tv Discussion Focuses on Crisis in South Sudan CSPAN July 5, 2017 11:27am-12:30pm EDT
cable or satellite provider. >> with the u.s. senate in recess for its july for the break booktv in prime time is on c-span2 each night this week. tonight language and communication. >> now a discussion on humanitarian crisis in south sudan and efforts to aid the african country to build peace there from the center for strategic and international studies in washington, this is one hour. >> good morning, everybody.
as we watch the strong, the last, the few, the brave come in, i see lots of the faces in the audience. come on in, don't be shy. there are seats up here. i was fine come i to convince my colleagues to sit in the front seats, except those that are reserved. but you can sit there. all right. so were going to get started here today. first of all i want to note a couple of things. this event and future ones that we are going to be doing under a new initiative here at csis on diversity and national security. to bring different perspectives, new voices and representation that reflects all of the united states in discussions of foreign affairs. today we have with us for
fellows -- one, two, three, three fellows, one could make it today, three fellows of the program which kick started this series here at csis of the international career advancement program. an absolutely marvelous unique program out of aspen which has formed the careers of many a foreign affairs expert, including several at the table. and thanks to the coterie of 470 fellows that we have come we have begun this program but it is not limited to the fellows to get includes others and you'll see in a series of sometimes different events new discussions in foreign affairs. we have a hashtag, diversity, and we also have the iccat alumni association twitter feed which we are using as was obviously csis. so travis is going to moderate for us today. he is an awesome moderator, and without further ado i will turn it over to him. thank you.
[applause] >> good morning. thanthank you, ambassador, for e fantastic introduction, a huge thanks to csis as a whole for gathering us this morning, and a specific thank you to victoria of csis for helping to orchestrate our gathering this morning as well. one administrative note for all of you, we will be taking questions from you guys on note cards. so if you like to have one of those cards, you can raise your hand now and you'l you have anor opportunity before the q&a starts to get those cards to ask your questions. and so without further ado we will get straight to the heart of the matter here though we've entitled today's discussion south sedan, when war and famine collide, we are clearly away
that these are only two strands of a much more complicated situation in south sudan, a much longer and convoluted history of conflict, oppression, and attempts to resolve those issues. one of the things that i wanted to kind of start by pointing out is that even though in the west we have a tendency to mark the struggle in south sedan based on when we begin to engage. so you hear about july nine, 2011. you about july 9, 2005. you hear about intervention such as operation lifeline sudan in the late '80s and early '90s, but if you were to sit down with been southerners, now south sudanese, you hear a different take on the ark of the struggle in south sedan. and that art is about a 200 year struggle for them to get to the place where they are. and it essentially starts with
rule in that region by the ottoman empire, rule in that region by the egyptians, role in that region by the british colonial powers, and then rule in that region by northerners situated in the postindependence government at khartoum. but the reason why i wanted to bring it together is that all of those powers who ruled that region had one central principle in mind, and that central rentable was that the region of the south, which is now south sudan, was to be only a region for the extraction of natural resources, was to be only a region for the extraction of human resources, was not to be cultivated, was not to be integrated, was to be isolated and was not to be developed. and that is essentially the beginning of the struggle that
they had which essentially made it a place designated for plunder. and successive governments in postindependence khartoum made that very clear. one of the things that happened in the history, specifically around the second civil war in sedan versus the south, obviously, was they designated it something that they termed in arabic, which means the boat of work which was to say they were giving themselves a religious justification to freely plunder and decimate that area for themselves. one of the things that we hear all the time in the west about sedan is and south sedan now, religious justifications, regional justifications, ethnic and racial justifications, all of these are veneers for
essentially agreed and the lust for power and resources by specific ruling entities in that country, in that region. the sad irony essentially of the contemporary moment is that for many southerners sacrificed their lives to resist these forms of governance, and found that the sudanese people liberation movement and army, south sedan has become once again the boat of war. this time though without the religious veil in essentially a conflict that is a naked contest for wealth and for power. and again, not for the development and the cultivation of the people of that nation. this all reminded me of the african proverb which states that when the elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. and i thought that it would be good for us to take that
symbolic metaphor to look at who the symbolic elephants are, what their actions mean for the suffering of the people who are at the bottom of that conflict and to have long bend ignored in this process. and i know that many of you are experts and have given great service to try to ameliorate the suffering of those people. and so to get us right into our panel i want to go over to ashley quarcoo who's going to give us a readout from the u.s. aid perspective about the human toll of the conflict and where we are right now. thank you. >> thank you, travis, and thanks to csis for organizing this. i just want to pick up on how travis framed this and emphasize, yes, we are in a humanitarian catastrophe but it is rooted in a political problem, a political crisis. and normally in a system of
governance, we have rules for governing how political competitions going to take place. it takes place within a framework where people agree on the rules around that framework. and we don't have that kind of consensus in south sedan pick instead, we have leaders who have decide to go outside of the peaceful rules of the game and to pursue their political objectives through violence that is destroying their country. so thi this is a humanitarian cs of massive proportions, but it is rooted in this political crisis. so just to bring the humanitarian piece of this, we're talking about 2 million people who have fled the country around the neighboring regions. we have two more million people displaced inside a south sedan. and 200 2000 people are continug to flee the country every day. so that's about one in three people who are displaced from their homes right now.
