tv Discussion Focuses on Crisis in South Sudan CSPAN June 30, 2017 4:10pm-5:17pm EDT
foreign policy stuff, stuff you need, you really should tape and i said, take the rest out and burn it. and shut down this special prosecutor's office now before this thing grows into a monster. and i didn't know at the time ut nixon had called in hague and fred and entertained this idea that he should burn the tapes and they said, well, it will be obstruction of justice. first, they were -- i didn't recommend burning subpoenaed tapes. secondly, they're his property. it was executive privilege existed. everybody knew it. if he simply got rid of them and said in effect, impeach and be damned, i think he would have moved right through it. nd president nixon said in his memoirs, if he had burned the tapes, as i'd urged him to do, that he would have survived and i think that's right. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "q&a." >> next, a discussion about the
conflict and famine in south sudan, ongoing violence against humanitarian aid workers there and the need for more international support to find a political solution. held by the center for strategic and international studies. this is an hour. deborah: as we watch the strong, the last, the fee, the brave come in, i see lots of familiar faces in the audience. come on in. don't be shy. there's seats up here. i was find. i have to convince my colleagues to sit in the front seats. except -- but you can sit there. all right. so we're going to get started here today. first of all, i want to note a couple of things. this event and future ones we're going to be doing are under a new initiative here at csis on diversity and national
security. to bring different perspectives, new voices and representation that we flects all of the -- reflects all of the united states in the discussion of foreign affairs. today we have with us foreign fellows -- one, two, three -- three fellows. one couldn't make it today. three fellows of the program which kick-started this series here at csis of the international career advancement program. an absolute, marvelous, unique program out of aspen which has formed the careers of many a foreign affairs expert, including several at the table. and thanks to the cadre of 770 fellows we have, we have begun this program but it is not limited to the fellows. it includes others and you will see in a series of sometimes different events new discussions in foreign affairs. we have a new hashtag, and we
have the icap alumni association twitter feed which we are using as well as obviously csis. so travis is going to moderate for us today. he's an awesome moderator, and without further ado, i'll turn it over to him. thank you. [applause] travis: good morning. thank you, ambassador mccarthy, for the fantastic introduction. a huge thanks to csis as a whole for gathering us this morning, and a specific thank you to victor da of csis for helping to orchestrate our gathering this morning as well. one administrative note for all of you -- we will be taking questions from you guys on note cards. and so if you would like to have one of those cards, you can raise your hand now and you will have another opportunity before the q&a starts to get those cards to ask your
questions. and so without further ado, we'll get straight to the heart of the matter. though we've entitled today's discussion "south sudan: when war and famine collide," we're clearly aware that these are only two advance of a much more cli -- two strands of a much more complicated and convoluted history of conflict, oppression and attempts to resolve those issues. one of the things that i wanted to kind of start by pointing out is that even though in the west we have a tendency to mark the struggle in south sudan based on when we began to engage -- so you hear about july 9, 2011. you hear about july 9, 2005. you hear about interventions such as operation lifeline sudan in the late 1980's and
early 1990's, but if you were to sit down with then southerners, now south sudanese, you would have a different take on the arc of struggle in the south sudan and that arc is about a 200-year struggle for them to get to the place where they are. d it essentially starts with rule in that region by the ottoman region, rule in that region by the egyptians, rule in that region by the british colonial powers and then rule n that area by northerners situated in the independence government in khartoum, but the reason i wanted to bring that together is that all of those powers who ruled that region had one central principle in mind and that central principle was that the region of the south, which is now south sudan, was to be only a region for the extraction of natural resources, was to be only a
region for the extraction of human resources, was not to be cultivated, was not to be integrated, was to be isolated and was not to be developed. and that is essentially the beginning of the struggle that they had which essentially made it a place designated for plunder. and successive governments in post-independence khartoum made that very clear. one of the things that happened in that history, specifically around the second civil war in sudan versus the south, obviously, was they designated it something they termed in al-halop, which is the bode of war, which is to say they were giving themselves religious justification to freely plunder and decimate that area for themselves. and one of the things that we
hear all the time in the west about sudan is -- and south sudan now, religious justifications, regional justifications, ethnic and racial justifications, but all of these are very nears for essentially greed and a -- veneers for essentially greed for specific ruling entities in that country, in that region. the sad irony essentially of the contouch rather moment is that though -- contemporary moment is that though many sacrificed their lives to resist these forms of governance and found the sudanese people liberation movement and army, south sudan abode e again became the of war, in essentially a conflict that's a naked contest for wealth and for power and, again, not for the development
