US involvement in South Sudan



The civil war in South Sudan that began on December 15, 2013, shows no sign of abating. While the United States threatens to slap increasingly strict sanctions on anyone who stands in the way of the overarching concept of “peace,” Riek Machar’s forces...


A Grain of Truth

I still haven’t gotten a clear answer on what, in Machar’s view, lies at the core of his troubled relationship with President Kiir. And I’m determined to get there.


The Prophet

Riek Machar can seem like an enlightened Westerner, with his casual English accent, Christian values, and genial dismissal of conspiracies, superstitions, and other things that are not backed up by logic and facts.


I Didn't Even Take My Purse

When I talk to Riek Machar’s wife, Angelina Teny, the war doesn’t seem so large and confusing. Even though she’s a former minister of energy and mining, she takes pleasure in cooking and serving food to those in the camp. Her view of recent events is...


Cowboy Capitalists

Parastatals, they are called—deep-pocked corporations seemingly immune to the international criticism about the human rights violations involved in extracting the oil out of southern and central Sudan.


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.


Unholy Alliance

In September 1983, Riek Machar and his associates discovered a powerful ally: Muammar Qaddafi. Earlier that year, President Ronald Reagan of the US had called Qaddafi “the mad dog of the Middle East,” but he was a mad dog with billions in oil revenue...


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.


The Bog Barons

Dinka and Nuer tribesmen have composed the majority of the rebel groups operating in the area since the First Sudanese Civil War began in the 1950s. By the time George W. Bush was elected, Sudan had become a geopolitical quagmire.


The Dark Continent

Our ultimate destination—South Sudan—lies within the newest lines on the map, and our mission is to find the secret hideout of ousted vice president Riek Machar and get his version of the truth.


Bright Shiny Nation

We consulted a few regional experts about Machar’s location, and the answers always varied. All we knew for sure was that Machar was in the bush, and the government of South Sudan had just dispatched roughly 2,000 men to hunt him down and kill him.