January 9, 2014 5:21 PM EST

Nearly a month after fighting erupted in the capital, Juba, pushing nearly 200,000 people from their homes, the political power struggle between loyalists of President Salva Kiir and his ex-deputy Riek Machar rests on a knife’s edge, threatening to spiral into a deadly ethnic conflict. The world welcomed South Sudan’s birth in July 2011, but if thousands of peacekeepers and pressure from superpowers can’t influence a truce at the negotiating table in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, it may end up lamenting its tragic collapse.
– Andrew Katz

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