South Sudan Joins AU, Offers to Invade Somalia

War-torn Nation Sees Another War as Ticket to Foreign Funding

Just over a month after its formal independence from Sudan, the South Sudanese government joined the African Union today, becoming the 54th member nation of the regional alliance.

Immediately upon joining, the war-torn nation, whose borders are still in many ways disputed by the north and which seems constantly on the cusp of a new war, offered to help the African Union with its ongoing attempts at occupying Somalia.

One would think after decades of on-again, off-again war with the north, South Sudan would not be so eager to involve itself in a foreign occupation. Still, given the massive amounts of aid the US funnels to those involved in the occupation, the government clearly thinks this is the fastest way to get on the gravy train possible.

At the same time, South Sudan is missing a key component of any foreign occupation: a military. The nation nominally has a massive number of troops under the banner of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, but the group is more a combination of insurgency and militia movements than an actual military, and even if they are under the new regime’s control it isn’t clear how eager they will be to leave their war-torn, impoverished homes to attack an even more war-torn, even more impoverished nation.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of