11 Dec. 2017
KAYA, South Sudan
SPLA-IO (SPLA-In Opposition) rebels carry an injured rebel after an assault on government SPLA (Sudan People's Liberation Army) soldiers, on the road between Kaya and Yondu, South Sudan, August 26, 2017. Goran Tomasevic: "This picture shows how the rebels lacked supplies to treat their wounded. They didn't even have a stretcher or bandages. This wounded rebel was in severe pain and I had to give him painkillers from my own supply. When rebels attacked the town of Kaya they distributed the few items they had to their men: a ragged strip of red cloth to serve as identification, a packet of biscuits and two ammunition clips per fighter. They ran out of bullets in 40 minutes and government forces counter-attacked, killing several people including American journalist Christopher Allen. Working in South Sudan requires commitment. On that trip, my colleague Siegfried and I crossed several rivers on foot. We worried about falling and getting our equipment wet. To minimise the risk, I distributed two cameras to two rebels and carried the third myself. It was unlikely all three of us would fall into the water. On our way back to the Ugandan border we traveled by motorbike. It rained heavily and the small streams became rivers. The drivers carried the motorbikes on their heads, balancing on underwater 'bridges' that were actually fallen trees. We carried our gear at head height to prevent them getting wet. Water came up to our chests. I also worried about crocodiles but thankfully I didn't see any. One night, we walked in single file through elephant grass in complete darkness. The grass rose above our heads. When we lay down on the ground to rest, it was so cold I started shaking. On the way back, we ran out of water and I couldn't find my chlorine tablets. We had to drink from swamps, streams and boreholes. Thankfully, nobody got too sick." REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic/File photo SEARCH "POY STORY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "REUTERS POY" FOR ALL BEST OF 2017 PACKAGES.