New Nation, Old Game | USDemocrazy

Welcome one and all to today's game of Geopolitical UltraChess!

For a special treat, this round will be played in the world's newest nation, South Sudan.  Let's take a look: 

THE BOARD:  South Sudan is an African nation that split from neighboring Sudan by 98% popular vote in 2011. 

The vote itself resulted from a peace deal for a decades-long civil war that left 1.5 million people  dead.

THE PLAYERS:  South Sudan's president, Salva Kiir, accused his vice president, Riek Machar, of plotting a coup and fired him in December of 2013.

The two men hail from different ethnic groups with a history intermittent alliance and conflict.

The last year has been a bloody one for the already-hurting nation as political strife whipped anxious ethnic groups into renewed conflict that has displaced 1.5 million people. 

THE TERRAIN: In case the situation was too simple for you, the board is also sticky with t hree and a half  billion   barrels of oil,  weapons left over from the civil war, and a population almost half of whose members are  under the age of fourteen . 

THE OUTCOME:  Please forward winning strategies to USDemocrazy, c/o The Internet.

Seriously, though... 

South Sudan is complex, but not hopeless.

Peace talks between Kiir and Machar are set to resume on February 19th .

When they do, onlookers should remember that South Sudan gained independence just three years ago, in a peaceful process that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called

" far from inevitable ."   

If South Sudan can weather this storm, democracy may yet take root.