South Sudan, which has been independent since 2011, is dragging the United States and other nations into a trap.
The African country is led by two tribes, the Dinka and the Nuer. They continue to fight each other vigorously instead of managing their resources (including considerable oil wealth), planting crops to feed themselves, and attending to health care, housing, education, and infrastructure concerns.
South Sudan’s leaders complain that if crops aren’t planted, many of its citizens will fall victim to food insufficiency and malnutrition. The fighting has caused many South Sudanese to be displaced inside the country or sent fleeing to neighboring nations.
Peace talks are under way between the groups in Ethiopia. The international community is paying the hotel bills and other expenses of the delegations. Observers calls the talks sporadic and inconsequential.
There is no reason that the United States and other nations should feed the South Sudanese and work to prevent the fighting, while the peace talks go nowhere. The United States has provided South Sudan with hundreds of millions of dollars in military and other aid.
The two groups’ leaders should be told they won’t get another nickel until they stop fighting and concentrate on providing good government. Further tolerance of bad behavior by the United States would be poor, unnecessarily costly policy.