oil wars


Kill Them with Fire

In April 1996, spurred on by promises of support from China and desperate to increase production, Sudan signed a vaguely worded agreement called the Political Charter with Riek Machar to end his rebels’ attacks on the oil fields.


Life Under the Trees

We’ve made it to Akobo, headquarters of the new Nuer rebellion. We have pissed off our hosts, bickered with one another for over 150 bumpy miles, hunted food, traded jokes, and destroyed Tim’s laptop.


Oil and War

Despite the first major uprising in 1955, Sudan was eager to begin oil exploration, and in 1959 a collection of European and American companies began their search in the north.


Flying In

After numerous dead ends, our fixer, Edward, finds a pilot to take us into the bush to find Riek Machar. The one-way flight will cost us $17,200—more than double the charter rate when the country isn’t about to cannibalize itself.


Fixing South Sudan

Machot blames the UN for many of the problems in the south—complaining that the UN’s rationing of flour and grain did little for his people, whose diet consisted mostly of meat and fish. None of it makes sense, but hey, this is South Sudan.