"[H]opes of a peaceful transition to independence were dashed when Kiir sacked Machar from his vice presidential post in July 2013, setting the stage for a violent power-struggle between the two men. War broke out five months later, after Kiir’s troops massacred people of Machar’s Nuer ethnic group in Juba. By the beginning of 2016, more than 2 million South Sudanese had been displaced and as many as 100,000 had been killed, though estimates vary widely. A peace agreement signed in August 2015 was intended to bring the two sides together into a unity government, but both had routinely flouted its provisions even before fighting broke out on Thursday," Jason Patinkin and Ty McCormick write for Foreign Policy.
"South Sudan is running out of money, which along with a civil war and mass food shortages is putting the world’s youngest country at risk of becoming its youngest failed state. In the past two years, the U.S. government has spent more than $1 billion to try to help stave off escalating violence in South Sudan, government figures show. Other Western countries have also given massive amounts. Secretary of State John Kerry in May announced an additional $5 million to establish a court to 'hold perpetrators of violence to account.' But the South Sudanese government has run through its cash reserves and is trying to pay for a war with credit and a trickle of oil money," Heidi Vogt writes for the Wall Street Journal.
"Machar’s return to Juba late April marked the end of a two-and-a-half-year civil war in which government and opposition forces alike committed mass atrocities against civilians, including murder, rape, and the use of child soldiers. Much of the brutality took place along ethnic lines, with Kiir’s Dinka soldiers targeting civilians of Machar’s Nuer people, and vice versa. The two sides signed a peace agreement in Addis Ababa in 2015, and Machar’s return marked a step forward, at least enabling the formation of a transitional unity government. But other parts of the agreement seem forgotten or outright ignored – most obviously, Kiir has ploughed on with implementing his 28-states policy without waiting for an independent commission to evaluate the move," Alice Su writes for IRIN News.