South Sudan Erupts into Civil Conflict

South Sudan Erupts into Civil Conflict

War and Conflict Update-December 22, 2013

The fairly new nation of South Sudan fell into civil conflict in December, 2013, as fighting erupted between supporters of two rival South Sudan leaders. The fact that the two leaders are members of rival ethnic groups is a very worrisome fact, as the two groups, the Dinka and the Nuer, are traditional foes. President Salva Kiir is a member of the Dinka group or tribe, while his former Vice-President, Riek Machar is a Nuer. President Kiir had Machar removed from office recently for allegedly planning a coup. While Machar denied these allegations, he has been in hiding ever since.

The recent fighting, which killed at least 500 people just in the capital of Juba, broke out between army units loyal to Machar and government troops still loyal to Kiir. The ethnic component to this rivalry threatens to turn an apparent coup attempt into a nation-wide civil war. This is only the latest in a long a bloody string of civil wars and rebellions to plague Sudan and South Sudan. Stay tuned for more news as events develop.