and the cultivation of the people of that nation. this all reminded me of the african proverb which states that when the elephants fight it is the grass that suffers. and i thought that it would be good for us to take that symbolic metaphor to look at who the symbolic elephants are, what their actions mean for the suffering of the people who are at the bottom of that conflict and who have long been ignored in this process. and i know that many of you are experts and have given great service to try to emeal rate the suffering of those people. and so to get us right into our panel, i want to go over to mr. ashford: who will give us a readout -- from ashley who will give us the readout about the conflict and where we are now. thank you. ashley: thank you, travis, and thanks to csis for organizing
this. i just want to pick up on how travis framed this and emphasized, yes, we are in a humanitarian catastrophe but it is rooted in a political problem, a political crisis. and normally in a system of governance we have rules for governing how political competition will take place. it takes place within a framework where people agree on the rules around that framework. and we don't have that kind of consensus in south sudan. in stead, we have leaders who have -- instead, we have leaders who have decided to go outside the peaceful rules of the game and to pursue their political objectives through violence that is destroying their country. so this is a humanitarian crisis of massive proportions but it is rooted in this political crisis. so just to frame the humanitarian piece of this, we're talking about two million people who have fled the country around the neighboring
regions. we have two more million people displaced inside of south sudan. and 2,800 people are continuing to flee the country every day. so that's about one in three people who are displaced from their homes right now. by july -- and that's really just around the corner -- we estimate about six million people are going to be in need f life-saving -- life-threatening hunger and about 7 1/2 million will need humanitarian need writ at large. just to put this into context, that's about 60% of south sudan's preconflict population. so this is a massive impact on the overall population, displacement as well as humanitarian of the sudanese. though we were pleased, i'm sure many were, that south sudan were cleared famine-free,
no longer in famine, we need to remember that the food security situation really remains dire, continues to deteriorate across the country. just a word, usaid is helping to lead the u.s. government response to this humanitarian catastrophe. wf' been working aggressively to help save as many lives as possible with our partners long before the famine declaration in february of this year. and we will continue to do so. we're reaching about 1.3 million people each month with lifesaving assistance. but this is a really difficult and dangerous undertaking and not because we are in a conflict zone and there's lots of insecurity, there have been numerous, deliberate and brazen attack on humanitarian aid workers in south sudan. attacks which are violations of national humanitarian law. 84 aid workers have been killed in south sudan since the
conflict began in december of 2013, and 84 -- sorry -- 17 of those have been since this year alone, so since january of this year, and that makes south sudan the most deadly place in the world for humanitarian workers to operate. and that's really shocking. if you think about conflicts going on all over the globe -- yemen, iraq, syria. so aside from insecurity, aside from, again, these willful attacks on humanitarian workers, we're also facing the direct, willful obstruction and intervention of the government of south sudan in imposing bureaucratic impediments that inhibit our humanitarian actors from being able to access those people who need their assistance. we -- it's a range of things worker sing worker -- permits, fees and n.g.o.
registration fees that really dramatically increase the cost of delivering humanitarian assistance. and then we see direct detention and extortion, harassments, really egregious acts to deter the delivery of the assistance that is going to save the lives of the people of this country and the fact that the government is taking these actions to prevent this kind of lifesaving assistance is really unconscionable. the u.s. government expects that our assistance is going to reach the people that need it the most, and we are doing all we can to press all parties to allow humanitarian actors to . nction without restriction finally, just to say a note about kind of the human cost that travis referred to. you know, the -- there was a u.n. survey done in 2015
looking at four protection of civilian sites. these are the sites about 230,000 i.d.p.'s, internally displaced, across the country are sheltering. this survey conducted in 2014 of four sites reported that over 70% of women have been raped since the conflicts began. 75% have witnessed someone else being raped. this is a weapon, a strategy of war at this point. it's a mass atrocity crime largely perpetrated by soldiers and police. there has been complete impunity for these actions and, you know, we can anticipate as long as that opportunity reigns, we will see those kinds of strategies being utilized. so i feel like i'm often the doom and gloom voice in some of
these discussions but we, as the united states, we will continue to provide assistance. i think the humanitarian assistance and other assistance that we're providing is critical. it is saving lives. but it's really a drop in the bucket when we look at the scope and scale of the humanitarian needs, the civilian protection needs. and ultimately, again, going back to the remarks i made at the top, this is a political crisis. it needs a political solution. and until the parties are willing to decide that this strategy of war is either too high a cost for their brothers and sisters or it's ineffective for them, if their goal is to ultimately gain power, until they decide we're going to continue to have these kinds of humanitarian needs. thanks. travis: thank you, ashley. having started with the current
