South Sudan became the world’s newest nation in July 2011. But in December 2013, fighting between rebel militia and the government escalated into a civil war.
With several thousand killed and over a million people displaced by violence, South Sudan is facing a looming famine and is at high risk of genocide and mass atrocities.
South Sudan gained independence in 2011
The Growing Conflict
High-level political disputes, particularly between former Vice President Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir, eventually led to the dissolution of the cabinet and the firing of Riek Machar. Tensions came to a head when members of the presidential guard and members of the army loyal to Machar fought in the capital, Juba, in December 2013.
The violence has spiraled ever since taking on an ethnic dimension with Machar, ethnically Nuer, leading a group of rebels against President Salva Kiir, ethnically Dinka.
Both the government and the rebels have committed atrocities and international efforts to address the crisis continue.
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