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Africa > Central Africa > South Sudan > Greater Upper Nile > Malakal

Malakal

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Travel Warning WARNING: Malakal is an extremely dangerous city. If you must go, hire an armed guard and ensure you're well-protected.

Malakal was a city in South Sudan. Largely destroyed during fighting between 2011-2015, relatively little remains other than looted and vandalised ruins, very limited infrastructure and a 45,000 person strong United Nations refugee camp northeast of the former city.

Understand[edit]

Long South Sudan's second largest city, Malakal was destroyed by years of civil war after the 2011 split between Sudan and South Sudan. What remains of the city is under the control of government forces (the SPLA) as of 2016. Hospitals and much of the key infrastructure have been destroyed.

As of 2016, little remains other than ashes and wreckage; whatever hasn't been razed by the fighting has been destroyed by looting and vandalism. The ruined town itself is likely not safe to visit without a UN or military escort.[1]

Get in[edit]

The airport serving the city is Malakal Airport (MAK IATA). In 2011, it was South Sudan's second international airport with flights from Addis Ababa (Ethiopian Airlines) and Khartoum (Sudan Airways); a domestic route from Juba was often booked full (early reservations were advised). Later, the airport became inaccessible for long periods due to fighting. As of 2016, the airfield is functional and reachable by United Nations charter flights and military supply planes.

Barges traversed the White Nile; a primary means of transportation, the boats took passengers from Maloot with travel time varying from six to 24 hours.

Pre-conflict, the roads in South Sudan ranged from bad to non-existent; during the rainy season, all roads to Malakal became unusable for ordinary vehicles. A few slow efforts at repair were being made, especially on the road towards the Ethiopian border. The situation has since worsened post-conflict; little usable infrastructure exists.

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  • Juba is still standing, but expect to encounter many displaced and unemployed persons.
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