u.s. official, i thought it would make sense to follow that up by getting an honest rspective from a former u.s. g.o. official who worked on africa and sudan to see where we are with u.s. engagement on south sudan, whether we have policies in place that makes sense for where we are in that country at this time. and then also to speak a little bit about regional actors, united nations, african unions and others and with that i'll turn it over to linda etim. linda: great. as ashley was saying, i spent a long time in the u.s. government working on sudan and then south sudan and a lot of the neighboring countries and so in some ways i have a lot of sympathy and appreciation for the work that a lot of really hardworking people in government are doing right now
to ensure that despite what we've seen as a pretty depressing lack of attention on the very important crisis, aid continues to flow, people continue to make sure that they're advocating for continued assistance and to the support for the people of south sudan, even in the face what's going on with their government. that said, south sudan is not just a political crisis, a crisis of political leaders in the country not owning up to their responsibilities and not taking care of their people, what we're also seeing is a crisis of international leadership. nd that's pretty dramatic. the united states knows that we gave ourselves a lot of credit for different, important milestones in south sudan's recent history, from the signing of the comprehensive peace agreement in 2005 to the declaration of independence for
the new country that was finally born. e know that over decades we've seen church leaders in the united states, and we've seen people from the right and left come together to actually support the people of south sudan and make it a cause that has been a very american cause. what we're seeing now with the lack of attention i think is frankly depressing, and the idea of and indicating the rule of -- be a diindicating the le -- abdicating the rule is something we should challenge actively especially folks that are in this room working on these issues. next, travis mentioned it's not just the united states. we got the united nations. again, biggest peacekeeping force on the planet. and we also got the african union. again, most dangerous place in the world for humanitarian
assistance, famine, civil war and yet these bodies and these institutions whose main job it is to actually make sure that they're intervening appropriately and actually calling countries and leaders and individuals on the wrongs they're committing have basically also stepped back and said, we will provide assistance or protection within our role. because of issues of sovereignty or complexities, we're stepping back. i think what we see across the board is a lot of people sort of waiting for the other, for somebody else to step up and actually take action on the crisis. when we look at humanitarian workers and deliveries being detained and actually obstructed, that's actually considered a human rights
violation. and yet it's not the language that we use to speak about it. we haven't seen the african union do more than condemn. we haven't seen the u.n. stand up and actually say these are crimes against humanity. there have been many investigations, but i think these are sort of the language and the things people need to start talking about. there was one report where we talked about the potential of ethnic cleansing. it's sort of reached past the point where we need to go a little bit further. one of the things that we've seen with the neighboring countries, as well, is this idea that they're accepting refugees. so i think, you know, uganda has been an amazing recipient of south sudanese refugees, but uganda has been a major problem when you talk about actually coming to a resolution of a political crisis. and so on the one hand, again, you see this willingness to engage on how do we accept people and deal with the outflow of the problem but nobody actually stepping up in a leadership role and willing
to take on the really root causes of what the crisis -- of why the crisis is continuing. and until that happens we know that the suffering in these communities is only going to get worse. and so i think one of the challenges for all of us is to actually figure out at what point are we willing to actually really push forward aggressively and say, ok, we've let this go on for over four years now this war. the last war was over 20 years. maybe this is the time to actually say enough is enough. and actually take some more concerted actions to making sure that the people who are responsible for these atrocities are actually brought to more justice. travis: thank you, linda. with linda giving us pretty much an overview of the bilateral u.s. engagement in the region and on south sudan, specifically, i wanted to turn to steve vigil who is joining
us via satellite. it may not technically be a satellite but i will refer to it this way. steve, given your background in u.s. peacekeeping in south sudan, could you talk to us a little bit about some of the challenges you've seen there, some of he issues with the challenges in terms of the protection of civilians, which ashley and linda have talked about? and then also, perhaps, a little bit from your perspective on the nexus between what the u.n. mission in south sudan is trying to do related to conflict and how that might be hindered or helped by issues of governance n south sudan. steve: that's a lot. i prepared some notes i was going to go off of and then i
could address some of that, you know, much of that within the notes. forgive me. i am going to be reading off of it just in the interest of time because i feel not i could stray and i understand we're limited with time. first, travis, thank you. i'd like to thank the center for strategic and international studies for hosting this panel and specifically ambassador mccarthy and the diversity and national security project. i guess the name just changed in the last couple of days. it sounds good. i like it. and another thing, just in terms of what i want to say, i want to preface these are really my views and not the views of the u.n., neither of my previous employers, south sudan, elsewhere. i am going to share my thoughts on my experience in sudan and south sudan during the 2010 elections and referendum and immediately postindependence. during part of this period i securitied a working group
