The Criterion

On the Brink of Ethnic War

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Ethnic War and Civil Turmoil have become the words of the day in the world’s newest country (and they’ve been written on the board for three years too long).

The nation of South Sudan, which gained its independence from its northern neighbor Sudan in July of 2011, has been around for a rocky five years. They broke off from Sudan because they believed that the residents of the northern half of the country (which is all dessert) were oppressing the people of the southern portion of the country, who reside in a land full of lush tropical forests, grasslands, and swamps. The northerners (who for the most part controlled the country) used the resources of the south to sustain their economy. This was the reason for the split between Sudan  and South Sudan.

But the unification of seceding and making their own new nation did not last long for the South Sudanese. The nation, like most nations in Africa, was once controlled by European powers. When the Europeans arrived in Africa, they divided the land up by resources, not by cultural and ethnic backgrounds of the people living there. Thus, many opposing people’s were grouped together in the same countries, and when these nations finally broke away from Europe, they kept the same borders. This causes major conflict in countries like South Sudan, because many tribes and peoples that do not get along are forced to be in the same nation with each other. This is leading to widespread murder and hate crimes in the country. Towns are being burned, people are being killed, and now the United Nations is saying that this might soon turn into an event similar to the Rwandan Genocide, when almost 1 million people were killed in a civil war caused by ethnic divides in the African nation of Rwanda.

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The student news site of Bridgeport Central High School
On the Brink of Ethnic War