PHOTO REPORT FROM UNICEF - South Sudan
Kuka Kengech wraps her arms around her son, amid the ruins of their home, destroyed during inter-ethnic violence, in Pibor Town, Pibor County, Jonglei State. The boy’s stomach is distended, a likely combination of under-nutrition and parasites.
In February 2012, South Sudan celebrated seven months of independence from Sudan – achieved on 9 July 2011. But scars left by a decades-long civil war are still evident: widespread chronic food insecurity; acute malnutrition, exceeding 20 per cent in certain areas; severely limited access to basic services, including health care, improved sources of drinking water and sanitation facilities; and high rates of under-five and maternal mortality. Inter-ethnic violence also remains endemic, particularly in the eastern Jonglei State. In one example in late December 2011, a longstanding rivalry between the Lou Nuer and Murle tribes again erupted. After raiding the Murle village of Likuangole in Pibor County, the Lou Nuers went on to attack the Murle village of Gumuruk, then Pibor Town, where many conflicted-affected people had sought refuge after the initial attacks. The strikes were intended to counter the August 2011 Murle attack, involving the abduction of Lou Nuer children and women, as well as cattle. By the end of January 2012, over 140,000 people throughout Jonglei State had been registered as needing aid due to inter-ethnic violence. UNICEF supports these relief efforts in the areas of water and sanitation, health, nutrition, education and child protection.
© UNICEF/NYHQ2012-0130/Brian Sokol