focused on referendum related security incidents. i think it's important to look at this particular period where south sudan is today and hopefully this will contribute to some sort of understanding and steps that can be taken towards ending the civil war and moving towards peace. i think a lot of the roots of what's already been discussed on the panel, we're already visible and for me coming to south sudan during that time having not had any experience in sudan before, there was a lot -- my understanding what i ard before coming, the situation on the ground challenged a lot of what i understood before i got there. some of the roots of the conflict can be seen when looking at the 2010 sudanese national elections. the key element i observed during this period is the leadership in south sudan would use violence to achieve its goals even while participating in a democratic process to determine the future of south
sudan. additionally, it was immediately clear there was a deep division within the splm that predated the c.p.a. period that contributed to the violence. during the 2010 elections, leadership used the spla to interfere often violently to ensure their preferred candidates won. we have many incidents of candidates being detained, beaten. voter intimidation was common. we even had a case of spla soldiers burning the gubernatorial race. it became clear that the candidate backed by the leadership lost. at this period, the spla was moving -- the military was moving soldiers from one region to another that they considered here was a chance that the nonbacked candidate would lose. many people observing that they were attempting to get the
election and i think it was moved to secure the position that they wanted for the future. during the c.p.a. period, south sudan was a violent place. clashes between local villagers and parole. calibrating, which is a right of passage in some region but in the period i was there, that aspect had been lost as rival military commanders, politicians and other actors exerted increased control. raids were being coordinated with mobile technology and done using automatic weapons. cattle, women and children were taken to raise the death toll, an average of 20 people a week and oftentimes much more than that. and this was during the time of the c.p.a. spla paroles were not well supported. were in many cases living off the land. this put them in direct conflict with local villagers
in areas they were patrolling. the spla activities i observed in south parts of south sudan closely reserved cattle raiding or moves to secure territory. it escalated during this period in some parts of the country were moving as if they were still in war. what i observed is the violence in south sudan did not happen in isolation. violence seems coordinated, intentional and used as a means to an end. it was ensure to have a favorable outcome in the election. it was used to increase territorial control. and used for grazing cattle. it was used to intimidate journalist, civil society, aid workers and even u.n. staff. at one point when i was there, there was an issue where the police had detained the head of human rights for the united nations and arrested, jailed and beaten him and charged him with false charges for counterfeiting. i think that's important to
note as we end the discussion. the head of the human rights for the u.n. was being intimidated. it says a lot what was going on. much violence taken place seemed to be motivated to have tertore torial control and who would run postindependence. friends from less powerful tribes were concerned at the expansion of dinka and other areas. with the support of the spla or large military -- militia groups such as the white army. some shared concerns that postindependence the violence would increase and lead to war. these are concerns that they were sharing with me as we were running into the referendum period. and even postindependence, several colleagues said now the real conflict begins. who's going to run the country? that was particularly acute hearing that from colleagues that were concerned, the large number of dinka soldiers that
were in juba. during the referendum period, they tried to display a more unified front and reached out heavily to citizens to support for independence. they went enthusiastic that they would pursue nation building, reconcile differences, develop infrastructure, support growth and work together to build a nation. in the runup to the referendum, the government strongly supported media and education groups. following independence, those hopes were never realized. what did happen was a continuation of what was happening before independence. this struggle for power continued. khartoum was once again the -- to blame for any ills and lack of infrastructure, and the leadership in south sudan continued to use violence to achieve its goals, indifferent to the suffering of the citizens it was meant to serve. incidentally, the media and civil society groups that were previously supported became
enemies of the state as they began to report on corruption and advocated for more inclusive and transparent government. recently in speaking to a former colleague, one of the things that she commented on was that she felt during the referendum period the leadership really intentionally pulled the wool over the eyes of the south sudan citizens, she felt they were given limited options in terms of the choices and it was really all about the leadership, you know, kind of maintaining control. when looking back at 2010 elections and 2011 referendum, i feel in a rush to a expedient solution laid out in the c.p.a., important steps involving peace, reconciliation, promoting a unified identity on a national scale did not happen despite the presence of multiple actors from the international community and the will and desire of the people of south
