On July 9, 2021, the Republic of South Sudan marked its tenth birthday. But this milestone is also marred by the bloody legacy of its first decade, including a five-year civil war.
In a new report, South Sudan at 10: An MSF record of the consequences of violence, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) gives an account of the medical and humanitarian challenges since South Sudan gained independence, serving as a record and a reminder of the human toll of violence as seen by our staff and patients.
For nearly 40 years, the area that now constitutes South Sudan has been among MSF’s highest priorities, in terms of the scale of our operations, staffing, and financing. As the young nation moves into its next decade, MSF remains committed to the people of South Sudan.
From exuberance to civil war
At the time it gained independence in 2011, South Sudan was grappling with at least 30 humanitarian emergencies. Parts of the country were engulfed in fierce intercommunal fighting, and there was renewed conflict in border areas with Sudan. Despite the challenges, the first years in the post-independence period were a time of anticipation and optimism and, for most of the country, a period of relative peace.
However, by December 2013, South Sudan had spiraled into civil war, quickly exposing the new nation’s fragility.