Famine in South Sudan [updated with Pope's appeal] [CC]


An estimated 100,000 people in South Sudan are on the verge of starvation, and some 4.9 million are in urgent need to assistance, according to international relief agencies.

At the conclusion of his regular public audience on Wednesday, February 22, Pope Francis spoke of the desperate situation in South Sudan, “were a fratricidal conflict joins a severe food crisis,” threatening millions with starvation. “At this time it is more necessary than ever for us all to not only make statements, but also to make commitments to providing real aid in the form of food supplies and to ensure they reach the suffering peoples,” the Pontiff said.

Fergus Conmee, an official of the English bishops’ relief agency (CAFOD), said, “I’ve been an aid worker for many years, and I am extremely cautious about using the word ‘famine,’ but … our worst fears have come to pass.”



The truth is South Sudan is not in the West’s scope of geopolitical interest. There is no one to demonize for the famine, such as an Assad or socialist leader. Therefore, this stuff would just be ignored.


I’m not sure there is no legitimate geopolitical interest in South Sudan. For one thing, I believe there is a lot of oil there. For another, it’s in a part of the world that can go unstable without great difficulty. For another, as I recall, Sudan was none too keen on allowing South Sudan to separate. Does this world really need another killing ground at the hands of Islamic radicals like those who rule northern Sudan? Finally, the Nile flows through the Sudd, and Egypt has major concerns about interference with the “upstream” part of the Nile being channelized, including in Sudan, reducing the Nile flow. That concern, in itself, is enough to start a war, since without the Nile, Egypt is just one more barren desert.

It might be a more important place that we might think at first glance.


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