Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

French education: Reinventing the idea of school

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Frogs legs and brains? The French food hard to stomach

Read more

#TECH 24

Station F: Putting Paris on the global tech map

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Davos 2017: 'I believe in the power of entrepreneurs to change the world'

Read more

#THE 51%

Equality in the boardroom: French law requires large firms to have 40% women on boards

Read more

FASHION

Men's fashion: Winter 2017/2018 collections shake up gender barriers

Read more

ENCORE!

Turkish writer Aslı Erdoğan speaks out about her time behind bars

Read more

REVISITED

Video: Threat of economic crisis still looms in Zimbabwe

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

DAVOS 2017: Has the bubble burst?

Read more

REVISITED

We return to places which have been in the news - often a long time ago, sometimes recently - to see how local people are rebuilding their lives. Sunday at 9.10 pm. And you can watch it online as early as Friday.

Latest update : 2017-01-07

S. Sudan: World’s youngest nation faces bleak future

More than five years after its independence, South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, is plagued by civil war. The regular army and rebel troops have been fighting since 2013. Tens of thousands of civilians have been killed in the brutal conflict and up to three million displaced.

When South Sudan celebrated its independence from Sudan in 2011, its citizens celebrated the birth of their new nation together. A long war had ended; people could finally dream of a better future. But in 2013, civil war broke out. The regular army, which takes orders from President Salva Kiir, opposed the rebel troops of Vice President Riek Machar. What began as a political conflict became an ethnic one. Torture, assassinations, gang rape, enlisting of child soldiers... the atrocities have become widespread.

In April 2016, the climate seemed to improve. Kiir invited Machar to return to Juba to resume his post as vice-president. A fragile peace took hold, but was broken less than three months later. In July, fresh clashes shook the capital. Machar had to flee again, with Juba in flames. Many civilians were killed, including inside a UN internally displaced persons camp. Unable to ensure their security, the UN peacekeepers were forced to retreat.

Since then, the South Sudanese live in fear of a new attack, or a new massacre. The UN even fears that a genocide will take place in the country if nothing is done to stop the violence.

Appalling living conditions in UN camp

Travel in South Sudan is very difficult. The country has no proper roads, and the dirt tracks that connect cities are regularly targeted by armed gangs. The only solution to reach the north of the country - where we filmed part of this report - is to board a UN plane carrying peacekeepers.

On arrival, we discover that Malakal, once the country’s second-largest city, is totally isolated. There is no longer a phone network and virtually all the vehicles have been destroyed. We borrow one of the few cars still in working condition to get around the almost deserted city.

In Malakal, the fighting has been particularly violent. Suspicions are high among ethnic groups, with everyone fearing new fighting. Tens of thousands of civilians still live under UN protection, confined to a camp that is supposed to protect them. But there is a lack of food and the living conditions are appalling.

Some people decide to flee and board boats to sail up the Nile towards the rebel zones. We join them and reach the first city in the north, Wau-Shilluk. Many have taken refuge there, hoping to be protected from their government. All of them hope to return to Malakal one day. But since the fighting is never far away, they seem doomed to remain in this area wedged between the Nile and the marshland.

By Bastien RENOUIL , Élodie COUSIN

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2017-01-20 Africa

Video: Threat of economic crisis still looms in Zimbabwe

Some 15 years ago, Zimbabwe was hit by an economic meltdown. White farmers, who owned large farms, had their land expropriated and redistributed. This move had been promised by...

Read more

2016-12-16 Africa

DR Congo: Goma, a city living on the edge

Nearly 15 years after the deadly eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano and four years after the M23 rebel offensive, Goma is still tending its wounds. Amid uneven reconstruction...

Read more

2016-11-18 Iran

A decade after quake, Iran heritage site waits for tourists

A major earthquake devastated the UNESCO world heritage city of Bam in Iran in December 2003. 26,000 people died and 30,000 were injured. Much of the city was destroyed,...

Read more

2016-11-04 Italy

Residents of quake-hit Italian city still waiting to go home

With Italy still reeling from a series of earthquakes that started in August, FRANCE 24 returned to the city of L'Aquila, which was devastated by a massive quake in 2009. Seven...

Read more