Two South Sudanese-Americans say there can be no reconciliation in South Sudan unless the country’s president and former vice-president are forced out of politics.
The current conflict began as a power struggle between President Salva Kiir and his former vice-president, Riek Machar. Machar is from the Nuer tribe and Kiir is Dinka, and the conflict has taken on an increasingly ethnic dimension.
“We were chased out of our home when we were 12- or even 8-years-old,” former Sudanese “Lost Boy” John Dau told Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson. ”Now, 22 years later, we are hearing bullets, the sounds of guns. We are going back to what we used to do, going to funerals after funerals after funerals. It is because of these leaders. South Sudan deserves better leaders, who have no blood on their hands. These two guys, one way or another, they have to go.”
Dr. John Kuek, a South Sudanese American community leader in San Diego said his home country is on the verge of civil war.
“As we speak, war is propping up almost everywhere in South Sudan today,” Kuek said, adding that it did not begin as an ethnic conflict, but it is devolving into one.
Kuek says it’s important for the U.S. to send troops to protect civilians in South Sudan, especially in Juba, the capital.
“Should this war reach Juba, there will be even more killing than what has happened already,” Kuek said.
Dau says the Untied States is the only country that can stop the violence in South Sudan, and wants Americans to remember what happened in Rwanda.
“President Clinton says he will continue to regret to his death the fact that he did not help avert the genocide in Rwanda,” Dau said. “The question is, will President Obama also continue to regret that he should have helped people in South Sudan?”