- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
Trench marks new border as rains approach
Weather ‘will stop the war’ but only temporarily
Question of the Day
TACHUIEN, SOUTH SUDAN | A trench dug across a red dirt road marks part of the shifting border between Sudan and South Sudan, old enemies whose forces have clashed in recent weeks.
Truck-mounted anti-aircraft guns and 107 mm rocket launchers lurk underneath the trees. New foxholes have been dug.
The United States and other nations are trying to stop all-out war from breaking out between Sudan and the South, the world’s newest country, but the weather might do more to dampen hostilities.
The sky is a low-hanging gray, portending seasonal rains that will turn the earth into mud, impassable to tanks and trucks.
Brig. Gen. Abraham Jongroon Deng thinks the six-month rains will cool tensions.
“They relax and we relax. We wait until December. It will stop the war,” Gen. Deng told an Associated Press team that visited the front lines last week.
Lingering disputes over borders, oil and other issues led to heavy battles last month that threaten to reignite a decades-long war that ended when a fragile peace was forged in 2005.
Buth even the rains are unlikely to bring hostilities to a complete halt.
Political leaders and some commanders in the South’s military - the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, or SPLA - note that troops can still march over the soggy ground and Sudan can still deploy bombers, which have been carrying out periodic airstrikes.
Fight over oil
A military patch on Maj. Gen. James Gatduel Gatluak’s sleeve shows the symbol of the 4th Infantry Division, and the reason the stakes here are so high: an oil well spouting black crude. The division is known as the SPLA Petrol Division.
“I expect more attacks from Sudan. Even if they don’t come themselves, they can send militias or attack from the air. The rain, it can stop the fighting, but not always,” said Gen. Gatluak, whose face is a mask of tribal dots that is a tradition among the Nuer tribe.
When South Sudan broke away and became an independent nation in July, it took with it roughly 75 percent of Sudan’s oil industry.
Last month, SPLA forces moved into the oil town of Heglig, site of Sudan’s last remaining large oil installation.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
TWT Video Picks
By Scott Pinsker
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Babson College, BYU win top spots in Money magazine's college rankings
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- Romney would win popular vote in rematch against Obama: CNN poll
- White House defends Kerry failure to broker Middle East cease-fire
- D.C. plans to seek stay of order striking down ban on handguns in public
- Islamic State opens 'marriage bureau' for single jihadists
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq