In early 2017, the government of South Sudan declared that parts of the country had been hit by severe famine. This famine was another sign of the many ways in which a disastrous war was killing people. South Sudan had at that point been in a civil war for three years, with the humanitarian situation steadily deteriorating since war broke out in December 2013.

After one and a half years of negotiations, and pressure applied by the international community, government and opposition signed the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) in August 2015, which stipulated that the two warring parties would share power in government. What was intended as a peace deal, however, continues to make South Sudan more violent as despite the agreement, violence continues to spread.

How should we understand the paradox of a signed deal and talks of reconciliation on the one hand, and an ever-deteriorating situation on the other? And how are citizens experiencing this contradiction?