by july, and that's really just around the corner, we estimate about 6 million people are going to be in need of life-saving or will face life-threatening hunger, and about seven and a half million people will need humanitarian assistance writ large. just to put this last of in context, that's about 60% of south sedans pre-conflict population. so this is a massive impact on the overall population, displacement as well as humanitarian of the sudanese. though we were pleased as i'm sure many of you were to see last week that parts of south sudan have now been declared famine three, to no longer be in famine, we need remember that the food security situation really remains dire, continues to deteriorate across the country. just to say a word, usaid is helping to lead u.s. government
response to this humanitarian catastrophe. we've been working aggressively to help save as many lives as possible with our partners. long before the famine declaration in favor of this year and we will continue to do so. where reaching about 1.3 million people each month with life-saving assistance. but this is a really difficult and dangerous undertaking, and not just because we are in a conflict zone and there's lots of insecurity. there have been numerous deliberate and brazen attacks on humanitarian aid workers in south sedan. attacks which are violations of international you managing law. 84 aid workers have been killed in south sedan since the conflict began in december of 2013, and 84, sorry, 17 of those have been since this year alone. since january of this year. that makes up sedan the most deadly place in the world for humanitarian workers to operate.
that's really shocking. if you think about conflicts that are going on all over the globe, yemen, iraq, syria. so aside from insecurity, aside from i give this willful attacks on humanitarian workers, we are also facing the direct willful obstruction and intervention of the government of south sedan in imposing bureaucratic impediments that inhibit our humanitarian actors and be able to access those people who need their assistance. it's a range of things from imposing worker permits, fees and ngo registration fees that really dramatic increase the cost of delivering humanitarian assistance. and then we see direct detention and extortion, harassment, really egregious acts to deter
the delivery of assistance that is going to save the lives of the people of this country, and the fact that the government is taking these actions to prevent this kind of life-saving assistance is really unconscionable. the u.s. government expects that are assistant is going to reach the people that need it the most, and we are doing all we can to press all parties to allow humanitarian actors to function with -- without restriction. finally just to say a note about kind of the human cost that travis referred to. i mean, you know, there was a u.n. survey done in 2015 looking at for protection of sibling sites, these are the sites where about 230,000 idp scum internally displaced come across the country are sheltering. this survey conducted in 2015. 2015. he reported over 70% of women
have been raped since the conflict began, 75% have witnessed someone else being a raped. thithis is a weapon, strategy of war at this point. it's a mass atrocity crime and largely perpetrated by soldiers and police. there has been complete impunity for these actions and we can attest that as long as that impunity reigns, as long as the conflict rains we see those kind of strategies being utilized. so i feel like i'm open the doom and gloom a voice in some of these discussions, but we, as the united states come we will continue to provide assistance. i think that you managing assistance and other assistance that we are providing is critical. it is saving lives. it's really a drop in the bucket
when we look at the scope and scale of the humanitarian needs, the civilian protection needs. and ultimately, again going back to the remarks i made at the top, this is a political crisis. it needs a political solution. and until the parties are willing to decide that the strategy of war is either too high a cost for the brothers and sisters or its ineffective for them, if their goal ultimately is to gain power, until they decide, we are going to continue to have these kinds of humanitarian needs. thanks. >> thank you, ashley. having started with the current use geo- official ipod would make sense to follow that up -- u.s. official i thought it would make sense to fold it up to get an honest perspective from a former u.s. g oath they shall who has worked on africa and the sedans to talk to essentially where we are with use engagement
on south sedan, whether we have our policies in place that make sense for we are in that country at this time. and also to speak a little bit about regional actors, united nations, african unions and others. with that i will turn over to linda etim. >> great. as ashley was saying, i spent a long time in u.s. government working on sudan and in south sedan and a lot of the neighboring countries, and so in some ways i have a lot of sympathy and appreciation for the work that a lot of really hard-working people in government are doing right now to ensure that despite what we had seen as a pretty depressing lack of attention on the very important crisis -- attention, aid continues to flow. people continued to make sure
