Becca (Beier) Xu
Comparative Politics 015H
Professor Irepoglu Carreras
Why South Sudan is Still at War—Reflection
South Sudanese civil war has meant ongoing for more than four years. The conflict between President Salva Kiir and Vice-President Riek Machar has turned South Sudan into a weaker state. Originally, South Sudan was born on very weak foundations where security, national development, and the economy did not meet the proper level, in terms of building a strong nation. As Francis Fukuyama wrote in his article "The Imperative of State-Building", he explained that "the essence of stateness is enforcement" (p.21). That means, in order to build a nation where people comply with state's laws, a state must have the ability to provide the physical force. In this case, South Sudan has the military force but failed to promote reconciliation within their own political elites. The country's most powerful groups of elites are the ones that allowed tribal tension kept going. Thus, South Sudan became a failed state for these following reasons.
First, President Kiir and Vice-President Machar were stuck in their own vision of making South Sudan a better nation, but they failed to provide security for their own people. During the tension between SPLA and SPLM-IO, thousands of Sudanese civilians had died or fled away as refugees. Secondly, during the ongoing war, most of the state money went to supp...