What South Sudan Needs and Doesn’t Need

By every conceivable measure, South Sudan is a nation in acute crisis. According to the World Bank, eighty percent of the South Sudanese population lives below the international poverty line, only one percent of people have access to electricity, and this month a UN Security Council delegation warned that another full-fledged civil war could break out at any moment.

What South Sudan has in abundance however are guns, violence, and US sanctions that are preventing the government from helping its people.

South Sudan is the embodiment of so many ills that affect the world – colonialism, militarization, civil war, climate change, famine, and sexual violence. By the mid-20th century, Sudan, encompassing what is now South Sudan and Sudan, began to fill up with firearms. By 1966, the country had received 30,000 G3 rifles from West Germany. By the late 1970s/mid-eighties, with the US-Soviet proxy wars in full swing, US arms transfers to Sudan were so large ($1.4 billion) that combined with arms transfers from other countries, the country was dubbed "Africa’s arms dump."

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We Need To Talk About the Jewish National Fund

The world took little notice last month when over 100 Bedouin, a third of them minors, were arrested in the Negev/Naqab desert in Southern Israel. They were protesting the Jewish National Fund’s planting trees on 300 dunams as part of a 5,000 dunam (1,236 acre) afforestation project on land where 300,000 Palestinian citizens of Israel live and farm.

Because the Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund evokes images of the iconic blue box and such figures as Albert Einstein planting trees, too little attention has been placed on the role they have played, and continue to play, in Israel’s dispossession of Palestinians. Take the home of the Bakri family in the flashpoint West Bank city of Hebron for example.

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