It was a peace that few expected to last, but as South Sudan celebrated its five-year anniversary for independence this weekend, violence came quicker and more ferociously than nearly anyone imagined.
On Monday the capital city of Juba experienced running street battles between government and opposition armies, witnesses told The Daily Beast. It caused around 7,000 South Sudanese to flee to the nearby UN-protected camp, the United Nations said.
South Sudan signed a peace deal in August after fighting broke out in December 2013. In April, President Salvia Kiir formed a unity government with opposition leader Riek Machar. Under the peace deal, troops from both armies were stationed in the capital city, a formula which proved to be toxic on Sunday.
Fighting between both the government and rebel armies began in Juba on Thursday and Friday, but Sunday’s brutality was on another scale altogether. It was impossible to gauge how many casualties there were because the fighting was ongoing.