A Brief History of the issues in South Sudan

In 2011, South Sudan became the world’s newest nation when it gained independence from northern Sudan. On 15 December 2013 fighting broke out in Juba and quickly spread across three states (Unity, Upper Nile, and Jonglei) and plunged the country into a protracted civil war.

A Peace Deal was signed in August 2015 and included a coalition government made up of both warring sides. 8 years on from independence – and after years of conflict - almost half of the population are in need of humanitarian assistance with one in three people facing serious food insecurity.

Prolonged conflict and instability has destroyed people’s livelihoods and food supplies as well as key medical facilities and roads which act as a crucial lifeline for trade to the landlocked country. Malnutrition rates amongst children in South Sudan are critical, with levels twice that of World Health Organization’s emergency thresholds in some areas. Sexual and gender based violence has been rampant across the country with rape used mercilessly as a weapon of war. 21% per cent of internally displaced women report having been raped during the crisis. Many people remain scared to return home and skeptical of the existing fragile peace, with over 180,000 people preferring to stay in difficult conditions inside UN Security Forces compounds, rather than return home.

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SAUL EBEMA