Women set up their shops at the Konyo Konyo market in Juba.
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Soaring inflation and a likely currency collapse are adding to South Sudan's woes after 17 months of civil war characterized by brutal attacks on civilians. The latest battles between government and rebel forces have centered on the country's last remaining functional oil fields.Oil dollars once accounted for over 90 percent of revenue in the 4-year-old nation, which contains sub-Saharan Africa's third-largest reserves – making it one of the world's most oil-dependent economies.Now, with the U.N. reporting over half of the country's 12 million people are in need of assistance with some areas on the brink of famine, South Sudan is also one of the most aid-dependent states.Last week rebels launched a major counterattack, including an assault on Malakal, capital of northeastern Upper Nile state and the gateway to the country's last operating oil fields. Now rebels say they are trying to capture Palouch, the processing point for all remaining oil production where crude is pumped northward to Sudan. Without the fields, South Sudan would lose its only significant source of income to fund its war.On the black market South Sudan's pound is worth less than a fifth of the official government rate of three pounds to the dollar.
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