sudan. although there was a great deal of investment to ensure that the elections and referendum took place, not enough was done on the front end to ensure they would yield a viable solution to the violence that has been plaguing the people of south sudan for generations. the creation of a new independent state was not enough to ensure an end to violence and the first steps towards peace. the process that led to independence of south sudan had limited -- this is a comment in speaking with many of my colleagues -- former colleagues -- the process that led to the independence of south sudan had limited engagement with the wider sudanese society. it was primarily made up of those who had a role politically and militarily or both during the civil war. many of the conflicts that occurred in the sudanese civil war carried over into the birth of south sudan as an independent nation without resolution. the same actors are now once again in conflict and charged with bringing an end to the war. it would seem without greater
political engagement south sudanese society, ensuring there are many people at the table and real political will at the international community -- travis: steve, may i chime in here just quickly in the interest of time? if you might give us one final comment and then i am going to move to mario. steve: yeah. my final comment was thank you. that was it. i just -- incidentally, i really like to speaking to the u.n. and particularly to the time i was there, i think even now we're seeing it's the largest u.n. mission on the ground. i also think we need to look during this period, the mission was never adequately supported, and i want to get into supporting -- i definitely have a lot of issues how things were done and i think in the certain context there was a bit of enabling -- not a bit -- the u.n. mission at some point
enabled some of the leadership in south sudan without really having the will to step up and push back against it. i also think that has a lot to do with just the general political will of the international community in general. you know, the u.n. is an easy punching bag when things go wrong, but at the end of the day the u.n. responds to the will of the member states and particularly the permanent members of the security council. and i think if you look in other cases around the world, when the members of the permanent -- p-5 come together and make a decision that we're going to move on and when other countries step in and step up as well and follow their lead, you see outcomes that are much more -- i mean, you see actual processes moving. i think right now we're in a situation where things are just stuck and stepping back and waiting somebody else to take
the lead. unfortunately, i think if we keep waiting then all we're going to see is a continued deterioration of the situation in south sudan. in particular, i guess my last point -- it may not be strong enough -- a lot of the violence when ways there was definitely targeted. i felt a lot of it was based on moving different groups that were not as powerful off their land. it was about maintaining control and now i think you're seeing much more accelerated version of that and what's happening, areas of south sudan that did not have -- they did not experience great amount of violence when i was there are now at the encenter for violence. -- epicenter for violence. that's my final point. travis: thank you for the insight, steve. i just want to make one administrative point, if you guys have questions developing in your head or that you scratched on notes that you already have, this would be the time to call for the -- to raise your hands to receive the note cards for our q&a which will ensue right after mario
gives his remarks. and so just really quickly after having that rundown from steve, i wanted to turn to mario bol who was a former lecturer at the john garang memorial university in south sudan to give us his insights, not only as a south sudanese but also as one who's focused on politics and governance in the region as well as refugee issues. so we'll turn it over to you, mario. mario: thank you very much. i thank the csis. ambassador mccarthy for inviting me. i was there for three years. an there i -- i'm also american. for i am not going to sit the government or for those fighting each other.
would love to be independent. wups you leave, like me, i grew up -- i was part of the u.n. i was in northern kenya before i came here. i came here -- with some of the boys from sudan, now south sudan. the issue of south sudan, as mentioned, south sudan is very complicated. it's a very complicated country. -- other countries in the like the u.s. one doesn't know until once you get to something else. south sudan was such a complicated country, i didn't now, until i was here.
two things. he country itself -- the n.g.o. role, as mentioned. south sudan, like in other african countries, did not get independence from european colonies. it got its independence from a eighboring country and that is sudan. sudan has a deep-seated interest. it took 50 years. the interest of sudan that south sudan left is toikma sure that south sudan become a state. it was one of the reasons why, there are more than 60 tribes in that nation.
each of the tribes have their own interests. in how the country should be run. it's something i didn't know. some of my friends in south sudan -- it's one of the reasons why the country is like the way it is today. i am not going to dwell on it very much. we could go on and on and on and on. i was a lecture you are at the at a town for my tribe. it's not like here. you spend time talking to people. that's how you get the popular opinion. south sudanese are very different. -- [inaudible]
northern kenya -- [inaudible] the n.g.o.'s are doing a very good job. i would like to one day work with the n.g.o.'s. i was educated by the u.n. when it comes to me personally i appreciate that. but, two, there are things that need to be observed. i thank my colleague for ringing up all the things. my the country broke out, room was destroyed. people one to new ghana, run to kenya. there is place where my friend comes from.