that you're advocating for continued assistance and support to the people of south sedan, even in the face of what's going on with the government. that said, south sudan is not just a political crisis, a crisis of political leaders and the country not owning up to the responsible and not taking care of their people, what we are also seen as a crisis international leadership. and that's pretty dramatic. the united states knows that we give ourselves a lot of credit for different, important milestone in south sedans recent history come from the sign at the conference of these agreement in 2005 to the declaration of independence for the new country that was finally born. we know that over decades we have seen church leaders in the united states and we've seen people from the right and left come together to ask her support of the people south sedan and
make it a cause that has been a very american cause. what we're seeing now with the lack of attention i think is frankly depressing, and the idea of abdicating the role of you was historic leadership to basically saying it is only the responsible of the parties on the ground, is something we should challenge i think actively, especially folks that are in this room working on these issues. next, as travis mention, the fact is that just the united states. we had the united nations, again biggest peacekeeping force on the planet, and we've also got the african union. again, most dangerous place in the world for humanitarian assistance, famine, a civil war. and yet these bodies and these institutions whose main job it is to actually make sure that there anything appropriately and
actually calling countries and leaders and individuals on the wrongs they are committing have basically also stepped back and said, we will provide assistance our protection within our role, but because of issues of sovereignty or complexities, we're stepping back, editing or receipt across board is a lot of people sort of waiting for the other, for somebody else to step up and actually take action on the crisis. when we look at humanitarian workers and deliveries being detained and actually obstructed, that's actually considered a human rights violation. and yet it's not a language that we used to speak about it. we haven't seen the african union do more than condemn. we haven't seen the u.n. stand up and said actually these are crimes against humanity. there have been many investigations, but i think is a sort of the language people need
to start talking about. there was one report where we talked about the potential ethnic cleansing. it sort of reached past the point where we need to go a little bit further. one of the things we've seen with the neighboring countries as well is this i did that they're refugees. i think uganda has been an amazing recipient of south sudanese refugees, but uganda has been a major problem when you talk about actually coming to resolution of a political crisis. and so on the one hand, again, you see this willingness to engage on how do we accept people enter with the outflow of the problem? but nobody stepping up in our leadership role and willing to take on the really weird causes of what the crisis, of why the crisis is continuing. and until that happens we know that the suffering in this community is only going to get worse. and so i think one of the challenges for all of us is to actually figure out at what
point are we willing to actually really push forward aggressive and said okay, we let this go on for over four years now, this war, the last war was over 20 years, may be this is the time to actually say enough is enough and actually takes a more concerted actions to making sure that the people who are responsible for these atrocities are actually brought to more justice. >> thanthank you, linda. with linda giving us pretty much an overview of the bilateral use engagement in the region and on south sedan specifically, i want to turn to steven vigil who essential is joining us via satellite. it may not technically be a satellite but i will refer to it in that way. steve, given your background in u.n. peacekeeping in south sedan, could you talk to us a little bit about some of the challenges you've seen there,
some of the issues, some of the challenges in terms of the protection of civilians which ashley emlyn have talked about? and it also perhaps a little bit from your perspective on the nexus between what the u.n. mission in south sedan is trying to do related to conflict and how that might be hindered or helped by issues of governance in south sedan? >> that's a lot to unpack, but actually prepared -- i think i could address some of that much of that within the note. forgive me, i'm actually going to be reading off of it just in the interest of time because i feel like if not i could kind a strict and i understand where limited on time someone to stick to that. first off, travis, thank you.
