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South Sudan Women: Stop the Killing


JUBA, South Sudan (WOMENSENEWS)--Just a few months ago, Angelina, a regal-looking mother of five whose name has been changed to protect her safety, was living a comfortable life. Her husband was a member of parliament, the family owned three Toyota Prado cars and she didn't want for anything.

That was before the calm of night was disrupted on Dec. 15 by the sound of her neighbor and the neighbor's three children screaming, and shots being fired. At the end of a few minutes, she knew her neighbors were dead. "I started shaking so badly. Even now, I wake up in the middle of the night and cry, remembering those sounds," said Angelina, 32. "Then I get up, make the sign of the cross and pray, and I ask my children to pray with me that this country will return to normal."

A bloody conflict has shaken the world's youngest country since Dec. 15 of last year, forcing some 1,216,000 people to flee their homes. About 923,000 of those are displaced within their own country. Some are with host families and others live in camps scattered around South Sudan.

Women are often at the frontline of those camps because of their roles of caring for children and preparing food.

One of them is Angelina. Another is Nyajong, whose name is also not being used for her safety.

They reside only a few yards from one another now, though they were living in very different circumstances before the conflict began.

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