these people are there today. they don't want to come back to their villages. that wasn't my village. i used to live in the village. they don't want to come back simply because the n.g.o.'s, the u.n. is telling them not to go back. if they do so they will never qualify for the benefits. the food. the same n.g.o. is actually talking, coming here and saying that the government of sudan is actually making it impossible for people to go to their villages. this is what i observed. independent thinking. it's what i've seen. part of my family members in i do?amp said, what can they know that because the rule
is you cannot be an i.d.p. in your own district. in my hometown there are more han 7,000 -- [inaudible] so this is -- i am not trying to blame the n.g.o.'s because i was part of the n.g.o. but this is the -- that's in place now. with the governance as mentioned, [inaudible] they think that everybody in the country disagrees. and when they unite, they believe that oh, the tribes are
united. now they're fighting each other. they think that everybody should fight each other. but they would assume that peace comes because they are together. this is one of the reasons why i say south sudan is more mplicated a than we think -- complicated than we think. i would like to be happy if everybody asked me later on. i lived there for three years, y the way. [inaudible] i traveled around and i saw this with my own eyes. again, part of the issue. thank you very much. travis: thank you, mario. our first question, i think we can pose to the entire panel who would like to speak to it
but it is specifically referenced to a point that linda was making earlier and that is the role that the u.s. government played in the birthing of the independence of south sudan and what specifically the u.s. should do to help bring about a political esolution in the conflict. linda: and i was -- i'd like to say i've been working on south sudan since 2002 and so i saw the c.p.a. period and also -- which are the bush years and then i also was up close and personal because i started the national security council under obama during the referendum period when we were actually talking about how we would bring independence. and so i will say, you know, during the time period, there was a very strong realization that the terms of the
comprehensive peace agreement had not been met fully. i think there was a strong recognition that the 2010 elections were not where they needed to be. i think that we knew there were a lot of unresolved issues and, you know, that we didn't yet have a government that felt like they could stand up on their own and that was largely dependent on international assistance even at that point oil revenues were high. when we went around and did surveys and checks with the people around the country and in neighboring countries, you have to remember the referendum vote happened not just within south sudan but with the diaspora community that had been displaced for many, many years and that were excited and optimistic about their future. and we heard very clearly from people that they didn't want western countries taking over their nation.
they wanted separation. they wanted the vote on time, and they thought they could sort through these other things by themselves. so what happens is as the u.s. government we went through this wrestling, internal match about, is it paternalistic to tell people that, no, you are not ready for that yet? actually, you should be a protectorate. you need to wait. there are other steps to take place. or do you say, no, this is your right as negotiated under a peace agreement but that we will be there as the united states to continue to support you going forward? hindsight is always 20/20. there was a lot of concern that if the referendum did not happen on time that there would have been a civil war that started right then. and so there was a call that was made to move forward with the referendum but to make -- to have dedicated budgets for
south sudan, both at the state department and at usaid and even for defense to make sure that this was something that the united states would remain focused on. there was also a decision that even after separation the role of the u.s. special enjoy would continue to move forward. there had been a thought before, the role of the enjoy was only to negotiate the comprehensive peace agreement and to help with the norway, u.k. and the u.s. and u.n. and move out from there. but at that point in time we said there's going to be a lot of other things to resolve and so the united states needed to remain involved. and so that was sort of the special relationship that continued with the united states with south sudan before and after the referendum took place. and understanding that a lot of the terms of the c.p.a. and a lot of the challenges would continue even after and that sort of with that understanding move forward, that's the period of time we are in now. so the questions are, what are
the choices and decisionmaking that happens now that were in this period where you actually have to deal with a new country but you know they're not actually protecting their civilian -- the citizens' rights? travis: thank you. the next question touches on i think mostly ashley's presentation, and this questioner is curious about the impact on u.s. foreign aid in south sudan since the departure and re-engagement by usaid, the dep parture of some of the implementing partners who -- departure of some of the implementing partners who were there right to the leadup of conflict and how that may have impacted our overall mission, objectives and cheefment of our goals in south sudan? ashley: sure. so, i mean, usaid continues to e a force in south sudan, to actively implement programs to
respond to the crisis. we did kind of a revamp of what we were doing there after the 2013 violence broke out. -- in line rily a what linda was articulating, we had a mission to support the south sudanese as a state, the country, and a lot of programs geared in that way. and there was obviously a fundamental shift when the context changed and we emerged into a humanitarian crisis beginning in 2013 and our programs adjusted accordingly. certainly after last year's violence, there was an impact on primarily international personnel that needed to leave the country. but we -- you know, we have returned usaid personnel back into our missions. our partners are back.
