Another Rwanda in the making?

The ethnic tension in South Sudan halted for a period of time as they unified to gain independence from North Sudan.  However, now that independence is there’s, the ethnic tensions have resumed, resulting in massacres across the country.

According to a New York Times article, since South Sudan gained independence ethnic tensions have resurrected, resulting in violence and massacres.  One incident in particular is troubling to me.  According to the article, the United Nations peacekeepers were told about a massacre taking place in Murleland days in advance.  The United Nations sent 400 troops to help the Murle Tribe, who resides in the area and had helicopters track the Nuer, the rival ethnic group who was planning the massacre.

This comes in retaliation to the Murle’s killing 600 Nuers and abducted scores of of children, according to the article.

When the Nuer arrived in Mureland, the UN troops did nothing! The troops said they were outnumbered (8000 Nuers to 400 UN troops) and could have “easily been massacred themselves.”  However, they did say they warned the Murle tribe about what was going to happen, so most of them fled to the surrounding bush.  They were found.

This is just outrageous! Even if you are outnumbered (and they were by quite a large number), they still had notice days in advance and they tracked the Nuers as they made their way to Mureland.  They should have fired guns from the helicopters, armed the Mure tribe, sent more troops (after all there was 3,000 troops stationed in South Sudan) or done something other than sitting and watching these people be massacred.  I understand they were outnumbered, but they were sent for a reason.

If soldiers are just able to sit back and watch people get massacred, there is no doubt in my mind that history will be repeated, and another Rwanda will happen.


About Haley Behre

I graduated from Syracuse University in December 2011 with majors in newspaper journalism and women and gender studies. Using these majors, I aspire to become a journalist who writes about human rights issues. I have held internships at the Syracuse New Times, Dash Media PR Firm, Syracuse Post-Standard and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. I also had an internship at the Not For Sale Campaign Syracuse chapter, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating human trafficking. I was born in Seoul, Korea on September 30, 1990 and moved to the United States before I was one year old. When I was 8, my family and I moved to Norwich, England for three years. While I was here I was immersed into a new culture and got to experience many things other children my age do not get to. Over the three years, I visited Ireland, France and the Netherlands several times, and Belgium, Wales and Sweden once. In the winter of 2010, I got an amazing opportunity to visit Kenya for a month. This was by far the single most eye-opening experience of my life thus far. The natural beauty of the landscape and its people do not compare to anything I have seen. I currently intern for the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press in the hopes of getting a full-time job at a newspaper or non-profit after.
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