With diplomats trying to stop a civil war and more UN peacekeepers arriving, the crisis may be driven by rivalries in the presidency and military ranks.
With revenge and ethnically motivated attacks escalating, South Sudan risks turning into a failed state, experts say.
South Sudan is rich in oil, but infrastructure challenges and rising violence could undermine economic hopes for a troubled region, Graeber writes. The country gained independence in 2011, but border issues, ethnic fighting and disputes over oil have led to violence in South Sudan.
An attack on the UN compound in Akobo, South Sudan, killed two Indian peacekeepers and prompted the UN to send helicopters to evacuate staff.
An estimated 500 people have been killed since fighting within the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) army broke out over the weekend in what the government calls an attempted coup.