December 17, 2016
By Julie Vitkovskaya and Mary Beth Sheridan
Obama stated: “I feel responsible for murder and slaughter that’s taken place in South Sudan that’s not being reported on, partly because there’s not as much social media being generated from there.”
While it might be the case that social media is not always buzzing with the atrocities of South Sudan, it’s not true that there’s silence from the news media.
Washington Post correspondent Kevin Sieff spent over a week in a refugee camp in South Sudan in July, reporting on the vulnerabilities of civilians fleeing the conflict. That’s where he met Rachael Mayik, 56, who had spent two years living in a U.N. camp with insufficient food and overflowing toilets, guarded by peacekeepers who ran away when fighting erupted. Now she was anguished as new battles in Juba appeared poised again to set off violence throughout the country.
He also covered the latest flare-up in the war as a peace plan collapsed — clashes that occurred in Juba in July, leaving hundreds dead and tens of thousands internally displaced. There are also other stories: Like this. And this. And this. Oh, and this.
Or this one from Post freelancer Jason Patinkin about a new report that shows the United Nations provided arms to South Sudan rebels at the start of the conflict. He has also contributed powerful pieces to the Associated Press, reporting how South Sudanese troops went on a rampage in a compound in the capital in July, shooting a local journalist and raping foreigners.
Other journalists have done in-depth work to expose the horrors of the war. Here are just a few:
— The New York Times, about how fighting in the capital of Juba is pushing South Sudan to the brink of war.
— The Wall Street Journal, also reporting from Juba, about how gang rape and looting are forcing South Sudan to the edge of becoming a failed state.
The succession itself was championed by the U.S. government. But year after year, the Obama administration has been criticized by human rights groups for its continued failed policy on curbing the child soldier epidemic — despite providing the country with millions of dollars in aid.
Obama may say he feels responsible for the slaughter. But journalists have been reporting it for years.