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.
It has taken decades of work and the loss of millions of lives for African countries like Rwanda to recover from bloody civil wars. It is unconscionable that the people of South Sudan be left vulnerable to a similar fate.
In the past week, what started as a political confrontation in South Sudan has descended into serious violence with the potential for mass atrocities. But continued fighting and civil war is not inevitable.