(Slate) – South Sudan wasn’t always a war zone. When it achieved independence from Sudan in 2011, the new nation was lauded as a beacon of hope, a testament to a decadeslong struggle for freedom, midwifed with the blessing of the U.S. and other world leaders. But that idealism was dashed two years later, when the nation plunged into civil war. The war has since killed tens of thousands and caused millions more to flee the country. Now, five years into the conflict, the U.N. has done what many wanted at the outset—impose an arms embargo. But questions remain about how effective the measure will be.