Sunday, October 29, 2023

South Sudanese flee brutal conflict, thousands exhausted heading home


The conflict in Sudan has caused tens of thousands of people to flee to South Sudan, the world’s youngest country. The bottleneck of people near the border is causing concern for the international community and the government, who fear a prolonged conflict. The fighting in Sudan has killed at least 863 civilians, and many in South Sudan are worried about what could happen if it continues. The situation is dire, with no food or shelter for those who have fled. The longer they stay, the greater the risk of fighting between communities. The power struggle in South Sudan between President Salva Kiir and Vice President Riek Machar took on an ethnic dimension during the civil war. Communities in Renk said that the conflict that broke out over water in May quickly became a wider dispute between ethnic groups, forcing people to flee once again. The situation is worsened by the fact that South Sudan has yet to deploy a unified military and create a permanent constitution. The country has billions in oil reserves that it moves to international markets through a pipeline that runs through Sudan in territories controlled by the warring parties. If that pipeline is damaged, South Sudan’s economy could collapse within months. The most immediate concern is the tens of thousands of South Sudanese who are returning with no idea of how they’ll get home to their towns and villages. Many are unable to afford the trip, and aid groups and the government are stretched for resources they can use to help.

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