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South Sudan needs help to avoid collapse: official

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July 1, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s government admitted on Monday that it needs international assistance to avoid collapse in the coming months triggered by the outbreak of conflict in mid-December last year.

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Civilians arrive to take refuge at a UN compound near Juba airport after fighting erupted in the capital on 15 December 2013 (Photo: Rolla Hinedi/UNMISS/AP)

The violence has pitted troops loyal to president Salva Kiir against rebel forces aligned with former vice-president Riek Machar, leaving thousands dead and displacing over 1.3 million people.

Speaking to Sudan Tribune on Tuesday, foreign affairs ministry spokesperson Mawien Makol Arik dismissed South Sudan’s ranking as the world’s most “fragile state” in an index compiled by US-based Fund for Peace (FPP).

Some of the key factors cited for the ranking included fractious leadership, mass killings and ethnic violence.

However, Arik insists the government is taking more concrete steps to manage the crisis in comparison to other conflict-affected states at the top end of the index.

“After the fighting started in December, within one month, the government accepted to [take part in] talks to the rebels and we are succeeding,” said Arik.

His comments follow remarks by deputy parliamentary speaker Mark Nyipuoc last week, who said it was unfair to compare a new nation like South Sudan to more established countries.

He likened South Sudan to a two-year-old child that had not had adequate time to fully develop and mature.

The report, released last week, displaced Somalia from the top spot for the first time in six years.

However, Arik said the indicators considered by the organisation could not be managed by South Sudan alone, calling for more international support to address the current crisis.

“We (South Sudan) unfortunately went into crisis that turned our country [away] from [the] development path to humanitarian management,” he said.

“We can be a failed state if the international community stands idle,” he added.
South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in July 2011 following a referendum promised in a 2005 peace deal that ended more than two decades of civil war.

Since then the world’s newest nation has struggled to maintain law and order and deliver essential services, with corruption alleged to have siphoned off billions of public money.

In 2012, president Kiir wrote to 75 current and former senior government officials requesting they return $4 billion in funds.

Machar, has openly criticised Kiir’s leadership style since his sacking last July, claiming that massive corruption and nepotism are rife and that the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) had lost its vision.

Officials in Machar’s rebel faction said last week they were unsurprised by South Sudan’s top ranking on the list.

Machar’s spokesman, James Gatdet Dak, slammed comparisons between the county and a child, saying it was the government’s responsibility to ensure the country’s affairs were well managed.

“Even if we were to take that line of argument which likens South Sudan to a two or three-year-old child, we would also have expected the child to grow like a normal, healthy child. The so-called child should have crawled fast, walked and even run by year three, 2014. These are the assuring positive indicators of a healthy growth into adolescence and adulthood,” Dak told Sudan Tribune on Sunday.

“Unfortunately the reverse has happened as the child is paralysing, a clear indicator that it is not a healthy child. This is a grave concern to the people of South Sudan and to the sympathising world at large,” he added,

The Failed State Index is compiled annually by the FFP based on an assessment of 12 key social, economic and political indicators, including demographic pressures, poverty and economic decline, human rights and political impasse.

The top six most fragile states were all in Africa, including Sudan at number five, with Afghanistan, Yemen, Haiti and Pakistan rounding out the top 10.

(ST)

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  • 1 July 18:44, by Chol Mading

    Openness will help our country. Lies won’t take us no where. President Kiir positive things done in the past are being wiped out in front of our eyes. He’s now going to be remembered as the leader who plugged our young nation deep to bottom of sea. Pres. Kiir should swallow his pride and walk away NOW! This is turning ugly very fast. Six-Seven states are in deep crises.

    repondre message

    • 1 July 19:11, by Mapuor

      Chol Msading
      Kiir is not the problem,the problem is Nyagat Riek Macar.Was Kiir a leader of SPLA in 1991 when Riek rebelled and killed all Dinka SPLA officers who were deployed to Nuer areas?Lets be realistic.Riek is a tribalist who is known by all Dinkas who survived their genocide during the long war.All Dinkas must be ready to suffer should Nyagats come to power.

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      • 1 July 19:17, by Mapuor

        dear Chol Mading
        Do you know that Telar Ring once supported Dr Riek?hahaha my dear,when Dinkas were slaughtered in thousands in 1991 in front of Telar in Nasir he ran to Nairobi on a sick leave and never return to Nuerland to date.Kiir is humane and civilized.Riek is a savage who promote illiterates to high military ranks including general.Do we need such leaders?to do what?

        repondre message

      • 1 July 21:10, by Chol Mading

        Comrade Mapour, 1991 is different generation, we are here talking of today and tomorrow. Comrade Kiirdit has done his part in the past real well. But now is becoming disgrace to all South Sudanese. The country is falling apart in his watch and as Dinkas we don’t want this to happen under our watch. That’s why you are hearing different groups calling for him to quit.

        repondre message

        • 2 July 13:53, by hamil

          @ Chol Mading

          Thumbs up for excellent reponse from you i like positive thinkers and you are definitely one of them. If we still cling on arguing about what happened in 1991 where exactly are we heading to or what purpose do the events of 1991 serve the present South Sudan Nation? We are fighting tribalism, nepostism, corruption, disunity, poor leadership yet others are still talking 1991 deaths

          repondre message

    • 1 July 21:51, by Ito

      Why would international community or anyone assist in avoiding the tribal government from collapsing. If the international community really cares about south sudan and wants it to be in peace under federal system where all are equal, let them support democratic forces under Dr. Riek otherwise supporting this one tribe government will cause more wars worse than this. I hope this is mark properly.

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  • 1 July 20:06, by Mr Point

    The civil war did not start in 1991.

    There was a comprehensive peace agreement in 2005. After the death of Garang the SPLM number 2 stepped aside to let Kiir be the leader.

    The civil war started in December 2013 when thousands of civilians in juba were killed in cold blood by forces organised by Malong Awan and Salva Kiir.

    repondre message

    • 1 July 21:18, by Chol Mading

      The so called door to door search was the cause of this agony today. If it was not ordered, Dr. Riek would be in exile peacefully waiting for 2015 election and South Sudan would not have displaced Somalia in its rightfull position as the World fragile and fail state. Pres. Kiir has finally find the reverse gear and many people are enjoying it. But the car still has a brake to hit and it’s now.

      repondre message

    • 1 July 21:19, by Chol Mading

      The so called door to door search was the cause of this agony today. If it was not ordered, Dr. Riek would be in exile peacefully waiting for 2015 election and South Sudan would not have displaced Somalia in its rightfull position as the World fragile and fail state. Pres. Kiir has finally find the reverse gear and many people are enjoying it. But the car still has a brake to hit and it’s now.

      repondre message

  • 1 July 21:20, by American Missile.

    Evil wishers will never succeed no matter what magics they will perform in order to achieve what they wants.

    However, Nuer Journalists are the ones creating fears in Juba and some Equatorians.

    repondre message

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