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					sudan issue brief
Human Security Baseline Assessment
Small Arms Survey                                                                                                    Number 11   May 2008




Allies and defectors
An update on armed group integration
and proxy force activity


T
        ribal groups, pastoralists, para-    Groups (OAGs) into the SPLA1 and                  This is likely to continue at least
        militaries, and SPLA splinter        post-CPA violence between armed                   until the referendum on South Suda-
        factions, among other armed          groups and SPLA forces during civilian            nese independence in 2011.
entities, were key combatants in the         disarmament campaigns.2 The current
second Sudanese civil war as allies of       Brief updates the state of knowledge
the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) or              about the status of armed groups in            ‘Other Armed Groups’ in
the Sudan People’s Liberation Army           South Sudan as of March 2008, and
(SPLA). Under the terms of the Com-          focuses on the lingering problems that         context
prehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of          they pose, the challenges remaining to         The term ‘armed group’ is considerably
2005, these groups, many of which            their dissolution and demobilization,          elastic in the Sudanese context. Through-
had deep roots in local political, ethnic,   and their possible impact on CPA imple-        out the second Sudanese civil war
and economic conflicts in South Sudan,       mentation. It finds that:                      (1983–2005), tribal groups, pastoralists,
were suddenly required to disband                                                           paramilitaries, and other collectives
and their members to join the SAF, the          The South Sudan Defence Forces              played a significant role; many acted
SPLA, or one of a small number of               (SSDF), by far the most threatening         as proxy forces and waged much of the
government institutions. Not surpris-           South Sudanese collection of armed          fighting, especially during the 1990s.
ingly, this process has been neither            groups during the civil war, has            In the case of the SSDF, an SAF-aligned
smooth nor rapid.                               largely shifted its allegiance to the       umbrella group comprising more than
    Three years later, a wide range of          SPLA, with far fewer remnant SSDF           40,000 men, the group engaged in fight-
ex-combatants find themselves in a              remaining unaligned or allied to            ing throughout Upper Nile, Jonglei,
kind of administrative limbo, at varying        the SAF.                                    Eastern Equatoria, and Northern Bahr
levels of ‘integration’ and ‘demobili-          The integration of these former             el Ghazal. They fought the SPLA directly
zation’. Some former armed group                SSDF combatants into the SPLA,              in rural areas and were an important
members may be part of either the               however, remains minimal or non-            reinforcement for the SAF in the be-
SAF or the SPLA only as a name on a             existent.                                   sieged garrison towns of South Sudan.
roster, while continuing to answer to           SAF-aligned Misseriya tribesmen             Other, less developed local groups
their former commanders. In many                clashed violently with the SPLA in          became involved in the wider conflict
cases, tribal and personal loyalties carry      the South Kordofan–Bahr el Ghazal           only when it benefited their local aims,
more weight than their new affiliations.        border regions from December                needs, or tribal concerns, as in the case
Looming over the entire post-CPA                2007 until April 2008, threatening          of the ‘white army’ in Jonglei.3
realignment process is the knowledge            to destabilize the area. Worryingly,            With the end of the civil war, these
that for most former fighters, armed            Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir           groups were required to disband. The
group membership is the only sustain-           has remobilized paramilitary Pop-           Comprehensive Peace Agreement of
able way of life.                               ular Defence Forces in the area.            January 2005—to which only the SPLA
    At the same time, the Government            The SPLA-aligned Debab and Abu              and the Government of Sudan (GoS)
of National Unity (GNU) and the                 Matrig Forces (primarily Misseriya          were party—declared that ‘no armed
Government of South Sudan (GoSS)                and Rizeigat armed forces, respec-          groups allied to either party shall be
continue to rely on armed groups as             tively), as well as the continued           allowed to operate outside the two
proxy forces in contentious areas, result-      presence of several SAF-aligned             forces’.4 The CPA referred to all these
ing in increased tensions, jockeying for        SSDF remnant militias, are gener-           collectives as Other Armed Groups
the support of different groups, and            ating significant tensions in Abyei.        (OAGs) and required that they declare
fighting. This is in direct violation of        The competition for allied forces           their allegiance to, and then incorpo-
the peace agreement, and is part of an          in the border ‘Transitional Areas’          rate into, either the SAF or the SPLA
escalating crisis between the parties.          suggests that both the SPLA and             no later than 9 March 2006, or be de-
    Previous Sudan Issue Briefs have            SAF are intent on keeping allied            clared illegal. Technically, as far as the
reviewed the process of integration             armed groups in the field to support        GoS and the SPLA are concerned,
of important so-called Other Armed              their efforts to control strategic areas.   OAGs ceased to exist after that date—

