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The United Nations to Hold Talks in Sudan to End the Post-Coup Crisis

South Sudan known as the Republic of South Sudan is a landlocked country in east/central Africa. It is bordered to the east by Ethiopia, to the north by Sudan, to the west by the Central African Republic, to the southwest by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the south by Uganda and the southeast by Kenya. South Sudan is one of the most diverse countries in Africa and homes to over 60 different major ethnic groups and the majority of its people follow traditional religions.

On July 9 2011, South Sudan proclaimed itself independent from Sudan following six years of autonomy and a decades-long struggle for statehood. Salva Kiir Mayardit became president of South Sudan.  But in 2012, Disagreements with Sudan over the oil-rich region of Abyei erupted into fighting and this came to be known as the Heglig Crisis. A peace deal was reached in June 2012 that helped resume South Sudan’s oil exports and created a 10km demilitarized zone along the border.

This was also short-lived as in July 2013, Kiir fires Machar and all government ministers, their deputies and several police brigadiers.  Civil war broke out after the president, Salva Kiir, sacked the cabinet and accuses Vice-President Riek Machar of planning a failed coup. Over 2.2 million people were displaced by the fighting and severe famine lead to the threatening of thousands of lives.

In August 2015, Machar and Kiir signed a peace accord that provided Machar’s reappointment as Vice President. On April 26, 2016, he returned to Juba to be swooned in but the friction comes again between the two as fights between the supports of the two break down. Machar returned to exile fearing for his life. Finally, in 2018, renewed bid ended the civil war which led to a power-sharing agreement between the two. The war has led to the killing of more than 380,000 people and displaced roughly four million.

In May 2021, the drafting of the constitution had finally started yet the issues like a unified army remains unresolved. Yet the conflict continues bringing into the risk of leading to long conflict in the country and affecting millions all over again. United Nations although have tried to bring solutions to the issues yet it is still incomplete. On the 8th of January 2022, the United Nations has finally said that it will hold talks in Sudan aimed at retrieve a brittle democratic transition amid a crushing deadlock following an October coup and the prime minister’s resignation last week. The military, rebel groups, political parties and protest movements, as well as civilians and women groups, will be invited to take part in the talks. The United Nations envoy for Sudan, Volker Perthes, gave a statement, stating “It is time to end the violence and enter into a constructive process. This process will be inclusive.” The Quad group, comprising Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States have declared their support to the UN and regarded it as the right step towards peace and stability for the country. Further, Elections are planned for the year 2023 in the country with a constitutional document governing the transition period.