Children are fishing standing on an abandoned barge in the port of Old Fangak on the Phow River (or Bahr El Zaraf, giraffe in Arabic), a branch of the White Nile in Jonglei State, 100 km south of Malakal city. No roads to access the village. Only the boat or small planes. Bor, the big city in the south is 2 days of barges away.
The group of girls who precede the entrance of the cross in St. Daniel Camboni Roman Catholic Church of Old Fangak, waits for the beginning of religious service on a Sunday morning.
Sunday morning religious service in the St. Daniel Camboni Roman Catholic Church in Old Fangak, run by the Comboni Missionaries.
A group of young men respond to a deacon's announcement during Sunday morning religious service in Old Fangak's St. Daniel Camboni Catholic Church, run by the Comboni Missionaries, waving their hands over their heads, cheerfully.
Community elders praying during Sunday morning service in the Old Fangak Presbyterian Church, a large hut with a reed roof dislocated on its ridge. The Presbyterian Church is the main religious organization in the Nuer regions.
Residents of Old Fangak and IDPs wait to be screened for TB sitting in the shade in front of Tuberculosis Center, a reed-walled hut.
During a training of several months, given by a small American NGO (Mothering Across Continents) during school holidays, to more than 70 teachers of schools in Old Fangak County, a teacher answers on the blackboard to the questions. The training takes place in the big school of Old Fangak.
During a several months training session, delivered by a small American NGO (Mothering Across Continents) during school breaks, to more than 70 teachers from schools in Old Fangak County, participants listen to their instructor. The training takes place in the big school of Old Fangak.
A safe water point in Old Fangak. For many residents of Old Fangak, living far from a pump, the Phow River provides water for cooking and cleaning.
The Tiger Fangak barge is moored at the shore of Old Fangak Harbor. It takes two days to get to Bor, the big city further south, in territory controlled by government forces. A young man brings his suitcase in the boat. Travelers will make the trip sitting in the bottom of the barge.
The Sudd, the heart of the Nuer opposition fortress. This Arabic word derived from sadd means barrier or obstruction. The South is a vast swamp extending from Bor to Malakal.
On the small aerodrome of Old Fangak, at the end of the runway, a strip of land, impassable during the rainy season, Nuers paid for the task, unload the cargo of a small plane, for the benefit of an NGO. The town of Old Fangak is located along the Phow River (Zaraf, giraffe in Arabic), a tributary of the White Nile, in Jonglei State, 100 km south of Malakal. No roads. Only accessible by boat or small plane.
In the emergency ward of the MSF clinic in Old Fangak, a large tent, Camille, the midwife, assisted by two nurses, tries to resuscitate a newborn, just out of the womb, taken in emergency. The newborn will not survive.
In the operating room built and run by MSF France, an international NGO, Bial Ruoat, about 30 years old, has just been anesthetized. It was brought the day before by 7 people from Khartoum. He says he has paralyzed his legs for 10 days and no longer feels his lower limbs. Worried, he decided to return home to Nuer country. During his stay in Khartoum, he got on a motorcycle taxi. His foot was caught on the shelves or dragged on the ground, while his calf was sticking to the muffler. Feeling no pain, he does not remember anything. He arrives in Old Fangak with severe burns and a big toe, whose bone is raw. He will have to be amputated.
With the possible return of an armed conflict, Old Fangak offers one of the rare sites of access to surgery for the inhabitants of this region of Southern Sudan.
In the middle of the night, in the maternity ward of the Old Fangak Clinic, a young woman is sitting in the delivery seat. This is her first pregnancy. She worries and wonders if the contractions have not started yet. False alert.
Consultation in the pre-natal ward of the Old Fangak Clinic.
Gathuale Chuol, a 6-year-old girl, was a patient with black fever, known as kala-azar, or visceral leishmaniasis. This parasitic disease is the second-largest killer in the world, after malaria, with 500,000 estimated deaths worldwide. Old Fangak is an outbreak zone of the disease. Healed, she is now suffering from tuberculosis. His mother Nyaruach Chuol put wet cotton on her head and body to cool her down…
5h 44. Camille the wise woman of the Old Fangak clinic presents to the mother, the baby that she has supervised the birth.
This old man has a festering hole in the head for 3 years. He come to have his wound cleaned and his bandage renew every three days, for a year at the Old Fangak clinic. He has never suffered injury or trauma. May be a carcinoma, a cancer ... There is nothing to do other than to cure the symptom.
Five days ago, the mother of Bithule Bol, a 45-day-old girl, wanted to let her die. Today she breastfeeds him under the gaze of a relative. It has been 13 days since she was admitted to the pediatric department, covered with rash, with a severe infection, herpes-covered lips and a chest infection. She can not live without respiratory assistance. Two days later, the girl will die during the night…
Early morning on the port of Old Fangak. A young man finishes his toilet. The majority of swamps inhabitants wash themselves in the river daily. In the middle of the stream, a boy line fishes, sitting on a concrete pad, while a makeshift ferry (a canoe) passes a few people from one bank to another for a small fee.