we are implementing programs actively and so i think -- and i think the messages that we're going to do that, we're going to continue to be there to mitigate -- again, to mitigate the impact of the conflict to the extent that we can. travis: thank you. mario, there's a question that i may maybe you might be best placed to answer since we talked about this before we came up onto the stage and that is, what has been the role of the oil industry in particular, especially in relation to foreign investment in oil in south sudan and the ways in which those competing factors have contributed to the conflict? mario: well, oil is the main income for the country today. 90-something percent of the revenues comes from oil. that's why the economy almost
collapsed because the oil prices is down. south sudan, even though it has oil, it is not [inaudible] and the oil industry is a partner. the oil companies that are there, b.p. is there. the chinese companies are there. . -- you ompanies are don't see this on the media. unless you actually go there to see that. it's good because it's income but it's responsible for most of the problems today. >> another question relates to
essentially vestiges of the british colonial legacy in south sudan and since i spoke about that a little bit in my opening remarks, i will try and answer to that. travels: i think clearly the answer is yes. when you look at the fact that sudan and south sudan were essentially administered as two different countries under the british colonial administration which was from 1899 to 1956, they had in the 1920's what they called the closed door ordinances and the closed door ordinances essentially stated that people from southern sudan would not be allowed to enter northern sudan and that people from northern sudan would not be allowed to enter southern sudan. no exchange in business, no exchange culturally, no exchange at all. and then they decided that the north was more advanced, more
prepared to be integrated into the modern world. they allowed islam to continue to flourish there. they allowed the arabic language to be the dominant language in terms of education and commerce. and in the south they decided that they would bring in missionaries from the u.k., educate them primarily in english, and then their plan all along was to integrate the south into what they called british east africa, which would have essentially been a combining of that territory with kenya and uganda. so they never intended for the ation actually to be yubefied. in addition to that, they made a decision that the south was backwards and it wasn't ready to join the modern world, which as i stated earlier was essentially
the same position that every entity that had gnched south sudan had. and then you follow that up, january 1, 1956, independence omes and then the british just disappear, essentially jamming together two nations that for other -- for over 50 years they never administered as one nation. and then no one could figure out why they couldn't get along. so clearly that legacy is problematic for what we -- for what we see happening in south sudan now. another question i had for you guys as we prepare to close is a pretty broad question. some of the answers that we've given rr may cover some of this. but i will try it anyway. and that is, given all that all of you have shared, somehow would you assess the capacity and political will of the u.s. and regional and international actors in this moment to meet
the crises in south sudan? the u.s. is known for its can-do attitude but in this moment of political crisis at home and abroad, do you think the international order is prepared to resource and can properly coordinate an effort where we can't seem to find the leverage points to bring the warring parties to the table and perhaps we can close on that question. each of you who chooses to chime n can do so. >> i'll start. i tend to be an optimist. maybe part of that is, some of you know that u2 is going around the country on their tour, they performed in washington, d.c. on world refugee day to raise awareness and attention, i
think, to issues like south sudan where people from the left and from the right can actually agree that we don't like human suffering as americans. linda: that we actually care about it a lot and that even with political jockeying and attempts to cut foreign assistance bills, the one thing that you do so pretty consistently is the hill coming forward and saying, we don't like famine we don't want people to starve, we want a solution to this crisis. i think what we're seeing with the international community right now is that nebraska wans to step up and take the lead. that doesn't mean we're not pouring billions of deloofers resources into south sudan. that doesn't mean that people don't care that other people are suffering. so in that sense, the fact that we're still willing to spend the money, the fact that we're still willing to be engaged is absolutely encouraging to me. because what you often end up seeing is we don't really care what's going on in that faraway
place. so we've got an essential first step for the world community right now in that people are willing to actually resource this. what they are lacking right now is how do we stop it? huh do we end the fighting? what's the real solution? what are our options? have we exhausted all of them? and as a failure of creativity it's about the region, the african union, neighbors countries, standing up and say, you know what, we have an illegitimate government right now that's violated all sorts of international norms. we're not just going to stand by and let them continue to do so. and it's, you know, the p-5, chinese oilworkers have been killed in this crisis. they've had to shut down production multiple times. they are losing money right now. they should have an interest in this. russia, we've seen sort of terrible stories about russia funneling arms and equipment into south sudan that we're a-- that were aiding and abetting in this war.
i think the international community has been clear to russia, right now we can don't like what you're doing. there's a lot of momentum that happened in the u.n. security council. there's a lot of work that the african union, now that it's got its leadershipping to, that was not the case several months ago, where they were still struggling with a lot of leadership issues. the african union should now be able to step forward. they've got a mediation team from neighboring countries and the u.s. government itself is putting billions and has already invested billions of dollars into this, as has the u.k. and norway. this is something that given the money and given the fact that everybody agrees that this is not right, what's happening, it's not as hard as it needs to be. we need to actually just put pressure on all these institutions to say, stand up for what you actually believe in. stop making this more difficult than it has to be. and start putting pressure on these leaders to do the right thing.
