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A South Sudanese government soldier stands guard at the airport in Malakal on Jan. 21, 2014.
A South Sudanese government soldier stands guard at the airport in Malakal on Jan. 21, 2014.
(Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin/Associated Press)

GEOFFREY YORK

Leaving the dirty work to African troops is dangerous

Uganda still won’t admit how many troops it sent into South Sudan in December. But those battle-hardened troops, with their helicopter gunships and heavy artillery, were a decisive factor in helping South Sudan’s government to avoid a humiliating defeat on the battlefield.

With crucial assistance from the Ugandan troops and weaponry, the government was able to regain control of several rebel-held towns – although at a cost of hundreds of lives in those devastated places.