On the ground in Leer, South Sudan —
When war came to 15-year-old Rebecca Riak Chol’s small town in rural South Sudan in early April, she and 27 other villagers fled into nearby marshlands to hide. They spent two grueling weeks slowly making their way to the relative safety of a region controlled by rebels from her same tribe. They were constantly hungry, constantly thirsty, and constantly in danger of being killed by the troops trying to hunt them down. Chol’s sister died along the way, but it wasn’t because she was found and shot. Instead, she — like growing numbers of South Sudanese — died from starvation.
“We didn’t have anything to dig with to bury her, so we just put grass on the body and left it there,” Chol told me during a conversation in the schoolyard of her new home in the small town of Thoahnom Payam. Two …
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