and famine has been declared in two regions this year. Nearly four million are refugees.

The mission facing IGAD is enormous. But if the nations of the world will step up to back IGAD, it's not impossible.

And as Jan Egeland, Secretary-general of the Norwegian Refugee Council wrote recently, "The merry-go-round of peace initiatives over the years have failed. This next attempt must not."

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