i want to thank csis for hosting this panel and specifically ambassador mccarthy. another thing, just in terms of what i'm going to say, i really want to preface that these are really my views and not the views of the u.n., neither of my previous employers, south sedan, elsewhere. i'm going to share my thoughts on my experience in sedan out insults of entering the birds of 2010 national election and 2011 referendum immediately post. during part of this. i secured a working group focus on referendum related security incidents. i think it's important to look at this particular period were south sedan is today and hopefully this will contribute to some sort of understanding and steps that we taken towards ending the civil war and moving
towards peace. i think a lot of the roots of what's already been discussed on the panel, we are already visible this time and for me coming to south sedan during that time, having not had any experience in sedan before, there was a lot, my understanding of what i heard from before coming, the situation on the ground challenges a lot of what industry before i got there. some of the roots of the current conflict can be seen when look at the 2010 sudanese national election. a key element i observed that the leadership in south sedan was very willing to use violence to achieve its goals committee will participate in a democratic process to determine the future of south sedan. additionally, it was immediately clear there was a deep division within the s plm that predated the time that contributed to the violence. during the 2010 election leadership use the as pla to
ensure that their preferred candidates one. we had many incidents of candidates being detained and beaten, voter intimidation was common, armed soldiers entering homes pick we had a case of as pla soldiers -- after the been completely clear the candidate backed by the leadership had lost. at this time the spla was moving to mil another was moving soldis from one region to another, that they considered there was a chance the non-backed candidate would lose. many people observing that they were attempting to secure the election i think it was actually more and moved to secure position that they wanted for the future. during the cpa. south sedan was a violent place.
i right of passage in some cultures in the region, but in the. i was there, that aspect have been lost as rival military commanders, politicians and other actors exerted increase control. raids were being coordinated with mobile technology and then using automatic weapons. cattle, women and children were taken to raise the death toll, an average of ten to 20 people we can oftentimes much more than that. this was during the period of the cpa. spla paroles were not well supported and would many cases living off the land. this put them in direct conflict with local villagers in areas they were patrolling. the spla activities i observed in some parts of south sedan will close resembled the cattle raiding or moves to secure territory. the spla during the period in some parts of the country was moving as if they're still in
warfare. what i observed was a violent the south sedan did not happen in isolation. violent scenes coordinated, intentional, and use as a means to an industry was used to ensure a favorable outcome in an election. it was used to increase territorial control. it was used to ensure grazing land for cattle for one group at the expense of another. it was used to intimidate journalists, civil society, aid workers and even u.n. staff. at one point when i was there, there was an issue where the south sedan police had detained ahead of human rights to the united nations and arrested, jailed, and beaten him and charged him with false charges for counterfeiting. i think that's important to note as we end of this discussion, the head of the human rights of u.n. was being intimidated. that says a lot about what was going on. much of the violence that was taking place seem to be motivated by establishing political and territorial control and to determine who
would run south sedan postindependence period friends and colleagues from less powerful tribes were concerned at the expansion of dinka and other areas. similarly with the support of the spla or large military, large militia groups such as the white army, some shared concerns the post independence the violence would increase and lead to war. these are concerns that these cards are sharing with me as we run into the referendum. and even close to the postindependence herbal cawley said now real conflict begins, who's going to run the country? that was particularly acute hearing that from colleagues that were concerned, the large number of dinka soldiers in the west soldiers that were in juba. during the referendum time the leadership tried to display more unified front end of sf in reaching out to citizens to support for independence. the people south sedan were enthusiastic and hopeful that an independent south sedan would pursuit nationbuilding can
reconcile its differences, develop infrastructures, support growth and work together to build a nation. in the run-up to the referendum a government strong supported media society groups of educating south sudanese about the democratic process and governance. following independence those hopes were never realized. what did happen was a continuation of what's happening before independence. this struggle for power continues. khartoum was once again to blame for any bills and the lack of infrastructure, and the leadership and south sedan continued use violence to achieve its goals, indifferent to the suffering of the citizens of they were meant to serve. incidentally, the media and civil society groups that were previously supported became enemies of the state as they begin to report on corruption and advocated for more inclusive and transparent government. recently in speaking to a former colleague, one of the things that she commented on was that
she felt that during the referendum. the leadership really intelligible the walls over the eyes of the south sedan citizens, that it wasn't ever, she thought they were given limited options in terms of the choices, and it was really all about the leadership kind of maintaining control. when looking back at 20 elections and the 2011 referendum i feel and arrested politically expedient solution before deadlines laid out in cpa, port steps involving these, reconciliation, social cohesion of promoting unifying identity in south in our national scale did not happen despite the presence of multiple actors from the international community and the will and desire of the people of south sedan. although there was a great deal of investment to ensure that elections and referendum took place, not enough was done on the front end to ensure that they would yield a viable solution to the violence that even plaguing the people south sedan for generation.