                                                                                                            www.smallarmssurvey.org/sudan   1
    any remnant unaligned groups were                                  As of mid-2008, more than two years                          had capitulated and formally aligned
    to be labelled criminal and dealt with                         since the signing of the Juba Declara-                           with the SPLA: Ismael Konye (a Murle)
    accordingly.5                                                  tion and three since the CPA, armed                              in Jonglei in October 2006 and Sultan
        Despite the CPA’s clear instruction                        group activity continues. The two                                Adbel Bagi (a Dinka) in Northern Bahr
    on the fate of the OAGs,6 the reality                          categories of armed groups that call for                         el Ghazal in August 2007.8 Konye’s
    on the ground has always been more                             examination in this Brief are the SAF-                           forces redeployed from Pibor to Juba
    complicated. Because of the important                          aligned remnants of the SSDF that                                in mid-April 2007,9 and he became a
    constituencies that some OAGs repre-                           continue to operate in South Sudan,                              ‘peace and reconciliation’ adviser to
    sented, it was subsequently recognized                         and tribal groups, some of whose                                 GoSS president Salva Kiir. His troops
    that they could not simply be dealt with                       members are also operating as pro-                               are in the process of being incorporated
    as criminal entities. As a consequence,                        government paramilitaries. Even                                  into the SPLA or being demobilized.10
    a special agreement was required to                            though, as far as the parties to the                             The troops of Sultan Abdel Bagi, while
    deal with the SSDF, many of whose                              CPA are concerned, ‘OAGs’ have all                               historically active in South Kordofan
    commanders wielded considerable                                been officially absorbed and therefore                           around Meiram, are now mostly located
    local authority. The Juba Declaration                          no longer exist, this is a technicality                          in SPLA bases in Aweil and Tonj, Bahr
    of January 2006 between the SPLA                               that should not obscure the more                                 el Ghazal. No further major changes
    and the SSDF set the terms for the                             complicated reality on the ground.                               in realignment of remnant-SSDF mili-
    group’s official dissolution and absorp-                                                                                        tias have taken place since.
    tion, primarily into the SPLA; in the                                                                                               As the SSDF effectively collapsed,
    process, SSDF commander Paulino                                                                                                 however, some SSDF militia members
    Matieb became the SPLA’s Deputy                                The SSDF: the final chapter?                                     detached from their leadership and
    Commander-in-Chief. Some other                                 Following Matieb’s transition to the                             became involved in local, informal
    SSDF commanders held their options                             SPLA, only a handful of SSDF com-                                tribal-based forces. Their former com-
    open for as long as possible, returned                         manders and their men refused to                                 manders, unable to continue to sup-
    to the SAF, or remained uncommitted.7                          follow him. By late 2006 two of these                            ply and motivate them, had little hold


                                                                                                                                                                    GE DA R E F
       Selected Armed Groups of Concern in South Sudan                                                                              WHI TE              S I NNAR
       and Border Areas, March 2008                                                                                                  NI LE

                                                                                                     SO UTH
                                                                                                   KO RDO FAN                                       el-Damazin
                                                                                                                                    Renk
                           SOUT H
                          DA RFUR                S                 U             D                 A             N   Renk faction
                                                                                      Kadugli          Abu Sofifa                                       BLUE
                              Abu Matrig                                                                                                                NI LE
                    Abu Matrig Forces                                                                    Debab Forces                     Kaka
                                                                            Kharasana
                                                         Meiram        Peace and Development
                                                                        Defence Force (PDDF)           Pariang                     El Nasser faction
                                                          Safaha                                                        Akoka       Rom
                                                                       Abyei
                                                                                Abyei Forces
                                                NORT HERN                                 Bentiu
                                                                                                                                            UPPER
                              Al Fursan                                                                                         Malakal      NI LE
                            Forces Raja      BA HR EL GHA ZA L                                                                    Mading Forces
                               Division                                                                                                            Mading
                                       Raja          Aweil                                         Fangak        Fangak Forces      Nasser
                  Quwat Al Fursan                                                                                                           El Nasser faction
                                    Peace Defence                              WARAB            UNI TY
                                     Forces (PDF)
                                                                                 Warrap
                                                                                                                                                                 ETHIOPIA
                                                             Wau
                                    WEST ERN BA HR
                                     EL GHA ZA L                                   Tonj                                      JO NGLEI
      CENTRAL                           Peace Defence Forces (PDF)
                                                                                   Rumbek
      AFRICAN
      REPUBLIC                                                                               LAKES
                                                                                                                           Bor
                   International boundary
                   North–South boundary                                   WESTERN
                                                                         EQUATO RI A                                                              EASTERN
                   State boundary                                                                                                                EQUATO RI A
                                                                                                                    Juba
                   State capital                                       Yambio
                                                                                                               C ENTRAL                     Kapoeta
           Renk    Armed group aligned with:
                                                                                                              EQUATO RI A
                                                                                                              EQ UATO
                   SPLA                                    DEMOCRATIC
                                                         REPUBLIC OF THE                                                                                           K E N YA
                   SAF
                   Former SSDF groups                        CONGO
                   Other armed groups                0             km           200                                                 UGANDA



