Series "Missing-State" - February 2018 - Jonglei, South Soudan
South Sudan became independent in 2011, after decades of conflict against Sudan, its northern neighbor, which formerly controlled this christian populated territory. An internal struggle for power is now opposing factions which used to fight together against a common oppressor. At a more local scale, the conflict is affecting rival communities, for the appropriation of cattles, which have a unique function in the South Sudanese society.
In state of Jonglei, the government of Juba fails to controle and to ensure its security. Self-defense militias are taking care of the security, as cattle raidings pace the daily life. Outisde 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 essential components of these pastoral societies. The rampant inflation makes days after days the national currency abject. Besides, the wealth of an individual is evaluated by the number of cows he owns.
Welfare state seems to be far from this territory. The access to medical care and education is mainly provided by NGO, who observe, helpless, clashes between communities and the failure of the state. Violence has become a norm and is now part of the daily life of these populations which adaptats to these conditions.