Genocide has been going on since biblical times. It’s something that is used to “cleanse” a certain group and to show power over the weak. History repeats itself and, sadly this is something that will continue to happen within countries. Most modern genocides go unnoticed because it doesn’t concern other people, meanwhile, thousands of lives are being taken away and nobody really seems to care. Because it isn’t a mass genocide, it doesn’t “deserve” television air time. A recent genocide that commenced in 2017 is the Nuer ethnic cleansing in the South Sudan. The South Sudan became the world’s newest country in 2011, but since December 2013 the country has been in turmoil and mired in a brutal civil war outbreak.

It began as a political conflict, but it’s then taken the form between the countries two largest ethnic groups: Neur-Dinka. South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir is a member on the Dinka ethnic group while his former Vice President is of Neur people. On December 15, 2013 Kiir ordered Dinka members of his Presidential Guard to disarm their Neur counterparts. The plot was allegedly a false alarm but Kiir soldiers when house to house, killing thousands of Neur men and raping the women and children. Those that tried to escape were taken to houses that were doused with kerosene and set alight.  Some were forced to drink each other’s blood. Women and children had their limbs cut off ad were raped with various objects. They then, had a fallen out and since then Salva has been using his army to create a campaign form of genocide and an ethnic cleansing against the rival group of the Dinka: the Nuer people as well as other small local groups that do not possess as much power. But, the Nuer in self-defense has also taken part in an ethnic cleansing against the Dinka people as well. The UK has identified these killings and rapes as genocide. Even though the Dinka-Nuer conflict has taken all of the attention within the South Sudan, many other smaller ethnic groups have also been implicated in the array of ethnic violence in the country.

Even though it is not within the United States, genocide is still happening for no reason. A simple sit-down could have probably prevented this mass murder between the Nuer-Dinka people. The Dinka’s gang rape of women and children, the killing of young boys and torching men to prove a point to the Neur should not be the way of life. You would think these types of issued would have subsided with time, but it has actually become the same, if not worse. Issues like this brings worry to me because you never know if something like this could happen within America. Movements are already starting (Black lives matter) and minorities are being separated from their families. Small actions like these could lead to a potential genocide against any culture that isn’t “White”. I do believe genocide can happen within our own country, especially under the administration that we’re in now. I do hope things could get better within time but you just never know with this world we live in today. The Sudan is indeed a poor country so therefor, more violence and rape can occur without people batting an eye. But, it always starts off small and then it builds. People need to wake up and realize that history is repeating itself and just because it’s happening in a poor country does not mean that it can’t spread.

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My name is Ellen Harris, call me “E” for short. I’m 22 years old senior majoring in women’s studies. I have a very open mind and love to learn about new things!