2016 Tutu Fellow Peter Biar Ajak has been interviewed on Al Jazeera News about the conflict in Sudan. Peter, who is from South Sudan, spoke about the impacts the neighbouring war could have on South Sudan. In the interview, he makes the case that Sudan’s conflict will have enormous repercussions on South Sudan. He also argues that the international community - especially the United States - missed opportunities earlier in the transition by focusing too much on the generals leading the sides, when they were the cause of the crisis.
The interview is partly in Arabic, but Peter replies in English. He says that because of the economic intertwining of the two countries' economies - and in particular, the transportation via pipeline of South Sudan's oil through Sudan to the Red Sea - that he expects negative economic impacts on his country. Oil exports, he says, provide 90% of the budget of South Sudan's government and around 70% of the GDP of the country. Food imports from Sudan could also be affected. Refugees fleeing Sudan to South Sudan could also exacerbate the humanitarian crises already facing South Sudan within its own borders as a result of years of fighting.
He says that while the US is genuine about trying to help resolve conflict in the region, the US has not taken advantage of the opportunities that have presented themselves. The Wagner Group and Russian interests further complicated the situation on the ground in North Sudan. But, he says, the same approach of enabling the return of the main actors in the conflict in South Sudan has been repeated in the north, with the same outcomes - conflict.
He shared the interview on LinkedIn.