Has Ukraine, Crimea Proxy War Eclipsed S.Sudan Crisis?

what is ed geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>Ukraine political crisis started as people protesting and demanding their leaders to redirect country’s bilateral relations to Europe instead of Russia.

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Those demands were not met that resulted into peaceful protests that led to death of protesters.

After that, political situation became uncontrolled of which Ukraine’s president stepped down and left the country to Russia for political asylum.

However, Former Ukraine’s president was a strong ally to Russia since the shared geo-political and cultural ties that made the President of Russian order troops to occupy strategic areas of Crimea.

Crimea’s political administration convened and endorsed a controversial referendum on March 16, 2014.


The ballot boxes for Crimea’s referendum were labelled in two ways; join Russia or remain part of Ukraine.

Concerns were already raised in the media that types of questions asked in the ballot forms were confusing.

A One-week proxy war has drawn a lot of media attention internationally compared to South Sudan crisis of 4 months where numerous atrocities were committed and continue to be committed against civilians and properties.

World leaders are not balancing their condemnations nor searching for equal concrete solutions to both crises.

This is what makes me think that Ukraine, Crimea crisis has overshadowed South Sudan crisis where a sizable number of South Sudanese civilians were displaced, killed and continue to be killed since warring parties are still engaging in an intensive war.

Therefore, the International community, especially signatories to the Comprehension Peace Agreement (CPA) should uphold their moral obligations and responsibilities for two reasons:

1). That CPA is unfinished business and the case in point is Abyei’s referendum that was conducted in October 2013 but none of international community’s leaders had not acknowledged Abyei’s referendum.

Furthermore, Abyei referendum was conducted on the basis of the CPA and African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHLIP) that gave the legitimacy.

2). That international community had worked hard to achieved South Sudan’s independence in 2011 but it has not worked hard to support and sustain good governance, peace-building, rule of law, health care, education, food security and infrastructures that would have reduced the level of frustrations among citizens.

Moreover, South Sudan was a region that had suffered marginalisation at the hands of the Islamic regime in Khartoum that was favoured by the British administration when they left Sudan in 1956.

Role of Canadians in South Sudan’s intra-conflict:

There are many ways the Canadian government can assist in bringing peace and stability by pressuring and engaging warring parties to respect the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed on January 23, 2014.

An urgent intervention will be a show of solidarity and responsibility to our lineage country since we are always affected by what happened in our home country.

Our dual citizenship is a “political tie” between the two nations; Canada and South Sudan.

Our socio-economic tie come with a responsibility which is a reason I expected the Canadian government to play a crucial role in bringing peace to South Sudan.

We are emotionally and financially affected due to the loss of loved ones and relatives scattered in refugee camps in neighbouring countries where they require relatives’ financial support.

Therefore, Canadian government should not underestimate the four months civil war that claimed thousands of innocent lives, displaced millions of people, and destroyed physical infrastructures in three states Jonglei, Upper and Unity.

Ottawa’s Visit to Ukraine:

AS South Sudanese-Canadian, Ottawa has given an attention to one part of the region (Ukraine) that created an imbalance.

Canada is known around the world as a caring nation that promotes core values of freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, justice, development and humanitarian assistance.

Last week, the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Honourable John Baird, led the delegation to Ukraine to pay condolences on behalf of the Canadian government.

This week (third week of March), H.E Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada announced his visit to Ukraine as reported by the media.

I have got away with two things from that.

1). Ukraine, Crimea has overshadowed South Sudan crisis completely.

2) Our Canadian government is not attending both crises in the same way maybe because of political and economic interests; weak bilateral relations between the government of South Sudan and government of Canada, Ukraine-Canadian influenced Canadian government, and Ukraine diplomacy in Ottawa.

All these are my intellectual assumptions but I would be interested in knowing why the Canadian government takes South Sudan crisis lightly?

However, I should also admit that the government of South Sudan Liaison Office that was closed in Ottawa two years ago did not shine well politically in Canada due to the inability of individuals who were appointed to that office.

There was no meritocracy benchmark followed because of nepotism and corruption that had led to hand-picked unqualified individuals that failed to orient Ottawa toward South Sudan.

Therefore, our government has felt the pains of weak bilateral and multilateral ties internationally.

It is obvious that nepotism and corruption have overridden national interests for individuals’ welfare.

Africa Union (AU):

The idea of Africa Union (AU) to establish a Commission of Inquiry headed by H.E Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; to investigate alleged human rights violations is an important step but premature at this stage.

Timing is not right.

Securing and containing a rapid killing of innocent people will be a first priority then followed by the works of the Commission.

If a commission of inquiry starts its work right now, what human rights violations alleged are they going to investigate?

AU should help IGAD to expedite peace in a timely manner, to reduce killing of innocent people and destructions of materials.

What accountability, reconciliation and healing is AU talking about while innocent civilians are still dying silently?

In conclusion:

Ukraine and Russia’s proxy war has overshadowed South Sudan crisis as international community’s pressures are diverted to Ukraine, Crimea.

Human suffering is the same regardless of what region.

Saving lives is an important step than prioritising bilateral relations, political and economic interests.

I am appealing to the international community and particularly the Canadian government to rethink their devoted attention to one region while South Sudan crisis is somewhat left unattended.

On the other hand, I appeal to AU and IGAD to redouble their efforts to bring long-lasting peace before the investigations of alleged human rights violations.

Also, IGAD countries should remain neutral.

Interfering in South Sudanese internal affairs puts innocent lives in a very vulnerable situation as thousands and millions are displaced from their ancestral lands.

The current war is not people’s grievances but leaders’ interests.

South Sudan’s territory should not be made as a theatre of war by other interested groups to pursue their political and economic interests.

Last but not least, IGAD countries should maintain neutrality by deploying impartial forces for the Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (MVM) as well as Protection and Deterrent Force (PDF).

Doing that will achieve a long-lasting peace, which will save innocent people’s lives and valuable properties if anything was left in three states of Jonglei, Upper and Unity.

David Mabior Atem Kuir – Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

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