Rich in oil, South Sudan declared its independence in 2011. A referendum won with a score of 98% allowed South Sudan to become the youngest state in the world. The initial fragile balance was quickly upset by a rivalry between President Salva Kiir and his former Vice-President Riek Machar, setting the stage for three and a half years of horror.
The conflict forced 3.7 million South Sudanese to exile : 1.7 million sought refuge in neighboring countries and 2 million moved within the country. These forced displacements have accelerated in the past year, disrupting agriculture, destroying cattle herds and suffocating the economy. The UN warned that more than 100,000 Sudanese are facing famine and nearly five million of them face food shortage.
Renaud Philippe grew up and lives in Quebec City, Canada. An independent photojournalist and member of the Quebec collective KAHEM, he focuses on exclusion and exile. He is touched by the drama experienced by those who had to leave everything, victims of war, injustice and natural disasters. His work has been distributed by National Geographic, The New York Times, The Atlantic, Days Japan, Le monde diplomatique, Canadian Geographic, MacLean’s and Le devoir.