the creation of an independent state was not enough to ensure an end to violence and the first steps towards peace. the process that led to independent south sedan is limited, this is a comic in speaking with many of my colleagues, former colleagues, their pity was a process that led to the individua independenh sedan at limited engagement with a wider sudanese society. it was primarily made up of those who had a role political, military or both during the civil war. many of the conflicts that occurred in the sudanese civil war carried over into the birth of south sedan as an independent nation without resolution. the same actors are now once again in conflict and in charge would bring an an end to the wor it would seem without a greater political engagement, south sydney society, ensuring that there many people at the table and real political will come international committee that the next will fail as well speedy steve, may i chime in here quickly? in interest of time.
if you might give us one final comment and then i'm going to move to mario. >> my final comment was thank you. that was it. i just come incidentally, i really like, speaking to the u.n. and particularly to the time i was there, i think even now we are seeing its the largest u.n. mission on the ground. i also think we need to look at, drinduring this time, the missin was never adequately supported. i want to get into supporting, i have a lot of issues of how things were done, and i think in a certain context it was a bit of enabling, not a bit, the u.n. mission at some point enabled some of the leadership in south sedan without really having the will to step up and push back against it. i also think that has a lot to do with just the general political will of the international community in general.
you know, the u.n. is an easy punching bag when things go wrong, but at the end of the day the u.n. responds to the will of the member states and particularly the permanent members of the security council. i think if you look in other cases around the world when the members of the permanent, the p5 come together and make a decision that we are going to do when something, and that when other countries step in and step up as well, follow their lead, you see outcomes that are much more, i mean, you see actual processes moving. ..
the and what is happening in south sudan that we are not experiencing when i was fair. i now emphasize that violence. >> thank you for the insight, steve. i want to make one administrative point again that if you guys have questions developing in the areas that you scratched on, knows that you've had, this would be the time to raise your hands to receive the note receive the note cards for our q&a, which will ensue right after mario gives his remarks. just really quickly, after having that rundown from steve, i wanted to turn to mario, who is a former lecturer at the memorial university in south
sudan, to give us his insights not only as a south sudanese, but also as one was focused on politics and governance in the region as well as refugees. we will turn it over to mario. >> thank you very much. when i came back from south sudan, i was there for three years. i was born there, but i'm also american. also, for the government or for the raffle. i would love to be independent. once you live outside like me, i was by the united nations. i was a canyon before i came
colonies. that is sudan. the country sudan has a deep-seated interest that could go up to two years. make sure that south sudan becomes the united states. the reason why, you know, it's become a nation in south sudan. each of the tribes of its own interests in how the country should be. it is something --
[inaudible] but the reason why the country is like it is today. [inaudible] i could go on and on and on. in my hometown that is a part of my tribe. south sudan is not like here. you spend time talking to people . south sudanese are very different. [inaudible] it is something that was unknown. i let my colleague talk about that.
[inaudible] they are doing a very good job. i was educated by the u.n. when it came to me personally, i appreciate that. but to comment error things -- i think my colleague were bringing it up. once it broke out, who is to canyon in a place called war as where they come from. that wasn't my village. they don't want to come back simply because the south
sudanese is telling them not to go back. they never qualify for the benefits. i [inaudible] they come here and see this enforceable for people. it is independent thinking about another group. i [inaudible] only know that because the will of the u.n. states you cannot be an idp in your own district. i
together. so sudan is more complicated than you would think it would be. i [inaudible] [inaudible] so thank you very much. >> thank you, mario. our first question i think we can pose to the entire panel who would like to speak to it, but it is specifically referenced to a point that linda was making earlier and that is the role that the u.s. government played in the birthing of the independence of south sudan and what specifically the u.s.
