As thousands flee the vicious civil war, families seeking safety in the swamp town of Nyal tell of villagers murdered and their homes burnt to the ground by government forces.

The canoe is barely visible at first, a dark shape moving among the lily pads and grasses in the vast expanse of South Sudan’s Sudd marshes.

The little craft is laden with five villagers – faces anxious and tired – and the few possessions they were able to rescue as they fled fighting around the counties of Leer and Mayendit, two days distant by boat.

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Read More Born out of brutality, South Sudan, the world’s youngest state, drowns in murder, rape and arson

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