The civil war raging in South Sudan has seen horrific levels of violence—with crimes against humanity being committed on both sides. The ongoing conflict was sparked when South Sudanese President Salva Kiir accused his former Vice President Dr. Riek Machar of plotting a coup against him. And the situation has quickly spiralled out of control: Machar is now the leader of a rebel movement, and the conflict has left at least 10,000 dead and more than a million without homes.
In a crisis of this magnitude, straightforward information can be hard to find. Enter Robert Young Pelton. Together with photographer Tim Freccia, he tracked down Machar in South Sudan and convinced him to grant them exclusive access to his near-mythical White Army.
But how did Pelton and Freccia manage to not only travel right to the centre of this dangerous conflict, but also document a rebel group never before filmed in action?
Instrumental in this journey was the help of a former Sudanese “Lost Boy,” Machot Lat Thiep. Though he had since settled in the US, Thiep agreed to return to South Sudan with Pelton and help him get to the heart of it all—so that the country’s story could finally be told.
With this insider’s help, and after endless negotiation, Pelton and Freccia found themselves on the civil war’s front lines—where they were able to capture exclusive documentation of the atrocities being committed.
This is a story that hasn’t been told before—and Pelton has shared all of the unbelievable details with VICE magazine.
VICE’s April Issue: Saving South Sudan
VICE magazine has partnered with Robert Young Pelton to put together this in-depth, unprecedented look at South Sudan—the first issue to be authored entirely by one person. Saving South Sudan brings across this topic in 130 pages (50,000 words) in print, and now as a major multimedia event online, including a three-part documentary series.
In Pelton’s words, “This is a unique opportunity provided by VICE to drill down on one topic, across multiple platforms, to reach a vast audience on an urgent subject.”
Robert Young Pelton is a renowned author, journalist, and documentary filmmaker whose work focuses on surviving in high-risk environments. Pelton was advisor for the ISAF command in Afghanistan and has run ground networks in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia. He has also worked for major media networks, including National Geographic, Discovery Channel, ABC Investigative, CBS 60 Minutes, and CNN, and has hosted the Discovery Travel Channel series, “Robert Young Pelton’s The World’s Most Dangerous Places.” With the help of Ingle International, Pelton runs an adventure website, an outlet through which he shares his stories, engages with the Come Back Alive community, and sells his much-coveted DPx Gear.
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