should do to help bring about a political resolution in the conflict. >> i'd like to say that i've been working on this since 2002, and so i saw this tpa period, which are also the bush years and i was also up close and personal because i started the national security council under obama during the referendum. when we are actually talking about how we would ring independence about. i will say that, you know, during the time. comment there is another strong realization that the terms of the comprehensive peace agreement had not been a strong recognition that the 2010 elections were not where they needed to be. there were not a lot of unresolved issues in that we
didn't yet have a government that felt like they would stand up on their own and not largely dependent on international assistance and at that point in time. at the same time, people around the country neighboring countries you have to remember the referendum vote have been within south sudan, but with the diaspora community for many, many years and were excited and optimistic about their futures. we heard clearly from people that they didn't want western countries taking over their nation. they wanted separation. they wanted to vote on time and they thought they could sort through these other things by themselves. what happens is as the u.s. government, we went through this wrestling internal matches is a
paternalistic to tell people that know, you are not ready for that yet. actually, you should be a protectorate. you need to wait. there are some other steps that need to take place. or do we say no, this is your right as was negotiated under peace agreement, but that we will be there in the united states to continue to support you going forward. they are hindsight is always 2020. there was a lot of concern that if the referendum did not happen on time that there would have been a civil war that started right then. and so, there is a call that was made to move forward with the referendum, but to have dedicated budgets for south sudan, both at the state department and usaid and even for defense to make sure that this was something that the united states would remain focused on. there is also a decision that even after separation the u.s. said the special envoy would
continue to move forward. there had been a thought before the role of the envoy was only to negotiate the comprehensive peace agreement and to help at the norway, u.k., u.s.a. and then move out from there. but at that point in time, we said there's going to be a lot of other things to resolve. the united states needed to remain involved. that was sort of the special relationship they continued with the united states with south sudan before and after the referendum took place and understanding that a lot of the terms and challenges that continue even after any sort of without understanding moving forward, that's the period of time we are in right now. what are the choices in the decision-making that happens now that we are in the. are you actually have to deal with the new country, but you know they are not actually protect and the citizens rights. >> thank you. the next question chat focuses
on ashley's presentation. this person is curious about the impact on u.s. foreign aid in south sudan since the departure and re-engagement by usaid, the departure of some of the implementing partners to where they are in the lead up to the conflict and how that may have impacted our overall mission objectives and achievement of our goals in south sudan. >> sharer. usaid continues to be enforced in south sudan to be actively implementing programs to respond to the crisis. we did kind of a revamp of what we were doing their when the violence broke out. we had primarily, as linda was
articulating, we had a mission to support the development of the south sudanese at the state country. and a lot of programs geared in that way and there is obviously a fundamental shift in the contacts changed and emerged into a humanitarian crisis beginning in 2013 and programs adjusted accordingly. certainly after last year's violence, there was an impact on primarily international personnel that needed to leave the country. but you know, we have returned the u.s.a. personnel back into our mission and spirit our partners are back. we are implementing programs act relating and i think the message is that we are going to continue to do that. we are going to continue to be there to mitigate against the impacts of the conflict to the extent we can.
>> thank you. mario, there is a question that i think maybe you might be best to answer since he talked about this before we came up onto the stage. that is, what has been the role of the oil industry in particular, especially in relation to foreign investments and oil in south sudan and the ways in which those competing factors have contributed to the conflict. >> well, maybe% of the government revenue -- it's one of the reasons because the oil prices -- [inaudible] south sudan common it is not playing a major role in the
partner. the oil companies, the chinese companies are there. it makes it more complicated. the oil companies are people -- we don't see these on the media. oil is doing a good thing because it's a good source of income. at the same time it is most of the problem today. >> another question relates to vestiges of the legacy in south sudan and since i spoke about that a little bit in my opening remarks, i will try and answer to that. i think clearly the answer is
yes. when you look at the fact that sudan and south sudan were essentially administered as two different countries under the british colonial administration, which was from 1899-1956. they had in the 1920s what they call the closed-door ordinances. the closed-door ordinances essentially stated that people from southern sudan would not be allowed to enter northern sudan and people from northern sudan would not be allowed to enter southern sudan. no exchange in business, no exchange culture early. no exchange at all. and then they decided that the north was more advanced, more prepared to be integrated into the modern world. they continue to flourish there. they allowed the arabic language to be the predominant language in terms of education and
commerce. and in the south, they decided that they would bring in missionaries from the u.k., educate them primarily in english and then their plan all along was to integrate the south into what they call british east africa, which would've essentially been a combining of that territory with kenya and uganda. so they never intended for the nation actually to be unified. in addition to that, they made a decision that the south was backward and it wasn't ready to join the modern world, which as i stated earlier was essentially the same position to every entity that it governed south sudan had and then you follow that january 1st, 1956, independence comes in the
