For the past month, South Sudan has been engulfed in an expanding civil war that has displaced more than 395,000 people, according to the United Nations.
The town of Mayom is located in South Sudan’s strategically important and oil-rich Unity state, which also is a stronghold for opposition leadership. Mayom was one of the first towns to fall into the opposition’s hands during the outbreak of violence in December 2013, with the defection of South Sudan’s army in the area.
According to a report released by the Satellite Sentinel Project, one resident said Mayom had become “a ghost town” with “many dead bodies.” Mayom’s strategic importance is underscored by its proximity to South Sudan’s oilfields. Oil revenues represent 80 percent of South Sudan’s GDP and generate 98 percent of income for the government. Fighting has shut down Unity state’s oil fields and caused oil production across the country to drop by 45,000 barrels a day to around 200,000 barrels a day.
Image courtesy of Satellite Sentinel Project/DigitalGlobe.