Patients from the Dinka, Nuer, and Murle tribes gather with caregivers and local tribe commissioners for a “Peace Circle.”
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After receiving eye surgery from the American doctors, a South Sudanese man sat with other patients who belonged to tribes he once considered enemies.As a condition for the free surgery, the American doctors demanded that the members of rival groups sit together and talk. Michael Yei of the Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah recalls one particular member of the Murle tribe who sat with men who belonged to the Nuer and Dinka groups. Capt. Dhuor Andrew Makur, a 31-year-old doctor in South Sudan's military, is not surprised that misconceptions like the one held by the Murle man could exist in South Sudan.The West has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in South Sudan, but Makur said not enough is being directed to education and to ways in which the disparate ethnic groups can interact.The violence, which forced the American eye surgeons to cancel a planned trip this month to Jonglei state where they intended to treat hundreds of patients, has riven South Sudan along ethnic lines.
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