South Sudan became the world's newest state when it seceded from Sudan in 2011 but by December 2013 President Salva Kiir had sacked his entire cabinet nad accused his former vice-president Riek Machar of instigating a coup, which sparked off violent clashes in the capital Juba.
The initial conflict may have been based on a power struggle between two of the top members of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement but the divisions between two of the largest ethnic groups, the Dinka and the Nuer, soon became the driving force of tit-for-tat attacks across the country.
The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has warned that they need greater military force to protect civilians in the country and aid agencies are predicting food, water and medical supply shortages. With a humanitarian disaster seemingly on the way, we look at the background to what's going on in South Sudan.
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