Mother of three Achok Deng woke up suddenly around midnight to rapid gunfire around the Tompin area of Juba, South Sudan’s ramshackle capital. This was Friday the 8th of July; her husband, a soldier with the presidential guard, had left for duty the preceding evening. She was confused as to what was happening, what to do and where to go.
South Sudan is widely believed to be on the brink of a renewed civil war, and the gunfire was ominous. She mustered courage and gathered her three children, all younger than four, to quietly slip to her neighbor’s house to seek company till the early hours of the morning.