Civil wars after secession; case of South Sudan
AuthorYugusuk, Henry Jada Jacob
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Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, a leading scholar Samuel Huntington’s thesis in the field of social science has described ethnic conflicts as an inevitable post-secession resurgence of previously suppressed historical ethnic rivalries. An analogy of this approach view the postcommunist era as “the fault lines between civilization will be the battle line of future”. This study uses an instrumentalist approach to examine the root causes of the civil war after secession and found politicization of ethnicity as an unrevealed cause of civil war after secession. Politicization of the ethnic conflict occurred through the three variables political elites as actors, using political rhetoric and Mass media as an instrument to politicize. Ethnicity is an instrument that can be used by political elites in order to achieve a collective or personal goal’s. Therefore, ethnicity cannot cause civil war unless if politicized. Two years after secession, South Sudan is seized by a civil war that has massacred an estimated of thousands and displaced millions. Conflict along the ethnic line erupted in December 2013, international media and some observers view ethnicity as the main cause behind the conflict but this thesis found politicization of ethnicity by president Salva Kiir’s and former vice president Riek Machar as an actor, they played a significant role in causing a civil war. The two political elites used political rhetoric and mass media as a tool to politicized Dinka and Nuer ethnic groups. Politicization of ethnicity was what triggered a civil war in South Sudan and not ethnicity as claimed by international media and observers.