In 2011, South Sudan split away from unified Sudan and became an independent country. In 2013, President Salva Kiir accused his Vice President of planning a coup d'état against him and dismissed him from his role. While the cause for the civil strife remains uncertain, warring factions seem to be divided on the lines of ethnicity of the two leaders.
In South Sudan, 85 percent of the working population is self-employed, the overwhelming majority engaged in small scale farming. But the conflict has severely disrupted agricultural production, triggering a major food crisis nationwide and even famine in some areas.
As of March 2017, a United Nations Report accused the government of South Sudan of continuing to spend its oil revenue on the purchase of arms. However, the government of President Salva Kiir has displayed some sensitivity on the matter and ordered food trucks from neighbouring Uganda to Juba at the beginning of May.
The influx of subsidised food was supposed to help relieve pressure on prices, but the effect has been limited. Hunger has begun to wreak havoc in the northern state of Bahr el Ghazal as well, so far untouched by the civil strife that rages on the capital of Juba.
The so-called "hunger gap" is the period between a lean last season and the next harvest which, if the rains are good and security maintains, will only come in September. Until then people must survive on their meagre and fast-dwindling stores. The conflict has also hit South Sudan's oil production, its only source of foreign exchange, at the same time as global oil prices have tumbled, resulting in an inflation rate of 272.6%
"Before the crisis of 2013 we were producing 240,000 barrels [of oil] per day. In 2014 up to the first half of 2015 we were producing 160,000 barrels per day. To my knowledge today we are below 130,000," said finance minister Stephen Dhieu in an interview.
Published Date: Jun 16, 2017 15:50 PM | Updated Date: Jun 16, 2017 15:54 PM