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article imageSouth Sudan — The refugee crisis the world doesn't talk about

By Karen Graham     Nov 26, 2015 in World
With the world focused on the Syrian refugee crisis and terrorist attacks, a small African country, formed just four years ago, is engulfed in civil war. But it is the tens of thousands of people fleeing the war that are now in desperate straits.
South Sudan's civil war began in December 2013, the result of a power struggle between President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his ex-deputy Riek Machar, after the president accused Macher and 10 others of attempting a coup d'état.
Sadly, the struggle ended up creating an ethnic divide with rebels targeting Mr Kiir's Dinka ethnic group and government soldiers attacking Nuers. By November 2014, an estimated 100,000 people had been killed in the conflict and over one million people have been displaced by the fighting. Another 400,000 have fled the country.
As of this month, United Nations aid agencies are estimating 2.3 million people have been forced from their homes and another 4.6 million are in need of food, with the majority facing starvation in the coming months.
Today, with peace talks on the verge of collapsing, continued fighting and humanitarian abuses continue unchecked. Key brokers of the peace talks, the U.S., UK and Norway, issued a statement late Wednesday, saying, “Each day, the fighting and abuses continue, and an already grave humanitarian situation grows worse," reports the Guardian.
Dry season coming on will create a 'widespread catasthophe'
Fears are running very high that a humanitarian crisis of unknown proportions is pending. Already, tens of thousands of people are subsisting on water lilies and what fish they are able to find in the rivers and swamps. But by January, when the dry season begins, those very same rivers and swamps will dry up, staying that way for nearly three months or longer.
The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) team was quoted by Reuters as saying that after a trip to South Sudan's Unity state on Nov. 10, 40,000 people these are projected to be in a food security "catastrophe" and are at risk of famine.
The new figures by the IPC are 10,000 people higher than a report given on Oct. 22 which said 830,000 people were in an "emergency" situation and a further 3.1 million in "crisis." IPC members include non-governmental groups and UN agencies, including the Food and Agriculture Organization and World Food Program.
The ten states of South Sudan grouped in the three historical provinces of the Sudan  Bahr el Ghazal...
The ten states of South Sudan grouped in the three historical provinces of the Sudan, Bahr el Ghazal (green), Equatoria (blue), and Greater Upper Nile (yellow).
Fighting has intensified in Unity state
In May this year, fighting along ethnic lines intensified in Unity state, and tens of thousands of cattle were killed, as well as markets and crops destroyed. This devastating damage has increased the crisis among those innocents in the line of fire between the warring rebels and military forces.
Added to this is the “rape, gang rape, abduction, sexual slavery, forced abortion and mutilation of women’s bodies that have been perpetrated by all sides,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon this week.
In June, the Fund for Peace, a non-profit in Washington, D.C. named South Sudan the "most fragile state in the world," ahead of Somalia, Central African Republic and Sudan. But since September, when the body of a three-year-old Syrian boy’s body washed up on a Turkish beach, the world's attention has been on the refugee crisis and on Syria.
More about south sudan refugees, Civil War, Starvation, widespread catastrophe, halfthe population
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