South Sudanese women are intricately woven into a social and political fabric that has become increasingly more vulnerable to conflict. War and security are assumed to be the domain of men, while women are cast as the victims.
The deadly turmoil that erupted in Juba last month threatens to ignite a full scale ethnic civil war across South Sudan. If peace talks between the government and the White Army rebels fail to stem the violence, a potential genocide may result.
How can people make efforts towards peace when root causes have not been addressed? How can people begin to reconstruct their families and their livelihoods when they are in limbo between Sudan and South Sudan, not knowing on which side of the recently redrawn border their land will belong?
Recent geopolitical developments across the Middle East and Africa have added momentum to Iran and Sudan's strategic partnership, an alliance driven primarily by an interest in weakening the power of Israel, and by extension the U.S., throughout East Africa.
The northern Sudanese army has occupied Abyei, a disputed territory that sits on the north-south Sudanese border, forcing thousands of residents to flee, increasing antagonism between North and South, and risking renewed conflict.
South Sudan is set to become the world's newest nation on July 9, 2011, but celebrations are premature. Whether this new nation thrives will depend on whether the UN insists its peacekeepers truly protect civilians.
With barely 55 days left until a referendum on independence for southern Sudan, the Security Council is pressing both sides of the country's north-south divide to ensure the vote takes place on time and civil war is averted.