On a motorcycle tour of his South Sudan neighborhood of thatched straw lean-tos and mud huts, many of them sprouting makeshift television antennas, Santino Deng gestures to a group of children busily rolling up straw fences and packing up wooden poles.
“They’re preparing for the demolition tomorrow,” he explains, as if this is an everyday occurrence. There is resignation in his voice after months of trying to convince the state government to reverse its decision to raze his neighborhood near the state government’s office. His efforts did not bear fruit. Asked where his family would go tomorrow when the government came to claim the property he has lived on since he returned from Khartoum in 2003, he shrugged and said, “I think we will go to my brother’s house, because we don’t have anywhere else to go.”