Lifting arms embargo could be catastrophic for South Sudan
Political tensions between rival camps of Salva Kiir and Riek Machar remain high despite the formation of a unity government
By easing access to basic services, schools and farms, and allowing civilians to travel once again between villages and towns, the South Sudan peace deal signed in September 2018 was a much-needed boon for the country’s population, whose lives had been decimated by years of brutal fighting and a man-made humanitarian crisis that claimed up to 400,000 lives.
Almost two years down the line, South Sudan’s leaders have formed a unity government — with critical support from SA — and should be commended for achieving progress towards peace. But the new government, formed in February 2020, remains shaky. Most people displaced by the war have thus far declined to return home for fear that violence could re-erupt. Both sides maintain separate armies despite pledges to unify them. Meanwhile, a ceasefire with other armed groups has broken down in areas of the Equatoria region, in the south of the country, displacing thousands more South Sudanese...