Monday, June 15, 2009

Attack on UN Barge in Jonglei

For some reason it doesn't bother me that the world has no idea what is going on in Southern Sudan. I suppose I have grown sufficiently cynical that I believe that there is only so much information that people can take in over the course of the day, and understanding a war in a place someone has never heard of that seemingly has no outward connection to the "Western World" could just be too much to ask for. Why would this make the top world news headlines in a time of economic crisis, nuclear bomb tests in North Korea, and EU elections?

A part of me strongly believes that if more countries got involved, it would make things even worse. Sometimes people just need to work things out themselves. But in this case, people have been left to work things out themselves for over 50 years and things have not gotten any better. I do not believe the CPA to be a peace agreement, it is acting as merely a five year ceasefire until the referendum in 2011. There is much being done to undermine the CPA, both overtly and covertly. Backing of the LRA as well as other armed tribal groups to carry out attacks within Southern Sudan to name one.

But this incident? This is not good. The barges carrying food from WFP were headed to Akobo, in Jonglei, which is the same state from my previous post (although still 2 days drive away from where I was). What I didn't mention in that post was that this region has been plagued by clashes between Dinka and Murle, Jikani Nuer and Murle, etc. Cattle raids, abducting children, etc. Hundreds of people killed at this point over the course of a few months. But now that they've attacked a UN agency? That is when this issue gets picked up by the international media. Not only did they attack a UN convoy, but the convoy had an escort from the SPLA, the army of Southern Sudan. These are Southerners fighting Southerners.

What will happen if the South votes for independence in 2011 and people realize they do not have a common enemy anymore?


Anonymous said...

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Petunia said...

Thanks! I'm no longer in Sudan so have closed the chapter on this blog, but I now write over at - hope to see you there