british just disappear, essentially jamming together two nations there for over six years they never administered as one nation and no one could figure out why they couldn't get along. clearly that legacy is problematic for what we see happening in south sudan now. another question i had for you guys as we prepare to close is a pretty broad question. some of the answers we've given already they cover some of this, but i will try it anyway. that is given all that all of you have shared, how would you assess the capacity in the political will of the u.s. and regional international actors in this moment to meet the crises in south sudan? you know, the u.s. is known for its can-do attitude, but in this moment of political crisis at home and abroad, do you think that the international order is
prepared to resource and can properly coordinate and asked her where we can't seem to find the leverage points to bring the project to the table and perhaps we can close on that question in each of you can chime in if you choose to do so. >> i will start. so, i actually tend to be an optimist. maybe part of that is some of you know that youtube has been going around the country on their tour. they performed in washington d.c., world refugee day, particularly to raise awareness and attention to issues like south sudan where people from the left and from the right can actually agree that we don't like as americans, that we actually care about it a lot and even with political jockeying
and attempts to cut foreign assistance bills, the one thing that you do see pretty consistently is coming forward and say no, we don't want people to starve. we do want a solution to this crisis. what we see with the international community and this is why call it a crisis of leadership is that nobody wants to step up and take the lead. that does not mean we are not pouring billions of dollars of resources into south sudan and that people don't care that other people are suffering. in that sense, the fact we are still willing to spend the money and be engaged is absolutely encouraging to me. which you also end up seeing is people saying we don't care what it going on in that faraway place. we've got an essential first step and people are willing to actually resource this. what they are lacking right now is how do we stop it, how do we end this fighting? what are our options?
and it's a failure of creativity. it's about the region, the african union standing up and saying you know what, we have an illegitimate government right now that i have it at all sorts of international norms. we are not going to stand by and let them continue to do so. the p5 chinese oil workers have been killed in this crisis. they've had to shut down production multiple times. they are losing money right now. they should have an interest in this. russia we have seen sort of terrible stories about russia funneling arms and equipment into south sudan they were aiding and abetting in this war. i think the international community has been clear to russia that right now we don't like what you are doing. there is a lot of movement and momentum that can happen in the u.n. security council. there's a lot of work the african union now has leadership together was not the case several months ago where they
were struggling with a lot of leadership issues. the african union should now be out to step forward. they've got a mediation team from the neighboring countries and the u.s. government itself has her invested billions of dollars into this house has the u.k. and norway. this is something that given the money and given the fact everybody agrees that this is not right what is happening, it is not as hard as that means to be. we need to actually just put pressure on all these institutions to say stand up for what you actually believe in. stop making this more difficult than it has to be encircling pressure on the leaders to do things. >> thank you, linda. you want to go ahead, ashley? >> the u.s. government continues to care and invest deeply in what is happening in south sudan. it's always been an issue garnered bipartisan support and
i think we can anticipate that same level of commitment going forward. >> excellent. steve coming did you want to provide some final comments on where we go from here? >> yeah, just following up on ashley's statement, i don't see this -- i think all of the elements are there than before when the international community comes together with regional actors, we have seen that we could come together and bring about a solution to what seems to be an adjustable bottom. i was in sierra leone and liberia in the early 2000 people thought that was on earth and it was. and it was. two years after the end of the war in sierra leone i was standing there talking to colleagues from different areas. you didn't feel like you were in the war.
people stepped in. there is national reconciliation process, accountability, leadership and i think i'm not no one of the things that's lacking the most for me is just the political will to step up and take a leadership position because all of the elements are there and this is something we could do. it's an incredibly complicated situation. it's a very sad and tragic situation that is getting worse by the day. this isn't the first time it has happened. we've seen when we get together and take action, that we can bring about resolution of these types of problems. >> thank you for that, steve. mario, closing thoughts? >> yeah, actually i would love to see the u.n. continue support for south sudan. on south sudan and the border --
[inaudible] with the international community as a whole, i would love to support the peace and reconciliation. the one thing for the committee to do with the enemy is. we have seen this in congo. congo is seen as a mess. [inaudible] so we welcome intentions and also prayers. one would say it would be a violation of sovereignty that
ethiopians, sudanese that last. they need to be advised. but the iranian army -- [inaudible] it's not very democratic on its own. you can night not invite mankind to tell you what to do. >> thank you for that, mario. that allows us to close almost at 10:30 on the dot. thanks to our panelists. thanks for joining us. thank you for csi as for joining us morning. [applause] sound sound back --