The power struggle between President Salva Kiir and his former vice president Riek Machar, along with their different religions and paths taken to power, made them an unlikely pair to lead the world’s newest nation: South Sudan.
South Sudan’s government opposition leaders Mr. Riek Machar, Pagan Amum and Rebecca Nyandeng boycotted the meeting of the SPLM National Liberation Council on the 15th of December, 2013. Major General Marial Ciennoung had ordered the SPLA Presidential Guard leave the meeting and be disarmed. After all ethnicities of the Presidential Guard were disarmed, Major General Marial Ciennoung ordered the Dinka members be rearmed. It is apparent that this order was based on ethnicity. Marial’s deputy, a Nuer, did not think rather highly of his order on the basis of ethnicity, and a fight broke out as a result. After the Nuer soldiers rearmed themselves, fighting, again, broke out between SPLA loyal to Mr. Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir.
President Kiir has labelled Mr. Machar’s boycott attempt as a coup d'état. Five opposition officials, in which Mr. Riek Machar is included in, are held as people of interest for treason. Although no evidence of a coup has been found, President Kiir still provoked Mr. Machar’s anger by publicly accusing him of trying to overthrow the government.
In the duration of President Kiir and Mr. Machar’s ongoing conflict, many civilians had taken refuge at the United Nations bases. Since the UN had denied sheltering Nuer civilians, armed government troops loyal to President Kiir, demanded the Nuer refugees be surrendered.
Ever since then, Nuer soldiers, mostly rebels whom have claimed allegiance to Mr. Machar, and Dinka soldiers, loyal supporters of President Kiir, have been targeting one another multiple times. It is obvious Mr. Machar wants President Kiir ousted from presidency, as he will run against President Kiir in 2015. “He must go, because he can no longer maintain the unity of the people,” Machar says. Neither the government forces nor SPLM honored the peace treaty established on January, 2014. If the ethnic violence was not enough, South Sudan’s oil production fell drastically as of December, 2013. South Sudan’s main source of revenue comes from their oil fields, so the oil shortage would represent consequences for the country. The government and rebels may be different in many ways, but both sides have proven that political establishments have little effect. Temporary truces between both forces have been broken up to three times. On one account, rebels have been trying to take control of oil fields, and managed to get into a fight with government forces, leaving people dead from both sides. Ethnicities Nuer and Dinka are being used as weapons for the wrong reasons. Thousands of people are killed and