The Worst Human Crisis in the World Today

by Jack

“It’s the worst human crisis in the world and yet almost nobody knows about it. The widespread devastation and monstrous genocide in South Sudan is so pervasive that it could have only be done by people without any semblance of human compassion or conscience.  The self-inflicted misery is on a scale civilized minds find hard to even imagine, much less justify.” 

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Toronto Sun, June, 2017:  The civil war in South Sudan is arguably as bloody and catastrophic as the one in Syria. The story there is one of displacement, famine, rape and genocide.

This is true of the war in Yemen as well, where countless people face unrelenting warfare and starvation. Yemen has become Saudi Arabia’s war on innocents, to further its criminal sectarian agenda for control and influence in the region.

But even the war in Yemen cannot match the catastrophe unfolding in South Sudan, where the misery has reached depths comparable to the images we have come to associate only with Syria.

———-The brutality of ISIS – the public floggings and beheadings – has fixed our horrified gaze on Syria and Iraq. This conflict threatens vested political interests, as outcomes in the Middle East have high international stakes.

The United States and Russia both have eyes on the region. The world is therefore fed a daily dose of happenings in Syria while the South Sudanese languish unnoticed in their inescapable misery.

South Sudan became independent six years ago, and then only after another protracted war. But ever since, the country has been torn by violence and economic hardship. The latest trouble erupted when the president accused the vice president of leading a coup. The government is now fighting its own people.

Biafra, Oct.1968
Catholic feeding centre north of Owerri.

(Photo on left – Misery is nothing new to
Africa, but the exploiting of misery is and  business is booming)  Since the recent fighting began in 2016, about three and a half million people have been forced to leave their homes. Some of them have escaped to other countries, but reportedly there are close to two million people displaced within the country. These are the ones who are most at risk of dying of starvation or being attacked by their own government.

With so many people displaced from their homes, there is no functioning economy. Aid is slow to arrive, and the aid trucks that get through never reach the most desperate.

The killings in South Sudan continue. A failed UN Security Council embargo on its weapons may have curbed the fighting somewhat. The clashing parties, who often recruit young children as soldiers, continue to smuggle weapons in from neighboring countries.

John Prendergast, director of the Enough Project, said in a recent Reuters story that “South Sudanese civilians had a reasonable expectation that the Security Council would make good on its long-standing threat to impose an arms embargo and extend sanctions to some of the senior leaders who have been responsible for grave human rights abuses.” That has not happened.

The country is becoming a political quagmire. The nations that opposed the UNSC embargo on weapons continue to thwart any efforts toward alleviating people’s suffering. Even the countries that abstained have some economic interest in the region, especially China.

Yet another UN resolution was opposed by the same countries that blocked the embargo. They questioned the usefulness of the resolution, which would have authorized 4000troops from African nations. These would have joined 1200 UN peacekeeping troops in South Sudan.

Meanwhile, the humanitarian crisis worsens. The young country has been abandoned by world powers, and only the humanitarian agencies have provided a measure of relief to the suffering and starving millions.   (End of report)

Perhaps the worst part of this story is, what we see is not all that unusual by African standards.  Floods, famine, disease and war always seem to be of Biblical proportions over here; so much so, that it’s not even big news anymore.  Every time war or natural disasters happen, the African nations are wholly unprepared to deal with it.   Then the Western nations are asked once again to pony up their billions, send mega-tons of food and relief workers/troops fast.  But, when no amount of aide is ever enough, when no long term improvement lasts, when the corrupt oligarchs and brutal despots keep enriching themselves with our charity and the  tragedies just keep piling up… our caring is gradually being replaced with ambivalence.   Is it any wonder? 

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1 Response to The Worst Human Crisis in the World Today

  1. Tina says:

    US Ambassador Nikki Haley chaired the UN Security Council briefing on South Sudan in April: “If you truly care for the people of South Sudan, then we must tell the South Sudanese government that we are not going to put up with this anymore. If you care about the leadership of this Security Council, we should not allow a Presidential Statement to be totally ignored. And the person that’s benefitting from the division of this Council is the South Sudanese government. So if you want them to continue to harass the people of South Sudan, if you want to continue to see starvation in South Sudan, doing nothing is exactly what you need to keep doing. But if we’re going to stop it, and if we’re really going to truly say we want to help the people of South Sudan, that’s not about dialogue. That’s not about hope. That’s not about wishes. That’s about action, and I call on this Security Council to act.”

    See also here.

    Trump sent the government a clear message…if you want aid from the US you must stop the war. Imagine that incentive to do the right thing. “The head of the US delegation pointed out that the American people are supporting the people of South Sudan, saying they want South Sudan to succeed and be a prosperous nation.”

    Work is being done via the diplomatic back channels. I think the good news, if there is any, is that this administration will not simply throw money at the problem (and into the hands of government leaders).

    Education is key to bringing any nation, especially any nation of tribalism and war, into the civilized world. Ronald Reagan eloquently spoke to the ideals of freedom and justice, the entrepreneurial spirit that helps to drive creation of small business and improvement for the masses,and the evils, in terms of the human condition of totalitarian governments and factions. In his own way President Trump is expressing the same ideals and using American leadership to inspire, rather than impose, such ideals in others.

    No leader can stop evil, corrupt, ambitious people from making war as a means to personal power. But as Reagan demonstrated, he can inspire that desire and energy to develop in the hearts and minds of those who wish to live peacefully and prosper.

    We on the right realize that there are factions in our own country that will attempt to undermine the efforts of this president, even when his position has the chance to do some good. Therefore we will not hear much about efforts made to help these people. I don;t think that will stop the Trump administration from doing whatever it can.

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