A country ravaged by years of bitter civil war and conflict

A refugee in South Sudan
A refugee in South Sudan
Ministry of Defence handout photo of the first 617 Squadron F-35B, Lightning II aircraft flying over the UK. Cpl Tim Laurence/PA Wire

‘Formidable’ F-35 jets touch down at RAF Marham

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FAMINE, killing and desperation – it’s the sad way of life for those still living in South Sudan.

The country has been torn apart by four years of bitter civil war. It comes after the nation voted to break away from Sudan in 2011, forming its own state of South Sudan.

Repeated attempts to bring the fighting to a close have failed, forcing millions to flee their homes.

It all started after the President Salva Kiir sacked his vice-president Riek Machar alongside his entire cabinet, in 2013.

This sparked a series of violent clashes between those loyal to the president and those backing the vice-president.

It split the nation’s army in two, with rebels battling against the government.

As the fighting deepened, reports of mass killings along ethnic lines emerged.

Forces backing Mr Machar seized the key town of Bentiu, capital of the oil-producing Unity State; it is the town 33 Field Hospital are deploying to.

A peace contract was signed in 2015 but the conflict continued.

Earlier this year, famine was declared in parts of South Sudan due to the fighting.

It is estimated that 2.4 million civilians have been forced to flee their homes so far.

The conflict has claimed the lives of more than 50,000 innocent civilians.

While more than 2,500 child soldiers have been recruited to help the fight, mostly by the government forces.

The UN peacekeeping forces aims to bring about peace and security. The UK forms part of this force.

Additional reporting by LAUREN HOLMES