Ultimately, peace is up to the people of South Sudan. But the President's personal involvement coupled with these steps to enforce a peace agreement present the people of South Sudan with something they've been missing since the war began - hope.
Since fighting broke out in December 2013, thousands of civilians have been killed, and an estimated 2 million people have been displaced, including more than 600,000 refugees fleeing to neighboring countries.
China is steadily expanding its military footprint in Africa, highlighted by the recent deployment of 700 combat-ready troops to join a multinational peacekeeping operation in South Sudan. In all, the People's Liberation Army and Navy now have an estimated 2,700 soldiers, sailors, engineers and medical staff stationed across the continent.
Poverty is a pervasive concern in high fertility countries. The world has made progress in reducing severe poverty, but it's been exceedingly slow in countries where population growth rates remain high. While family planning can reduce demographic vulnerability, developing countries also require other forms of assistance.
He is a free man now, and he's determined to use that freedom to stir President Obama to "save the lives of untold millions of Africans" who are in danger of dying in Southern Sudan.
On June 5, 1947 America's greatest peace adventure got started with a speech by Secretary of State George C. Marshall. It was a commencement address at Harvard University. It set in motion a masterful plan to rebuild Europe from the ashes of World War II.
Year after year, President Obama provided waivers to sidestep the 2008 Child Soldiers Prevention Act, by which Congress prohibited the U.S. from providing military assistance to governments filling out their ranks with children.
Nick Turse's new book of investigative reporting reveals that the U.S. military has been involved in one way or another -- "construction, military exercises, advisory assignments, security cooperation, or training missions" -- with more than 90 percent of Africa's 54 nations, despite military spokespersons insistence that the U.S. maintains only one permanent "base."
The quality of education in South Sudan is among the poorest in the world. The country has been plagued by decades of violence, brutal war and extreme poverty. Almost a third of the country's children are out of school. In the last ten years the number of children going to school has substantially increased, but the rapid increase has many bottlenecks.
Sudanese-American human rights activist Simon Deng is entering day seven of his hunger strike to petition President Obama to act in order to "save the lives of untold multitudes of Africans and their country ... South Sudan," according to an open letter Deng has sent the President.
In spite of declarations to pursue reform following South Sudan's secession from Sudan in 2011, the political landscape in Sudan has remained bleak, with the government of Omar al-Bashir continuing to repress the country's marginalized populations.
Does the United States, after years of waivers, bear a responsibility for helping to entrench South Sudan's practice of using child soldiers?
Kenya is preparing to host a summit to counter violent extremism in June 2015. A timely and vital initiative by a country reeling from tragic terror attacks.
The alarm bells that are ringing among various governments and in the press with respect to China's growing global military presence are overdone.
The women and children of South Sudan, are amongst the most vulnerable. The protracted emergencies and complete absence of social services is destroying the human capital base and potential of the youngest country in the world.
We can definitely increase the resources for food aid programs, which are about less than one tenth of 1 percent of the federal budget. They can certainly be increased from this relatively tiny level of spending. Food is peace. Congress must remember this as it crafts the new budget in the coming months.