Despite Stalemate, Only Rainy Season Slows South Sudan Fighting

Despite Stalemate, Only Rainy Season Slows South Sudan Fighting
Internally displaced children are seen standing at the gate of their camp, Juba, South Sudan, Feb. 6, 2015 (U.N. photo by JC McIlwaine).

South Sudan’s army today claimed that it repelled an attack by rebels allied with former Vice President Riek Machar and regained control of several areas in Unity state from rebel forces. In an email interview, J. Peter Pham, the director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center, discussed the status of the fighting and and its economic and humanitarian effects.

WPR: What is the current status of fighting between government forces and rebel groups, and among rebels groups, and what are the obstacles to a political resolution?

J. Peter Pham: South Sudan is in the midst of its annual rainy season, which runs roughly from May until October. Given the country’s general lack of roads and other infrastructure, this hinders the ability of belligerents to move forces about. So while some fighting is happening at the moment—there have recently been some battles over control of oil fields in Unity and Upper Nile states—the clashes have been much more limited than during the dry season. But this relative calm is just a “time out” imposed by the weather. Sadly, the conflict will likely resume with full intensity once the rains end and the terrain becomes more passable.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review