Stranded South Sudanese at Kosti Port, arriving at the airport in Juba, South Sudan. (Credit: EPA)
Stranded South Sudanese at Kosti Port, arriving at the airport in Juba, South Sudan. (Credit: EPA)

Risk of famine, an unsuccessful peace process, threats to civilian lives and limited humanitarian access are among the consequences of the civil war in South Sudan, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has drawn up a list of the five main consequences of the civil war that broke out in South Sudan in 2013 - two years after the country gained independence from Sudan. The conflict has forced millions to flee their homes - an estimated 1.9 million are now internally displaced and over two million more have fled to neighboring countries.

Here is a list of five things you need to know about the situation in South Sudan:

Risk of famine

"The conflict has damaged the country's economy…and as many as 6.3 million people are severely food insecure," the NRC, which has been operating in the region since 2004, says. Furthermore, these numbers are expected to rise as the lean summer season progresses. Famine was officially declared in South Sudan in 2017 and current food security levels have since gotten much worse. "Food is scarce and often prohibitively expensive," says the NRC.

Unsuccessful peace process

"Despite a peace agreement signed by the warring parties in August 2015, the population of South Sudan has yet to see an end of fighting," the NRC explains. "Conflict has resulted in a sharp rise in the number of people fleeing their homes and basic infrastructure such as health and education facilities have been destroyed." The international and regional community need to be united in supporting the current peace process, says the organization.

Conflict continues to threaten lives

"Civilians are the main victims of the fighting, looting and ambushes. A lack of access to aid further exacerbates an already bleak situation," says the NRC, recalling that tens of thousands of people have been killed in South Sudan as a direct result of the current conflict. Many more are likely to flee their homes in the coming months if the situation does not stabilize, it adds.

Humanitarian access cut off

The NRC explains that in some parts of the country "the population is unable to receive any humanitarian aid because there is active conflict or because aid has been cut off." In April this year, conflict forced the NRC to cancel critical food distributions in the Unity State. "Armed groups must allow humanitarian agencies free, safe and unhindered access to people in need," the NGO reports.

Danger for humanitarian workers

South Sudan "is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for humanitarian workers," NRC says. Since the war began in 2013, 101 aid workers have been killed in the country. Since December 2017, a total of 22 aid workers have been abducted. In April alone, three humanitarian staff were killed and 13 were abducted.

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