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The World's Most Brutal, Least-Known War

David Aikman

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Yei, Southern Sudan. As the chartered Twin Otter carrying an American congressional delegation begins its descent over the lush green scrub-covered plain, the mood on board becomes quiet. The plane has entered a combat zone and is about to land on a narrow dirt strip in Yei, the capital of "New Sudan." Yei was once a humming Sudanese border town rich in customs revenue from trade with neighboring Uganda and the Congo. Today, it is a taut, frightened place, a bombing target for Russian-built Antonov-32 transport planes, sent by the government of Sudan in Khartoum. As the Otter makes its hasty approach, Dan Eiffe, an Irishman who is leading the group, remarks, "If ever there was a moral war, this is it. These people are fighting to protect their own land and their people."

"These people" are not, at first, visible. But as the Otter discharges its passengers and immediately prepares to take off again-the Antonovs would love to catch an unauthorized visiting aircraft on the ground-some officers of the Sudan People's Liberation Army appear, ready to take us into town. For 16 years now, the SPLA, a modest-sized military force, has been fighting for survival in this "moral war," the most brutal, destructive, and longest-running civil war of the second half of the twentieth century.

Read the entire article on the Ethics and Public Policy Center website



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