>> thank you. >> i want to emphasize that the u.s. government cares about what is happening in south sudan. it's always been an issue that's garnered bipartisan support. i think we can anticipate that same level of commitment going forward. >> steve, did you want to provide some final comments on where we go from here? steve: following up on linda and ash low's statement, i don't see that this is, you know, i think that all the elements are there. we've seen it before when the international community comes together. we've seen that we can come together and bring about a solution to what seems to be an intractable problem. i was in sierra leone and liberia in early 2000. people thought that was hell on earth and it was. it was.
but two years after the end of the war, i was standing in free throwtown, with colleagues from different areas and you didn't feel like you were in a place of war. people stepped in. there was reconciliation process. there was accountability. there was leadership. and i think on that note, i think one of the things, the thing that's lacking the most right now for me is the political will to step up and take a leadership position. because all the elements are there. and this is something that we can do. it is an incredibly complicated situation. it's a very sad and tragic situation that is getting worse by the day. but this isn't the first time that this has happened. and we've seen when we could get together and take action and unify -- in a unified manner we can bring about resolution of these problems. >> excellent, thank you for that, steve. it's only fitting that we close with our south sudanese
panelist, mario. closing thoughts. u.s. actually love the bestrt, there's one of the known now on south sudan by the united states. so i would love to see the united states doing that. but the international community as a whole, i was also -- i would also love to see the support of peace and cancellation. but what i don't want them to do is to take awea the country. omo is seen as a mess. there will continue to be a demand.
so we have good intentions and prayers from the international community. ne would say it would be a iolation of legal sovereignty. so they need to be advised they need to be told. it's not very democratic on its for them toannot -- come and tell you what to do. >> thaungd mario. that allows us to close almost at 10:30 on the dot. give our panelists a round of applause. thank you to csis for hosting us this morning. [applause]
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> this holiday weekend on american history tv on c-span3, saturday at 6:00 p.m. eastern on "the civil war," historians discuss new york city during the war, from divided political loyalties to its southern economic ties. and the 1863 draft riots. >> it seems clear that these draft riots really were a kind of organic perfect storm of resentment that had been building, you know, for maybe half a century. john you were saying that this was not so much an irish riot or
an ethnic riot but a working man's riot, the largest in our history. >> sunday at 8:00 p.m. on the presidency, philip levy discusses locations associated with george washington's life including river front land on virginia's northern neck long thought to be his virginia birth place. >> george corbin washington had sold the property off. he was distances himself. there were still family stories abthe land but they were getting fewer and the washingtons themselveses were live manager distantly. so living further away. so it's sort of a retreat there wasn't a lot on the land to recall where the buildings were. >> monday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on "real america," the 1977 documentary "men of bronze" about soldiers of the all-black 369th u.s. infantry regiment known as the harlem hellfighters. >> taking all our equipment, the canteen, our rifles, our army
belts. and our helmets. fence helmets, fence rifle, fence canteens, for the water canteen, french wine. >> and tuesday, pulitzer prize winning writer david mccullough talks about how the founders valued education, viewed save slavery and how these ideals shaped american society. >> he grew up on a farm where they had no money. his mother was illiterate. his father could sign his name. maybe could read, because there was a bible in the house, that was the only book. and they worked hard every day. from childhood on. and -- but because he got a scholarship to this little college in cambridge called harvard and as he said discovered books and read
forever , he became the john adams who helped change the world. >> for our complete american history tv schedule, go to c-span.org. sunday night on "after words," simple university professor heath davis examines gender identity in his book "beyond trans: does gender matter?" he's interintride sara ellis, glaad president and c.e.o. >> when we're talking about transgender discrimination, i think we're talking about something different, which is about the predicate of those sfer yo types. it's not so much about, you know what you should and shouldn't do as a man or woman but do you get to belong to the category of man or woman in the first place? and so, i think that's an important kind of distinction to draw. transgender people just like anybody experience traditional sexism.
but what i try to point out in the book is something else going on when we're talking about transgender which is sex identity discrimination, which is about belonging to the categories themselves. >> right so you put forward in this book that we should eliminate those categories. in a lot of different places, right? so from the birth certificate to college or professional level sports and everything in between or most things in between. >> watch "after words," sunday night at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2's book tv. >> in about 45 minutes we'll bring you live coverage of remarks by newly elected south korean president monojae-in at the center for internationalal and strategic study in washington, d.c. earlier today he met with president trump at thete