South Sudan and Perennial Problems in Parts of Africa: Nation State and Instability

South Sudan and Perennial Problems in Parts of Africa: Nation State and Instability 

Pierre Leblanc and Jay Doggett 

Modern Tokyo Times


South Sudan is blighted by a major internal conflict in 2014 whereby only the enemies of this new entity will gain. Yet events in South Sudan are all too familiar in parts of Africa where the nation state is weak and regional nations meddle. Other meddling also emanates from the Middle East and the involvement of a few major Western nations depending on each respective conflict. It is essential therefore that this important issue is addressed within Africa and internationally. Otherwise, the endless cycle of poverty, instability, religious hatred, ethnic tensions, and other negative forces, will continue to hinder the continent.

In modern day Africa it is clear that nations like the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Mali, Somalia, and others, are blighted by perennial problems related to central forces being too weak. Of course, the ideal is the creation of genuine democratic states whereby politicians are accountable but for many nations the nation state is too weak and poverty is a fact of life for many. Therefore, it is essential that the main emphasis is the infrastructure, educational facilities, strengthening the nation state at all levels, increasing the power of the central state, developing the army in order to contain destabilizing forces, utilizing respective natural resources – and other important areas.

Another essential issue to address is the role of regional and international nations who continue to meddle into the internal affairs of so many nations.  For example, in the Central African Republic it is clear that outside players are involved in the chaos because overnight a powerful force was created in order to overthrow the leader of this nation. The knock on effect now is greater religious and ethnic animosity, vast numbers of people fleeing, even more drains on the economy and once more France is involving itself in the mop up operation but often the long-term consequences are never addressed. Likewise, the murky role of Chad, a loyal friend of France, does leave a sour taste for the initial besieged Christians prior to various Christian militias defending themselves against the mainly Muslim onslaught of Seleka.

South Sudan is now facing a serious threat to this newly created nation state and once more it appears that military planning by opposition forces were well planned in advance. At the same time, neighboring Sudan is also blighted by many internal issues therefore a spiral of instability is a fact of life for many in this part of Africa.

Lee Jay Walker at Modern Tokyo Times states about Sudan: “This state is blessed with oil but this fact also means that outside intrigues emanating from Sudan could easily be behind the current events. Elites in Khartoum may deny this but given the brutal history of Sudan whereby Arab elites tried to enforce Arabization and Islamization – then clearly many in this nation are still smarting about the independence of South Sudan. Alongside this, the energy factor is also a very important issue for other nations therefore negative forces know that the weak spot in South Sudan is the ethnic issue.”

Toby Lanzer, UN humanitarian coordinator, commented about past violence by stating: “some of the most horrible things that one can imagine…People who were being lined up and executed in a summary fashion. This is done by people who are simply out of control.”

It is essential that the international community stems the crisis in South Sudan quickly therefore honest brokers regionally and internationally must focus on conflict resolution. If not, then the current crisis could easily spiral out of control and inflame an already delicate situation internally and between South Sudan and Sudan.

Similarly, with so many failed states in parts of Africa and with sinister policies being implemented by regional and international powers – then this must be addressed within all powerful institutions within Africa and internationally. Likewise, with the speed of military groups developing rapidly in nations like the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Mali, and in other states; then clearly you have many ulterior motives whereby natural resources are being exploited. The Islamist angle in several nations is also a genuine problem because of Gulf petrodollars. All in all, it is time to act because the rapid destabilization of nation states is sadly all too familiar.

Lee Jay Walker gave support to both main writers


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