Fears for South Sudan’s immediate economic future were heightened this week as deadly clashes, sparked by an attempted coup by forces loyal to the country’s former vice president, spread to its oil fields in Unity State. Hundreds have already been killed in the conflict which started on 15 December. This has put the international community on alert; US President Barak Obama has called on the clashing factions to stop fighting.

“In 2011, millions of South Sudanese voted to forge a new nation, founded on the promise of a more peaceful and prosperous future,” the US President said on 19 December. But “today, that future is at risk,” he warned. “South Sudan stands at the precipice. Recent fighting threatens to plunge South Sudan back into the dark days of its past.” (CONTINUED - 292 WORDS)