The world’s newest country had been greeted jubilantly from the international community in 2011, but this week the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights drew a gruesome picture of South Sudan in a new report.
The celebrations of five years ago may have been rooted in the hope of marking a scorched earth around Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is still under an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity in the Darfur genocide. But peace in South Sudan has quickly unraveled. In December 2013, conflict broke out between the army loyal to President Salva Kiir Mayardit and rebel militias led by his former deputy, Riek Machar.
That civil war has never really ended, despite peace agreements signed last year in Ethiopia. As a result of those agreements, Machar was re-elected vice president last month. But, fearing for his safety, he seems to have no intention of leaving Addis Ababa to return to be the right hand of his archenemy in Juba, the South Sudanese capital.