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Vol 47 No 25

Published 15th December 2006


Militias and the South

Successive regimes in Khartoum have sought local allies against the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), especially since the National Islamic Front seized power in 1989. The NIF's most effective weapon has been the South Sudan Defence Forces (SSDF), which originated in tribal militias from the southernmost region, Equatoria, developed to defend their communities against the SPLA. Numbers fluctuated in the SSDF, but some 48,000 are reckoned to have joined the SPLA.

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