Fear Stalks Sudan: Thousands Stranded, Disposed, Abused


South Sudan was the latest nation to embark on the journey of independence in 2011. The overwhelming response of the population to break away from Sudan, made the nation free but also plighted it with communal tensions that were yet to plague the entire nation.

It all started with a coup, a coup that is not yet proven, and a coup that has led to massive bloodshed along the ethnic lines, endangering humanity at large. The recent violent clashes, which are so vicious in nature that the leaders of the opposite ends have requested for a ceasefire in the nation.

Signs of friction within the governing SPLM (Sudan People’s Liberation Movement) Party came in July 2013 when President Salva Kiir, an ethnic Dinka – the country’s largest group, sacked his deputy Riek Machar, who is from the second largest community, the Nuer. Mr. Machar soon challenged the leadership of Mr. Kiir, claiming him to be corrupt in his workings. Henceforth, the army has split and there have been clashes around the country. It is a typical case of a political squabble gone wrong, which has also escalated itself into ethnic violence.

The country is awash with guns after the decades of conflict and there is a history of ethnic tension, which politicians have whipped up, as per convenience, believing that it could help them gain, or remain, in power.

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Since the inception of the conflict, several UN personnel have tried to cease the tension and rectify the solution; but to no avail. The recent clashes that were reignited on July 7 have quashed all the peace efforts of UN and various other countries and have thrown itself into turmoil.

Following the ethnic clashes that we Indians are more or less aware of, hundreds of our citizens are trapped in the wake of the brutal attacks. At least 300 Indians are stranded in the country that is immersed in its civil war, and have taken refuge in the Embassy of India.

External Affairs Minister, the efficient Sushma Swaraj, took to Twitter and urged the Indian nationals trapped in the nation to remain calm. She has asked the people to register themselves with the Embassy while the plans for evacuation are being thought of. Since the airport and the roads are blocked due to the civil unrest, the secure movement is hindered. However, she’s continuously aiding the nationals with medical supplies and with emergency contact numbers of the Embassy, while sitting afar.

The people have destroyed the U.N. peacekeeping contingent, who are busy defending their own bases and hence are unable to aid the trapped and stranded. The entire city is immersed in gunfights, violent clashes and unnecessary killings, which has emerged out of nothing but the incapability of leaders to work together and lead the way to peaceful days.

The death toll is thought to be more than 300, including scores of civilians, although there are few clear and reliable details on casualties from the fighting.

As we speak of the Sudan clashes, in our very own nation, we are gripping with the horror of reality, the horror of not pursuing a collaborative approach that will pacify the situation as opposed to its rectification- Kashmir violence.

For the words, the actions and thoughts of few (ISIS), the entire globe is already facing tough times. If we cannot protect our very own nation, how do we even manage to fight the forces that are trying to invade and attack us continuously?

Be it Kashmir or South Sudan, the internal conflict is palpable, allowing the external forces to attack with ease. Binding of the wound that is driving the cities with hate and violence, with a fragile peace accord is refutable. The time for a conclusive approach is now, an approach that cures the wound, and not inflict further injuries on it.

Looking at the turmoil that is gripping various nations of the globe one by one, I am reminded of a concept, a concept that unleashes the horror of our nightmares in reality- Hell doesn’t exist in afterlife after all, does it?

Yugansha Malhotra

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