The forgotten disaster

Article published in Göteborgsposten
21 April 2018
By Daniel Majack

South Sudan. The conflict in South Sudan – the youngest country in the world – is in its fifth year, and the humanitarian crisis has both intensified and expanded to unbelievable proportions.
In one of the world’s worst – and simultaneously least known – humanitarian disasters, two million people have fled abroad. They have fled mainly to the neighbouring countries Uganda (one million), Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya. The same amount of people have been forced to leave their homes but are refugees within the country’s borders.

The refugees are predominantly women and children, according to the UN. The men have been swallowed up by the conflict between government forces and the armed opposition. Some have been killed; others are actively at war. Women and children have been left to flee the violence.

Lemon Gaba is one of the temporary refugee camps outside of Juba.  It is home to 7 000 internal refugees, many of whom fled the conflict in the border city of Yei when new when new battles broke out last year. Amour Pach Jok is one of them. She looks exhausted, hungry, and malnourished, rushing to get a kettle to make tea after having spent four hours gathering firewood in the bush.

-I got up at 6am to go and search for firewood. I then sell the firewood to get some money for lunch, she says in the local language dinka, and explains that she fled her home with her five children, but without a single possession. Since then, life is a question of survival.

She is not alone. The women we meet tell us about decreasing food rations, an insufficient supply of water, and contagious diseases.

Article published in Göteborgsposten, 1/5 2018. Full article (in Swedish) here:  http://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/den-bortgl%C3%B6mda-katastrofen-1.5676758

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