n Conflict Trends - Demystifying the White Army : Nuer armed civilians' involvement in the South Sudanese crisis

Volume 2014, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


Less than three years after gaining independence, South Sudan faces a new civil war. Since December 2013, over a million people have been displaced and more than 10 000 killed in fighting between the government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO), led by former vice president Riek Machar. Political divisions within the ruling party, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), quickly devolved into violent clashes within the army (Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army - SPLA) in the capital Juba, and subsequent army defections. Atrocities committed by government forces against the Nuer in Juba during the same period triggered a mass mobilisation of Nuer civilians in Greater Upper Nile and revenge killings of Dinkas in areas captured by the SPLM/A-IO. Reinforced by politicised ethnic rhetoric, the brutal targeting of civilians by both sides has since continued, resulting in condemnations from the region and international community.

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