Cash crunch drives South Sudan's troops and families to the edge

  • World Premium
  • Tuesday, 14 Feb 2017

A soldier looks on near the town of Bentiu in Rubkona county, northern South Sudan, February 11, 2017. Picture taken February 11, 2017. REUTERS/Siegfried Modola

JUBA - Three years into a civil war and with inflation above 800 percent, South Sudan's government is struggling to pay its troops. When delayed wages finally arrive, the cash is so devalued it barely buys food for a week. 

Army wives have joined the lines of gaunt women queuing for food aid or cradling emaciated toddlers at hospitals in Juba, the capital, as soldiers prey on civilians or aid agencies. The government is losing its ability to rein them in.

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