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Uncivil war

"Uncivil war" Continued...

U.S. special envoy Donald Booth
Associated Press/Photo by Ali Ngethi
U.S. special envoy Donald Booth
By New Year’s Eve, both men had agreed to send delegations to hold peace talks in Ethiopia, but Machar hadn’t called for militias to stop advancing on Dinka strongholds.

Meanwhile, the United States sent special envoy Donald Booth to Juba to hold talks with Kiir and other Sudanese officials. Booth also spoke with Machar by phone. U.S. officials joined diplomats, aid groups, church leaders, and human rights advocates worldwide pleading with the warring factions to avoid plunging the country into a civil war that threatened millions of vulnerable citizens.

If South Sudan does avoid civil war, the country still faces an urgent question: How does it move forward? That’s also an urgent question for the United States and other countries trying to help the South Sudan move past crisis and toward development.

Jok Madut Jok—a former South Sudanese official who now works for the Sudd Institute in Juba—told The Wall Street Journal that economic help alone won’t solve the nation’s problems.

Jok argued that outside countries had focused on helping South Sudan build infrastructure, but had failed to help longtime factions learn how to govern together. International backers fattened Juba’s bank account, but Jok said, “What they missed is that people’s souls have to be fat in the same way.”

Jamie Dean
Jamie Dean

Jamie lives and works in North Carolina, where she covers the national political beat and other topics as news editor for WORLD. Follow Jamie on Twitter @deanworldmag.

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