A year ago, James Gatluak, 38, was working with farmers across all nine counties in Unity State to increase food production. Today, he is stuck in a displacement camp in Juba, his state overrun by violence and its people sliding closer to famine.
Is the conflict tearing this new nation apart actually a proxy fight between the world's two top economic and military powers? That's the way South Sudan's Information Minister, Michael Makuei Lueth, tells it.
This week the community of tropical disease experts working in South Sudan is holding its collective breath over recent news of ethnic attacks, a potential for civil war, and the prospect that a public health tragedy could soon emerge in the region.