No One Is Winning South Sudan’s Civil War

A great storm is coming to South Sudan, quite literally. Sometime during the next month, the rainy season will start in earnest and render much of the country inaccessible.

The rains will bring a reprieve for the country’s 16-month-old civil war — no roads means no troop movements. Neither the government nor the rebels have an air force to speak of, nor the airborne capacity to follow up on bombings with ground troops.

But Pres. Salva Kiir’s army — and rebels loyal to his former deputy Riek Machar — are ratcheting up the fighting to put themselves in the best position before the rains.

This makes it harder for humanitarian organizations to prepare. Just like last year, many of the country’s thousands of refugees will suffer and die in overcrowded and inundated camps, even though active fighting will subside.

When the rain clears in November, the war will in all likelihood continue.

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