South Sudan became independent in 2011, after decades of conflict against Sudan, its northern neighbour. An internal struggle for power is now opposing factions, in this Christian territory, which used to fight together against a common oppressor. At a more local scale, the conflict is affecting rival communities, through predation and the appropriation of cattle, which have a unique function in South Sudanese society.

The South-Sudanese government fails to control the territory. Self-defence militias are taking care of security, as cattle raiding paces daily life. The wealth of an individual is evaluated by the number of cows he owns, whereas the national currency faces an unprecedented inflation rate. Outside of villages, everyone is exposed to potential ambushes. This daily violence has a direct impact on the trade, cattle herding and hunting, which are the main resources of these pastoral societies. In this territory, the population depends on NGOs for medical care and education. They observe, helpless, clashes between communities and the failure of the state.

Violence has become a norm and is part of daily life. The population does not rely on this missing state to survive in this lawless zone.

Other photo series from Kenya (here).