South Sudan: What can the international community do

How would you describe the attitude of the international community towards South Sudan after five moths of its existence? Are we witnessing the positive, but also the negative efforts? Few comments by experts.

David Shinn, Adjunct Professor of International Affairs, The George Washington University, Former U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia and to Burkina Faso

The international community remains positively disposed to help South Sudan succeed.  For example, there is a major meeting in Washington this month aimed at encouraging American companies to invest in South Sudan.  A recent report by thirty-eight non-governmental organizations has called for renewed donor support to South Sudan.

At the same time, the international community has become increasingly concerned at the government of South Sudan’s inability or unwillingness to resolve problems of its own making.  The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) has always had a repressive side; I don’t see any indication that the SPLM is trying to open up the political system to opponents.  In fact, it has taken some steps backwards.  Governmental corruption is a serious problem and there is little evidence that it is doing anything to rein in the problem.  Private companies and donor governments will soon ask why they should invest resources in a country that is not doing more to help itself.  At the same time, South Sudan needs the cooperation of Khartoum to resolve its many outstanding issues with its northern neighbor and Khartoum has demonstrated very little willingness to help.

Alex Thurston, Ph.D. Candidate in the Religion Department, Northwestern University

The West remains very supportive of South Sudan and continues to hope for its progress, but there is deep concern and frustration over ongoing diplomatic and military conflict between South Sudan and Sudan. I think the West has a number of options, actually. First, the US always has the carrot to offer Khartoum of normalizing relations and removing Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. I think this carrot has been snatched away enough times that Khartoum is no longer as motivated by it, but I think if the US laid out a clear timetable for removal, it might help speed up negotiations. I also think the West should continue (or redouble its efforts) to put public and private diplomatic pressure on both countries to end all violence and settle all outstanding issues.

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2 Responses

  1. Reblogged this on ConvergeThis!.

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