They are an incongruous sight in a neglected, run-down African capital city. Lines of smart black SUVs with tinted windows can be seen parked outside the handful of smart hotels and restaurants, or driving along the pot-holed roads that lead to grand residences, government ministries and military compounds.
The Cadillacs, Mercedes GLs and luxury Hummers would not look out of place in a Belgravia or Knightsbridge square.
But this is Juba, in war-torn South Sudan. And these symbols of wealth are sharply at odds with the official description of a country that, although oil-rich, is among the 25 economically weakest and least developed in the world.
More than 4 million people, a third of its population, face serious food shortages and tens of thousands are on the cusp of catastrophic famine.
South Sudan is on the verge of going bust, its dollar reserves standing at zero. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is expected to be asked to step in. If so, the full extent of the endemic corruption and embezzlement of state funds by many of South Sudan's elite, thought to total $4 billion over the past five years, may be exposed.
So where has the money gone? In neighbouring Kenya and Uganda, property records show some of the best houses in the smartest suburbs are registered under the names of high-profile South Sudanese politicians and bureaucrats. Many such homes are worth more than $1 million.
In Washington DC, not far from the headquarters of the World Bank and the IMF, the names of South Sudanese individuals or holding companies are publicly listed against homes worth more than $3m.
In Colorado, where the world's rich ski, and in Melbourne, Australia, rated one of the world's most "liveable" cities, it is no secret that a small number of elite South Sudan business and political leaders have properties.
Details of this hidden wealth appropriated by South Sudan's elite have been collated by UN investigators. Their data was examined at the highest levels within the UN during recent discussions on whether personal sanctions should be brought against President Salva Kiir and his vice-president turned opposition leader, Riek Machar.
Kiir's accusation that Machar organised a coup attempt in late 2013, two years after the world's newest nation won full independence from the rest of Sudan, was the spark that began a brutal, ethnically driven civil war.
The announcement last week of an unexpected rapprochement, with Machar restored to his position as vice-president and asked to return to Juba, offered hope that the conflict might soon end. But behind the declaration of unity and a desire to honour a peace deal signed last year, there is panic over the country's desperate financial position.
The reality is that South Sudan has run out of money, having squandered billions of its own oil wealth and that of international donors that were intended to help give the young, and supposedly oil-rich, state a chance.
The UN's special representative in South Sudan, Toby Lanzer, said last year that the government was struggling to pay for even the most basic necessities; under its own rules the IMF is not allowed to intervene while the civil war continues.
Sources within the Paris Club group of creditor nations that provide debt relief to developing countries, estimate that $4bn is missing. One of them told The Independent: "There may simply be no books to examine."
Other agencies that have tried to calculate the scale of embezzlement in what is now South Sudan, say it could amount to as much as $10bn over the past 11 years.
Over the same period, 85 percent of the oil produced in what was originally the whole of Sudan came from the region that became, on independence, South Sudan.
That region had effective control over its resources from 2005 onwards, and over the 11 years since then has enjoyed oil revenues in excess of $8bn – in addition to billions in development aid. Yet it still has the highest per capita assistance of any African country.
Immediately after independence, a pipeline dispute with the Sudanese government in Khartoum led to a shutdown in oil production, eating into the new South Sudan's reserves.
But its treasury was already being treated as a source of private wealth by the political elite, according to observers. Large sums of money were being siphoned off and distributed among those running government ministries, and military chiefs.
Rebel commanders who had fought for South Sudan's independence were integrated into the fledgling state's national army in 2011. Kiir's government appointed and paid 745 generals who each had their own network of loyalists to finance.
By 2013, when the civil war erupted, the military payroll had climbed to 240 000, six times its size a few years earlier. Supposed defence spending may now consume close to half the national budget.
Meanwhile, senior commanders commonly steal the salaries of low-ranking personnel, while others pocket the pay of "ghost soldiers" who exist only on paper, investigators say.
So far none of this has stopped the world pouring more aid into the country. Over the past two years, the US has spent more than $2bn; China has offered extended lines of credit; and last year Qatar offered $500m to help South Sudan's struggling banking system.
The World Bank approved a $38m loan to build rural roads and highways, but almost none of that promised work has even been started, and a country almost the size of France still has barely 96km of metalled roads.
Ending a civil war is never easy. But a fragile rapprochement between South Sudan President Salva Kiir and his rival Riek Machar does not impress a younger generation of would-be political leaders.
Kiir's decision a few days ago to reappoint the exiled Machar to the role of vice-president, raised hopes that a brutal two-year conflict might come to an end.
The decree was made in Juba, the capital city where an alleged coup attempt in December 2013 by forces loyal to Machar sparked an ethnic war that has driven 2 million people from their homes, and left 2.8 million facing acute food insecurity and tens of thousands on the brink of famine.
