South Sudan, a newly formed country, is already on the brink of disappearing. The nation became independent after a referendum in summer 2011 and has vast potential - it is large and sparsely populated, and rich in oil and no doubt minerals as well - but may have barely had the time to join the community of nations. At the end of 2013, the country fell into a bloody civil war between loyalists backing president Salva Kiir and supporters of vice president Riek Machar. Until now, the efforts of the international community have only resulted in a few ephemeral ceasefires. In this interview, Gérard Prunier, a leading French expert on East Africa, traces the roots of the crisis, analyzes the murky power struggles in the region and delivers a terrifying prediction. He says that the war will continue to produce countless civilian casualties, but the worst is yet to come: once the livestock have been killed and the crops left to rot, the people will face a terrible famine...