Wed, Jun 27, 2018 - Page 9 News List

Born out of brutality, South Sudan drowns

As thousands flee the vicious civil war, families seeking safety in the swamp town of Nyal tell of villagers murdered and their homes burnt to the ground by government forces

By Peter Beaumont  /  The Observer

That led Oxfam International — which has been giving vouchers to displaced villagers to pay for canoe operators to take them across the marshes to Nyal — to say last month that while “aid efforts have so far kept famine at bay, the need is growing at such an alarming rate that Oxfam and other aid organizations are struggling to keep up.”

“At the end of the day it looks like, despite peace talks, that on the ground the violence is not going to stop any time soon,” Oxfam deputy country director Nicolo’ di Marzo said during a visit to Nyal. “It seems the people suffering are the civilians who are innocent victims of the warring parties. Almost half the population is food insecure, and there seems to be a willingness by all warring parties to make people even more vulnerable.”

One of those who fled early from the current round of fighting in Unity State is Elizabeth Nyalony, a young mother of three.

She escaped to Nyal two months ago, before the worst atrocities, and now sells coffee and tea at a stall in the marsh town, having borrowed money to set up her business from a local shopkeeper.

Three of her relatives were killed in the latest fighting, but Nyalony feels safe in Nyal for now.

Asked what she would say to the international community, she burst into tears.

“I would tell them that the fighting has taken many lives. If it continues, more lives will be lost,” she said.

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