Conflict in South Sudan closely watched by those in Ottawa
Members of Ottawa's South Sudanese community are closely watching the situation back home. Several hundred people were killed over the weekend after fighting erupted in the capital Juba between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and those supporting vice president Riek Machar.
"[It's a] few men with lots of power who are struggling to control the process where money comes from," said David Majok, president of the South Sudanese Community Association in Ottawa. "They use their ethnicity to actually stay in power and claim a bigger share of the political space."
Majok said tribal divisions have often been used as a means to capture greater control. "The political leaders were more concerned about power instead of nation building. And they were more concerned about gaining independence but forgot about nation building and addressing the long history of war and trauma."
This is about politics, it's about greed, it's about power.- Alex Neve, Amnesty International Canada
Alex Neve, Secretary General at Amnesty International Canada, also saids it's far too simplistic to paint South Sudan's conflict as ethnic.
"This is about politics, it's about greed, it's about power. It's about two men — Salva Kiir and Riek Machar — who have not been able to put the good of the country ahead of their own personal ambitions."
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged the Security Council to place an immediate arms embargo on the country. He has also called for additional sanctions against South Sudan leaders who have blocked the existing peace deal.