Unreported World, South Sudan: How to Fuel a Famine

"A moving, appalling dispatch…"
- The Observer

"The crusading strand shows how women and children bear the brunt of violence in areas of conflict. Ramita Navai and director Julie Noon travel to southern Sudan to see the extent of the unrest that has left more than 2,000 people dead this year, and discover children are not only at risk from malnutrition and armed attacks, but also increasing incidence of child-abduction"
- The Sunday Times

The Times

Women and children are killed in attacks on starving villagers


Ramita Navai in Akobo

November 6 2009

Thousands had gathered under the shade of the trees by the airstrip in Akobo, waiting for the arrival of a United Nations helicopter packed with food aid.

Bony-armed women in ragged clothes held children with distended bellies, slack skin hanging off tiny limbs, their hair turned orange by severe malnutrition. Most stared blankly ahead, too weak from hunger to cry.

Every person here has fled bloody inter-tribal violence. More than 2,000 people have been killed by fighting in southern Sudan so far this year — more than in the war-torn western region of Darfur. More than a quarter of a million have been displaced in three southern states alone. South Sudan is now in the grip of a humanitarian crisis, and one and a half million people do not have enough food, with the UN warning that it is on the brink of a famine.

“The situation is really bad; we haven’t had food for over two months,” said Nyayual, who fled her village after it was attacked by a rival tribe. “We’ve been surviving by eating grass.” Nyayual and her family were attacked again when her community was forced to leave Akobo to hunt for food. They were ambushed on a fishing trip, and more than 180 people were killed. Nyayual lost seven family members, including two children.

The rest of the article is here: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/africa/article2594412.ece