Monday Morning News

Violence Breaks Out In South Sudan – Again
Global attention is on the resumption of violence in Gaza, but it is not the only place where a truce has been broken by the sound of bombs.

In South Sudan, the United Nations says rebel forces loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar attacked the town of Nassir in the most serious resumption of hostilities since the leaders of warring factions made fresh commitments in May to adhere to a peace agreement.

“It is deplorable that this major attack comes at a time when intensive efforts are under way by mediators of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development to convince all parties to resume the suspended peace talks in Addis Ababa,” the UN Mission in South Sudan said in a statement emailed to Businessweek.

Last week, Antonio de Aguiar Patriota of Brazil, the Chair of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), spoke before the Security Council saying that South Sudan was one example of how the international community efforts to prevent “relapse into conflict” are inadequate.

“These crises have also reminded us that the consequences of relapse can cause untold human tragedies and create instability across State boundaries,” Patriota said.

“The Security Council has been mandated to respond to and seek to bring end to violent conflicts using a variety of strategies and tools,” he added.

Is The US Less Or More Involved In Global Affairs
In a critical column, Robert Fulford of Canada’s National Post contends America’s “slow withdrawal” from world affairs was never more apparent than in the last week.

“The world’s governments no longer worry as much as they once did about what Washington wants, partly because Washington doesn’t know what it wants. U.S. policy has become erratic and half-hearted, subject to arbitrary change without notice,” Fulford writes.

In part, he asserts, the waning presence of the US on the global stage is a consequence of the Obama administration responding to public sentiment, which is averse to involvement in foreign affairs after the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

While understandable, Fulford insists the “uncomfortable reality” is that the US is the only global power that more often than not has wielded its power for good, rather than bad. Without US engagement, he writes, “the global future looks increasingly dire.”

The question of US engagement was one posed to US Secretary of State John Kerry during several of his Sunday talk show appearances. Kerry contended the US is more involved in global affairs than at any other time in history.

“The fact is that the United States of America … is more engaged in more places in the world, and, frankly, I think, to greater effect, than at any time in recent memory. I can’t think of a time when the United States has been engaged in more places, where people are worried not about our staying, but they don’t want us to leave and they recognize that American leadership is critical,” said Kerry on ABC News’ This Week.


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