Q. When is a rubber band not a rubber band?
A. Soon after you bring it into South Sudan.
Within 24 hours the rubber band hardens, cracks and splits open from the intense heat. It’s no longer elastic and no longer a band. It’s a useless brittle strip of what was formerly quite handy for holding things together.
South Sudan is like that now. It’s hard to hold things together there. The country is unraveling: hardening and cracking and splitting open from political and tribal divisions, violence, currency devaluation, famine, and massive population displacements. When is a country not a country? South Sudan teeters on the edge.
Once again, I’ve emerged unscathed from several weeks inside South Sudan. The odds of that are not favorable, but I am lucky that way.