The Daily Beast | South Sudan’s Looming War With Sudan as Warplanes Bomb Bentiu
Not yet a year old, South Sudan is in the midst of a fiery confrontation with Sudan, its longtime rival and former other half, which threatens to thrust the two countries into a full-fledged war. On Tuesday, for the second day in a row, Sudanese warplanes dispatched by the government in Khartoum bombed villages and oil fields in and around the South Sudanese town of Bentiu, about 40 miles over the border.
With the threat of war now greater than it has been since South Sudan broke away in July 2011, I caught up with Nyagoa Nyuon, one of the young South Sudanese profiled in Newsweek International’s cover story last July, who had returned to South Sudan from the United States to help rebuild. Nyuon is now living in Nairobi, Kenya, on maternity leave from her job with the South Sudan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but she follows news of the growing conflict closely. Her first child, a son named Jermund Nakel, was born in February.
Nyuon says she was surprised to see tensions with Sudan escalate the way they have, despite a long history of violence. “I was worried about the borders issue and the tribalism in South Sudan, but I was optimistic,” says Nyuon. “I thought things would work out—we got this far.” But the last few days have left her questioning whether South Sudan will be a place she can raise a family, and she acknowledges how fortunate she is to have a choice, unlike many mothers there. Nyuon has plans to return to the capital, Juba, at the end of June—“everyone at work knows I just want to be there”—to join her husband and introduce their son to the rest of the family, just in time for the one-year anniversary of independence.