South Sudan’s conflict parties are supposed to form a unity government by 12 November. But key disputes between them remain unresolved. External actors should push the adversaries to make progress on these matters before entering any power-sharing arrangement – lest war erupt once more.
The conflict in South Sudan appears to be entering a particularly troubling phase: fully fledged ethnic wars. In recent months and weeks, ethnically motivated attacks against civilians traveling within Greater Equatoria region of South Sudan have dramatically increased. The victims of these attacks have been the members of Dinka ethnic group—the ethnic group of South Sudan President Salva Kiir. The perpetrators appear to be armed youth from Equatoria under the leadership of the armed opposition. These ethnically motivated killings could be committed by radicals on both sides, and not only motivate revenge and counter-revenge attacks, but potentially plunge South Sudan into a total tribal war. Instead of destroying our country through killings and revenge killings, the youth of South Sudan need to embark on a national dialogue to avert the impending disaster.