Yes, I know…sooner or later some of you are going to give me hell for my repeated pounding about the crisis (genocide) in South Sudan and Sudan. I will start getting ‘enough of this’ from some of you – and yes, I do understand that viewpoint but I also think there is another view point of equal weight. If you have been to South Sudan or Sudan – or even seen the pics previously posted of the genocide there – it is very difficult to simply do one story and walk away. You don’t forget genocide – especially when you see it with your own eyes. I don’t have the power to solve this but I do have the ability to put a spotlight on the crisis in hope that someone else with power and answers will step in. In this world, the squeaky wheel phenomena can be productive.
Plus, to those who think I am doing too much blogging about this genocide, remember that I meet the people in these stories and, not only do I want to help them (as you would, too, if you met them and most of you do without even meeting them), I never for one second want them to think I don’t care or that I am using them for a splash and run.
I know I have saturated you before with stories and pictures on various topics and have caught hell from some for doing it. I see it as follow through but some see it as something else. I have posted a million pictures from New Orleans and Katrina, lots of segments about the heartbreak of the missing American teen Natalee Holloway, story after story (and pics) about famine in North Korea and yes, the war next door in Mexico where innocent civilians are caught in the crossfire are only a few samples. I would rather do to much than too little – hoping that MAYBE MAYBE some good will come of it.
I have seen past criticism of me doing too much on stories but I figure people can turn off the TV or scroll down the blog – I would rather err on the side of doing too much, than doing too little. (Plus criticism is usually noise from those who have never seen the stories up close and I know they would think differently if they did.) Yes, there are hundreds and hundreds of other equally important stories I wish I had the time to do.
On the bright side, if you think the postings too much, you don’t have to read the blog postings. I understand. You can scroll right past something you are not interested in or have seen enough and you are over saturated. I totally understand – good people have different interests. But I also know many of you are deeply interested in some – not all – of these stories and don’t want me to simply touch the surface and move on. You want me to try to at least complete some of them.
So….if you are interested, read this Washington Post story….if not…simply scroll on and, let me repeat, I certainly understand. There will be other stories and topics I post here that grab attention (I promise!)
PS: If you think I over do it here with this genocide, try the home front! I have drafted my husband to do something to try to help these people…I always do that to him! If you think it is bad for you getting all these blog postings, imagine what he has to put up with at home!
South Sudan civilians are trapped in conflict over oil
By Sudarsan Raghavan, Published: May 1
Bentiu, South Sudan — Every few moments, Nyameat Nyak glances nervously at the sky. It’s been two weeks since Sudanese warplanes bombed her tea shop as she was serving five traders, pregnant with her sixth child. Shrapnel sliced through the walls, covering her in flesh and blood.
The men died. Her baby lived.
Since the attack, there have been more bombings, more deaths and a growing unease that this nation’s prized asset is becoming its biggest misfortune. “If we had no oil,” said Nyak, 27, seated outside her hut, “we would not be attacked.”
Tens of thousands of South Sudanese are trapped in a conflict over oil and territory between their newly independent country and their northern neighbor, Sudan. For the past three weeks, Sudanese warplanes have bombed the town of Bentiu, killing 15 civilians and injuring several dozen more, according to the United Nations.
From Angola to Chad, Nigeria to Equatorial Guinea, oil and other natural resources have been more bane than blessing, generating conflicts and corruption while millions of Africans languish in poverty. But many thought oil revenue would prevent another conflict here, with South Sudan dependent on Sudan’s pipelines and ports to export its crude.
But with each assault, and as both nations mass troops on their contested border 50 miles north of here, the countries are drawing closer toward a full-blown war, potentially destabilizing a region containing one of Africa’s most significant oil reserves.
“The oil is a curse,” Mohamed Abdurahman Kili, 56, mumbled from his hospital bed, his body covered with burns. He was inside his shop in a crowded market on the edge of town when a Sudanese warplane attacked, killing a 9-year-old child and another person, and setting his shop on fire.
Oil was a key incentive in the 2005 peace deal that ended Sudan’s 22-year civil war, Africa’s longest. With an estimated three-quarters of their combined reserves in South Sudan, both sides agreed to split the revenue equally.
Tensions, though, have steadily risen since South Sudan’s independence in July, fueled by ethnic strife, contested borders — and oil.
South Sudan reneged on paying Sudan hundreds of millions of dollars for using its pipelines, saying the fees were exorbitant. Sudan responded by seizing tankers carrying South Sudanese crude and imposed a blockade on the export of the oil. In February, South Sudan shut down its entire oil production, roughly 350,000 barrels a day.
Since then, oil talks have fallen apart. Sudan has bombed oil facilities inside South Sudan. South Sudan, in turn, took over the disputed town of Heglig, the site of Sudan’s largest oil field, last month. That prompted Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir to declare that he would “liberate” South Sudan. Two days later, yielding to international pressure, South Sudan withdrew from Heglig.
But that hasn’t silenced the rumblings of war. On Friday, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir returned from China, where he sought funds to build an alternative pipeline through Kenya or Djibouti, and declared Heglig and its oil part of South Sudan.
The forceful rhetoric has continued even as the economies of both countries are under immense pressure because of the oil shutdown. Both currencies are rapidly sinking in value, while fuel and food prices are soaring.
Epicenter of bombings
In Bentiu, the impact is visible. Near the main bridge, more than 160 South Sudanese languish in shacks with their meager possessions. CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE STORY