forced OUT

Measuring the scale of the
conflict in South Sudan

This story includes audio. Click on the volume button at the top for the full experience.

After decades of struggle against Sudanese leadership based in Khartoum, the South Sudanese voted for independence from Sudan in 2011.

Two years later, following ethnically-motivated violence, South Sudan, the world's newest country, descended into a civil war.

2.5 million refugees have fled to neighbouring countries.

It is estimated that more than 383,000 people have died in the conflict.

As many journalists are denied access to or even barred from reporting within the country, we used a mobile phone survey to gather information.

We worked with South Sudan land rights experts and statisticians to design a survey that could quantify the scale of the conflict.

We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers on one of the country’s largest mobile phone networks in order to paint an accurate picture of displacement across the entire country.

We prerecorded 14 questions in six of the country’s major languages: Arabic, English, Dinka, Nuer, Bari and Madi.

Over 2,900 people listened to the survey and 405 people answered all 14 questions.

Here's what we discovered




I had to roll myself to escape, fortunately enough, they did not see me. They advanced ahead. - Chaplain Logonda



I was told they put in tyres in the rooms for the house to get burned quickly” - Joseph Lugala Wani



Malakal is destroyed [...] Even if my house is safe, I can't be happy. Mary Nyanong Jiath


The land is where we are born. The land is where the dead are buried. The land is part and parcel of our livelihood. It is our mother. Our land is our mother. - Taban Lo Liyong, South Sudanese poet.