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Stabilizing South Sudan – A Global effort

Since its breakaway from Sudan four years ago, the youngest country in the world still has yet to reach peace and political stability.
Continuous civil wars and conflict over various issues between the government and its people devastate economic growth, and increase food insecurity in the area. However, other African Countries and in extension the world created campaigns, donations and aid programs to stabilize this new country.
Our last coverage of the country focused on their adoption to the #childrennotsoldiers campaign, which facilitated the emancipation of seized children from being forced into rebellious military and becoming children again. You can read the full article here. Recently, South Sudanese militia freed 280 child soldiers as part of the deal made with Unicef. This is part of a wider deal to release close to 3000 underage fighters, most coerced into becoming child soldiers. Although this seems as a great stride in disbanding children from security risks and harsh environments, the greater reality looms over this success. According to Unicef, Arms rebel forces recruited over 12000 children in the past year alone – and these newly emancipated 280 child soldiers are all from one armed force – The South Sudan Democratic Army Cobra Faction.
As previously stated, civil wars haven’t only affected the children, but security threats led to millions dying and others fleeing the country. Luckily, neighbouring countries opened their borders to take in South Sudanese as refugees. To date, over 500 000 South Sudanese live as refugees in Kenya, Suda, Uganda and Ethiopia. All these countries have created havens through NGO partnerships to house these survivors of war. Looking into the refugee camps in the Gambella region of Ethiopia for example, almost 200 000 South Sudanese are housed by the state – majority of these refugees being women and children fleeing into the area in poor health and malnourished.
Malnourishment ripples across various areas in South Sudan, as wars prevent commercial economic activity such as agricultural farming. According to the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations, 2.5 million of the population are classified as being in a Crisis or Emergency level of food insecurity while 3.9 million suffer from food insecurity stress.
These numbers led to various countries and non-governmental organisations creating solutions for food insecurity, including €3 million from Ireland’s government. Apart from their generous donation, Unicef in Juba, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the Gambella refugee camps are working with members of Ireland’s Rapid Response corps to assist in deploying emergency relief efforts.
Through spearheaded initiatives from the United Nations, over $500 million was pledged by donor countries, and including $273 million by the United States of America. With grave disappointment, no notable effort from the African Union was made in terms of financial donations, labour force or publishing their commission of inquiry report – which will provide necessary details on current socio-economic and political atmosphere to the globe and enabling accountability to those committing crimes in the area.