- Climate Change and the US Withdrawal from the Paris Accords
Disease, famine and war have ravaged South Sudan. Add the effects of climate change, for which the developed countries, including the US, EU, India and China bear responsibility for this. The government revenues come from oil. It is estimated that 95% of the population rely on subsistence farming. Climate change is resulting in deforestation, destroying the timber industry. The decline in timber resources is also due to illegal exports by other countries.
See links: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/war-torn-south-sudan-grave-risk-climate-change-48695857
(video is about Somalia, while the article is on South Sudan)
UN Report: http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/blog/2017/6/29/Confronting-climate-change-in-South-Sudan.html
According to the ABC news report:
At its climate change conference last month, South Sudan reaffirmed its commitment to the Paris climate agreement and criticized the U.S. withdrawal under President Donald Trump. “Trump thinks climate change isn’t a reality,” says Lutana, South Sudan’s climate change director. “He should know that his pulling out won’t stop people from continuing to work on it.”
- US and South Sudan
The human rights violations by the South Sudanese government, as they terrorize the Nuer ethnic group are staggering and include the torture and killing of children and women. South Sudan has also purchased weapons from North Korea according to the UN. For this reason, the US maintains trade sanctions against South Sudan.
Links: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_violence_in_South_Sudan (this is pretty horrific)
In January 2017, in a goodwill gesture, President Obama partially lifted some trade sanctions. The partial lifting ended on July 12, 2017, and was conditioned on South Sudan government showed progress in certain areas, including maintaining regional ceasefires, enhancing counter-terrorism cooperation, and improving humanitarian access. If there wasn’t significant progress, President Trump would be able to re-instate the sanctions. However, the White House simply delayed a decision on sanctions for another 3 months.
The Special Envoy to South Sudan resigned in January 2017, and the Trump administration has yet to nominate a replacement. Also the Trump adminstration has yet to nominate an Assistant to the Secretary of State for African Affairs. The Secretary of State stated his intent to cut US foreign assistance programs (USAID) by 40%.
The US is providing 199 million dollars in famine relief to South Sudan and neighboring counties. Given that South Sudan is surrounded by six countries, I am not sure how much will be spent on South Sudan.
Meanwhile other countries seem more interested in dealing with the government in making oil deals, than helping with the problems of disease and famine. To export the oil, the oil flows through a pipeline to Port Sudan in the country of Sudan. Sudan receives a cut of any South Sudanese oil which is exported. Since Sudan is considered a state sponsor of terrorism, US oil companies are prohibited from participating in the oil development deals of South Sudan.
- Recent Events
The President of South Sudan has threaten to kill journalists who write stories, that he considers “against the country.” Thus the press is limited by intimidation and in some cases imprisonment. Access to certain websites has been shut down.
I wish I could be more positive about South Sudan. The crisis in the country should be a great concern to the developed world.