Men, women and children all over the world are fleeing violence whether it’s because of ISIS, tribal conflict or full-blown war.South Sudan is currently one of the most hostile places in the world to live as civil war continues and it’s a wonder to know where these poor refugees can run to.
They’re actually IDPs
Short for ‘Internally Displaced Person’, this means people who have fled their homes but are still in the country and there are 1,250,050* in South Sudan. This is slightly different to a refugee. Where IDPs settle become IDP settlements and MAF has been visiting one in Wonthow.
Imagine being heavily pregnant and having to run for your life. Could things get any worse? This was 22 year old Atrin’s exact experience.
Atrin fled her home in Jamam when a huge group of militants stormed in causing utter chaos. Everyone legged it out the village including Atrin and her 2 year old without a thought but that wasn’t the end of it.
Her husband had been following the women and children further behind ensuring their safety with the other soldiers when one of them caught up to Atrin and she was asked to go back and identify her husband’s body.
She went into shock
Atrin’s husband had been shot dead. When she saw him, she went into shock; stunned by the sudden reality of her trauma. However, she was still aware of the fact that she still needed to run. So she did.
If that wasn’t enough, the murderers eventually caught up with her and demanded she give them 5000 South Sudanese pounds. She paid and kept running. Shocking!
“Atrin stared blankly out the one small window, sometimes stuttering as if her mind and mouth were in conflict over speaking of the horrifying events.” LuAnne Cadd**
Atrin and her two year old son were weak and ill by the time they reached Wonthow. She was 9 months pregnant when we saw her and was being medically treated.
Amazingly, Atrin gave birth to a healthy little boy! However, the running began again 3 weeks later as the threat of violence caught up.
Where’s Atrin now? We might never know.
Could you imagine if this was your experience? Terrifying, right? But this is happening every day in South Sudan and it’s almost unthinkable!
*Figure provided by UNHCR.com
**All quotes, images and story info provided by LuAnne Cadd; MAF’s Roving Senior Communications and Media Officer