In Nyal, a remote town in war-torn Unity state 960km north of Juba, where youth militia and forces loyal to Machar have kept government soldiers at a distance since deadly attacks in April, a 27-year-old has made his home.
The decision by Kol Taban, the son of a former governor of Unity, to return to his homeland after an education in Australia shows either faith in his country's future, or a belief that he and a new generation will do it differently.
Taban's opinion of Kiir is disparaging. Although the president is an able and respected frontline soldier, he is "not a presidential politician".
Taban's father, Taban Deng Gai, was governor of the oil-rich Unity state in the six years before the Southern Sudan Autonomous Region gained full independence from Sudan. Employed by oil company Chevron, Deng then joined the Sudan People's Liberation Army, becoming one of its commanders.
The alleged coup in 2013 split the army and the main political party (the Sudan People's Liberation Movement) into ethnic divisions; Kiir's Dinka-led people became the governing faction with Machar's Nuer forces exiled in opposition. Whether or not "genocide" was attempted by the government in Juba, a recent AU report described atrocities on both sides. Soldiers were accused of "cleansing" amid claims of cannibalism, rape, mass civilian killings, abduction, conscription of children, looting, cattle theft and burning entire villages.
Last year, Deng was the chief negotiator in Juba for the opposition, trying to implement a peace deal signed in August between Kiir and Machar. If the vice-president returns to Juba, it will be partly due to Deng's efforts. But his son remains sceptical of the immediate prospects for South Sudan.
"The promised transitional government they are trying to form? It will happen." However, he has limited optimism on what follows, and even questions his father's ability to deliver further success. "My father has served his time. It is basically time for him to move on."
Asked if Kiir wants to end the chaos of two years of war, Taban says: "Why would you want peace if you are winning the war? And they are winning."
His red football shirt is a slim association with a distant rich land. In the town of Nyal, in war-torn Unity state of South Sudan, similar thread-bare football shirts, bearing famous names, are seen on the backs of toddlers, teenagers and young men.
But this young "Rooney" and others in the world's youngest country, are different from other fans across the globe. He is one of 40 000 people facing a catastrophic famine that the UN believe has already begun.
Over two recent days, the holds of mammoth low-flying cargo jets belonging to the UN's food relief agency, the World Food Programme (WFP), emptied over the skies of Nyal. The bags of grain and sorghum, along with pulses, vegetable oil, blends of corn soya and specialist supplements for young children and women suffering from severe malnutrition, were intended to keep the town and its neighbouring villages fed for a month.
It won't be enough. The last air drop was in November. That was also intended to last four weeks. So every grain from any damaged bag is collected, swept together and carefully re-packed.
The UN estimates that 2.8 million people are facing acute food and nutrition insecurity in South Sudan's Greater Upper Nile states, including Unity. A two-year bloody conflict between mainly Dinka and Nuer groups, allied to warring government and opposition forces, and now spreading into other inter-ethnic struggles, is destroying the country's once potentially oil-rich future. Only help from 140 NGOs, including a substantial input from Oxfam and other international aid agencies, is preventing a wider suffering.
One UN report says there is overwhelming evidence of a humanitarian emergency in four Unity counties where communities are using "severe coping strategies" not seen since the conflict began. The UN was reluctant to designate an official "famine" in South Sudan last year. This year that will soon change. A report waiting for authorisation from New York will say hell is already here.
Off Nyal's wide main dirt road, where he holds "evidence-gathering" seminars in a dark hut with local volunteers, Francis Mauna, from Sierra Leone, who works for the "cluster" of organisations involved in food aid, says figures from last year have been re-evaluated.
"People are dying and the situation is bad," he says. He knows his words underplay the problem.
Hunger is driving a range of behaviours usually not recorded here. "Families are running out of options," said Jonathan Veitch, the Unicef representative in South Sudan.
Thousands are on brink of starvation in South Sudan.
The skin of cattle is being eaten; undigested food in slaughtered cattles' stomachs is being removed and "squeezed" to create beef-smelling stock; the killing and eating of birds and animals, not usually hunted, is increasing. Those with no money are selling everything. Families who fled into the adjacent vast Sudd swamp to hide from marauding soldiers, are now living in fishing camps on small outcrops of land. Mauna's list keeps getting longer.
These unusual patterns are indicators that a humanitarian emergency has become a humanitarian catastrophe, with malnutrition levels and mortality rates already bordering famine.
People living on the so-called highlands of the Sudd swamp travel on thin canoes for days to register for food. The WFP also has evidence that children under 10, travelling on their own, walked over 192km over days to leave government-control locations for the thin security of Nuer-controlled Nyal.
Small children make mud models of their home. They shape dirt into circles of traditional tukul huts, make aircraft from twigs and drop tiny mud balls from the air. Food, they believe, isn't grown, but comes from the sky. – The Independent