Chungok Gatchuk in the arms of her adoptive grandmother Chuol Deng who thinks that he is around 60 years old. Chunkgok means "do not repeat" in Nuer. the little girl is the 3rd born of her mother who after her did not want to repeat a birth ... Gatchuk is the name of her father-in-law. The mother does not remember who the real father is, too drunk all the time to remember. She is alcoholic.
A large WFP (World Food Program) carrier drop food on a land near Old Fangak. Despite heavy and continuous rains across the country that make most major roads difficult to access or impassable, WFP provides food and nutrition products through any means possible - road, air and river - across South Sudan. In 2017 (until November), WFP sent a total of 255,400 tonnes of food.
The ruins of the Governor's Palace in New Fangak. The city, also called Phom El Zeraf, is located in northern Jonglei State, accessible by boat from Malakal, the capital of Upper Nile State. The area, the SPLM-IO stronghold, was attacked by government forces in November 2014, with the rebels losing control of the area, announcing: « The Kiir tribal army has entered Phom El Zeraf and deliberately destroyed all infrastructure. » The SPLM-IO later claimed to have taken over the area. An NGO evaluation team later found that « the city had been wiped off the map and the hospital was completely destroyed. »
On the banks of the White Nile, the schoolchildren of the village of Diehl (tail in Nuer language), parade in procession through the streets, crosses on the flags marching ahead, waiting for the return of the Governor affiliated to the rebellion, the Major General Johnson Kuol Gai. For fear of assassination attempts, he spent months outside the state, including in Khartoum, Sudan.
On the banks of the White Nile, young men from the village of Diehl (tail in the Nuer language) perform simulacra fighting on the quay of the city, waiting for the return of the Governor affiliated to the rebellion, Major General Johnson Kuol Cheerful. For fear of assassination attempts, he spent months outside the state, including in Khartoum, Sudan.
On the banks of the White Nile, an old Sudanese army cap on her head, a resident of the village of Diehl (tail in Nuer language) dances, in the middle of a group of combatants, waiting for the return of the Governor belonging to the rebellion, Major General Johnson Kuol Gai. For fear of assassination attempts, he spent months outside the state, including in Khartoum, Sudan.
Sitting in the shade of a tree, patients wait to see a doctor. A medical NGO settled on a square in the village of Diehl (tail in Nuer language) for the weekly visit of the mobile clinic on the banks of the White Nile. Every Monday she comes to Diehl after a two-hour fast boat trip from Old Fangak, a town further south.
A displaced family is moving with a dugout on the White Nile heading south to the town of Old Fangak and a more secure area.
The inhabitants of the village of Diehl (tail in Nuer language), parade in procession in the streets, flags with crosses marching ahead, while waiting for the return of the Governor affiliated to the rebellion, Major General Johnson Kuol Gai. For fear of assassination attempts, he spent months outside the state, including in Khartoum, Sudan.
Late afternoon in Old Fangak, a town located along the Phow River (Bahr-el-Zeraf or Giraffe River), a tributary of the Nile, in Jonglei State about 100 kilometers south of the city of Malakal. It is called Old Fangak because the city was temporarily abandoned in 1977, and the county offices moved to Phom-el-Zeraf (New Fangak). Located in northeastern South Sudan, Old Fangak is home to mainly Nuer people in one of the largest swamps in the world, the Sudd. No roads, only accessible by boat or small plane. Before the Civil War, Old Fangak had about 5,000 people, and another 10,000 lived nearby. But the war has changed everything. The small rural village has become a refuge for people fleeing the fighting along the Nile. Since 2014, some 45,000 displaced people have taken refuge in Old Fangak.
In the Old Fangak market, men watch an English Premiere League football game in a neighborhood cinema for 100 Sudanese pounds ($ 0.77).
Old Fangak market where almost all the roofs of the stalls are waterproofed thanks to a tarpaulin distributed to the displaced people by UNHCR to build a tent. old Fangak is a city located along the Phow River (Bahr-el-Zeraf or Giraffe River), a tributary of the Nile, in Jonglei State about 100 kilometers south of the city of Malakal. It is called Old Fangak because the city was temporarily abandoned in 1977, and the county offices moved to Phom-el-Zeraf (New Fangak). Located in northeastern South Sudan, Old Fangak is home to mainly Nuer people in one of the largest swamps in the world, the Sudd. No roads, only accessible by boat or small plane. Before the Civil War, Old Fangak had about 5,000 people, and another 10,000 lived nearby. But the war has changed everything. The small rural village has become a refuge for people fleeing the fighting along the Nile. Since 2014, some 45,000 displaced people have taken refuge in Old Fangak.
