Tag Archives: south sudan mythology

The White Army and mythology in South Sudan political violence

17 Apr

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
by Jacob Chol*
 

    “In response to the South Sudan state’s inability to provide security, however, new groups have emerged. For instance, Azande militants created? the Arrow Boys in response to the activities of the Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army in Western Equatoria State (Adeba 2015) in 2014. Amongst the Bor Dinka, an armed group called the Bor Panda Youth has emerged and was implicated in the killing of Nuer internally displaced persons (IDPs) under United Nations protection in April 2014 (Ibid). Moreover, a notorious group called the Maaban Defense Force became known to the world in August 2014 when it killed six Nuer aid workers, forcing aid organizations to halt activities in Maaban County of Upper Nile State.

    These groups are typically transitory in nature, tribally based, defensive in orientation, and lacking any ideology or long-term objectives. The White Army is an exception, however, having played an active part in Sudan’s second civil war in 1983-2005. While similar armed groups remained under community control, the White Army became an independent entity that was sometimes destructive to the community from which it originated (Young 2007). Smearing their faces with white ash to protect themselves from bugs, members of the group presented a fearsome aspect to both their enemies and their fellow Nuer.”

 
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