Save the Children warns of ‘horror scenario’ in South Sudan

Parts of South Sudan are on the “brink of famine” as the nation braces for a “horror scenario” ahead of the worst floods in decades, a British charity warned Wednesday.

Almost 13 years after its independence in 2011, the world’s newest nation remains plagued by instability and violence, despite rich oil reserves.

South Sudan is expected to “suffer its worst floods in 60 years that will drive parts of the country to the brink of famine,” Save the Children said, citing data from the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, established by USAID.

“A horror scenario is unfolding in South Sudan,” Save the Children country director Pornpun Jib Rabiltossaporn said.

“In all likelihood, we will see children start to die from hunger-related illnesses as the flooding takes hold,” she said, warning of “imminent disaster”.

Many of those impacted have already faced years of conflict, hunger, rising food prices, and previous floods, the statement said.

The 15-month conflict in Sudan has also seen an influx of refugees and returnees, placing even greater strain on the country’s meagre resources and weak infrastructure.

Famine was declared in South Sudan in 2017, affecting some 100,000 people in Unity state — an area that has often been a flashpoint for violence.

Plagued by feuding leaders and chronic instability, the country has spent almost half of its life as a nation at war.

Some 400,000 people died and millions were displaced in the 2013-2018 civil war before President Salva Kiir and his deputy Riek Machar signed a peace deal and formed a unity government.

Since then, the country has battled flooding, hunger, violence and political bickering as the promises of the peace agreement have failed to materialise.

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