In the late afternoon, on the football field of Old Fangak, in the middle of the city, the team of Paris Saint Germain (PSG) faces that of Young Talents, both made up of young people from Old Fangak. "We like the style of Paris players. This is a team that plays football that we have here. We love French football, based on speed, "said the PSG captain.
In a family compound in Old Fangak, a young man trains, practicing bodybuilding with a homemade barbell.
On the edge of Old Fangak town, in a family compound, a group of singers affiliated with the Presbyterian Church rehearse. The Presbyterian Church is the main religious organization in the Nuer regions.
Young people wait their turn to renew their dressing, in the courtyard of the clinic of Old Fangak. Many have shin or calf injuries that require care to avoid them to become infected and to degenerate in a more serious wound.
A natural dock at Old Fangak. People have been able to cross an arm of the Phow River and dock to get to the city. Children have come to wash while further away, it is women who are out of sight to bathe.
In the Catholic Church of Old Fangak, created and run by Comboni missionaries, students pass their primary school certificate. Of 46 students, only 6 girls. While in Europe the age of the candidates for such an examination would oscillate between 6 to 14 years, in Old Fangak it goes from 18 to 22 years. The youngest candidate is 16 and the oldest who works at the clinic, 35. When girls become pregnant, they drop out of school. Some of the boys present are the same ones who make pregnant students ... Once graduated, the best chance of meeting their needs is to find a job with an NGO. There is no high school in Old Fangak. It is impossible to go to Pibor, the nearest town with an establishment because it is in Murle territory, the hereditary enemy.
Part of the Old Fangak clinic where live families of internally displaced people chased away from their homes by the fighting.
Huge concrete pillars are the remains, for now, of the bridge project that was supposed to connect Pochalla a city further south to Akobo. After the beginning of the civil war in December 2013, for fear of giving access to the rebel sanctuary, to the government troops, the work was interrupted by Nuer.
Villagers carry the equipment needed to build a mobile clinic under tall trees in the village of Kier, about an hour and a half from Akobo with fast boat.
In the shade of a tree, medical workers give consultations, at a mobile clinic. Once a week, MSF Switzerland settles on trees in the village of Kier, on the banks of the Pibor River.
Nyathor Lul says she is 40 years old when she seems to be close to 60. Suffering from bronchitis, with a glucose deficiency, exhausted and in hypothermia, she rests in the observation room of a mobile clinic. She will be evacuated to Akobo City Hospital, a half-hour drive away.
Village of Kier, along the Pibor River, border between Ethiopia and South Sudan. John Lam examines a pregnant woman lying on a mattress brought for the occasion, in a consultation area of the mobile clinic of MSF Switzerland, set up for the day.
Made up of 6 people (nurses, medical workers and drug dispenser), it received 43 patients. This site, 1.5 hours from Akobo, the last city held by the rebellion, was identified by MSF Switzerland to build a logistics base and a health center for the population, in fact opposition supporters. Indeed, the analysis of the dynamics of the current civil war suggests that government troops will attack Akobo, sooner or later as it is a strategic crossroads and the last urban center held by the rebellion. The inhabitants will certainly flee and disperse in the bush along the river towards the south or the north. MSF Switzerland expect that the people will come to one of the 7 points to seek help, including this one, the furthest from the expected Governmental military push.
Village of Kier, along the Pibor River, border between Ethiopia and South Sudan. Patients and their children wait to be seen by a medical assistant in one of the two temporary consultation rooms of a mobile clinic set up for the day.
End of the day along the banks of the Pibor River, in the village of Kier. A herd of cows comes to drink. Like many of its pastoral neighbors, the most expensive possession of a Nuer man is his livestock. Life depends on cattle and a Nuer would risk his life to defend them or to grab a neighbor's cattle. The Nuer worldview is built around herds and prestige is measured by the quantity and quality of livestock a man possesses. Men and women take the names of their favorite cattle or cows and prefer to be greeted by their cattle names. While engaged in agricultural activities, caring for cattle is the only job they enjoy. It is said that conversation on virtually any subject will inevitably involve a discussion of livestock.
End of the day on the banks of the Pibor River between Kier village and the city of Akobo, the last urban center held by the opposition and located on the border with Ethiopia.
Young women gathered in a building in ruins, waiting to see the medical officer, in the village of Kier. The building est a Health facilities built by an NGO, until it left and hand over it to another NGO which does not come much in the area…
Riek Duor, more than 80 years old as far as he remembers, posing along the banks of Pibor river, somewhere in Upper Nile State, in opposition stronghold, South Sudan. A man proud of his cap which he wears since he was in the Sudan army, a long time ago, before independence in 1956.
End of the day. Young boys run along the banks of the Pibor River at Akobo, the last rebel-held urban stronghold bordering Ethiopia. There is no doubt that government troops will attack this strategic crossroads sooner or later. Populations will surely scatter in the bush along the river towards the south and the north.