2   Sudan Issue Brief    Number 11 May 2008
on them. This is the case with a cadre
of Murle officers under Ismael Konye,
who declined to follow him into the
                                                   The vast majority of the former SSDF have defected
SPLA, choosing instead to remain in
their home area of Pibor County in
                                                   from the SAF into the SPLA camp.
Jonglei State.
    Similarly, in Bahr el Ghazal a number
of Sultan Bagi’s former forces remained
                                                  There is circumstantial evidence        SAF redeployment from the South to
in the Meriam area, seemingly inde-
                                              that this is not the case, however. At      the North,19 but they could still be used
pendent of him.11 Furthermore, at least
                                              least one former powerful ex-SSDF           as proxy forces in the future.20
one of his sons has refused to align with
                                              commander, Gabriel Tang-Ginya,                  As mentioned above, a few remnant
the SPLA. Another example of this trend
                                              claimed in November 2007 that he            SSDF militias have already been demo-
is the break-up of Atom Al-Nour’s
                                              maintained personal control over forces     bilized and disarmed by SAF, such as
SSDF-affiliated Peace Defence Forces
                                              in South Sudan.17 Problematically, the      the Dolieb Forces of Thomas Mabior.21
(PDF, not to be confused with the para-
                                              SAF has also engaged in unilateral          In practice this means that the forces
military Popular Defence Forces or the
                                              ‘demobilization’ of former SSDF troops      have been sent back to their home areas,
Pibor Defense Force of Ismael Konye)
                                              aligned with it, which has had no UN        and official ties with them have been
into four major groupings in three
                                              monitoring. The possibility remains         cut. It is notable that, despite this,
separate locations (Wau, Raja, and
                                              that the SAF continues to support these     Thomas Mabior himself remains a
Tonj), some of which aligned with the
                                              SSDF remnant militias or is holding         political agitator against the SPLM/A;
SPLA and others with the SAF.12
                                              them as ‘reserves’ for the future, as       his supporters in the area of Lankien
    In general, however, the post-CPA
                                              the SPLA consistently claims.18             County, Jonglei State have made de-
period has seen the vast majority of              Thus, while the SSDF seems to have      mands that he, or one of his supporters,
the former SSDF drawn away from the           been broken as an overall force, the on-    be given the post of Commissioner.22
SAF into the SPLA camp; as of March           going presence of remnant constituents      Political stand-offs of this nature can
2007 approximately 47,440 were re-            is still an important consideration in      easily escalate into armed violence as
ported to have joined the SPLA, with          the security and political calculus of      firearms remain in plentiful supply
only 10,400 joining the SAF.13 Part of        South Sudan. The largest remnant            even after supposed ‘disarmament’.
the explanation for this is the ‘South–       SSDF militias are those led by:                 Some remnant-SSDF commanders
South dialogue’ that the GoSS initiated                                                   remain steadfast against SPLA rap-
in late 2005, in an effort to promote            Major-General Gabriel Tang-Ginya,
                                                                                          prochement due to historical and
reconciliation among the many South-             who commands the Fangak Forces
                                                                                          ideological grievances. Some insist
ern factions and groups that had been            based in north-west Jonglei State
                                                                                          that the 1997 Khartoum Agreement,
enemies. Another is the death in July            around Fangak town and upstream
                                                                                          which formed the SSDF umbrella, su-
2005 of former SPLA leader and GoSS              at Phom el-Zeraf. The approximate
                                                                                          persedes the CPA and that the SPLA
President, John Garang. Resentment               size of the Fangak Forces is 1,200
                                                                                          should be disbanded and replaced by
over Garang’s divisive policies and              to 1,500 men, who are dispersed in
                                                                                          a ‘South Sudan Army’. Others cling to
tactics had kept many commanders                 small groups throughout the region.
                                                                                          tribal or ethnic enmity. Some maintain
from joining the SPLA. When Salva                Major-General Gordon Kong, who
                                                                                          grievances dating to the first civil war
Kiir (a Dinka like Garang but from a             commands the Nasser faction in
                                                                                          and fighting between various southern
different clan and region, and with a            eastern Upper Nile State centred
                                                                                          guerrilla forces in the late 1970s and
different background and temperament)            around El Nasser, with most of
                                                                                          early 1980s, particularly those who
succeeded Garang, many reconsidered              his armed forces based in nearby
                                                                                          associated themselves with Anyanya 2.23
their options. Moreover, and probably            Ketbek. The approximate size of
                                                                                          Still others are bitter about the lack of
most importantly, most former OAG                the Nasser faction is 500 to 1,000.
                                                                                          GoSS posts available to them through
members from South Sudan had no                  Major-General Atom Al-Nour,
                                                                                          the Juba Declaration, or the lack of
desire to relocate to the North, a require-      who commands the Peace Defence
                                                                                          other more general peace dividends
ment if they aligned with the SAF.               Forces in Western and Northern
                                                                                          that they expected.24
                                                 Bahr el Ghazal in the towns of Wau,
    The outcome of this enormous shift                                                        This anti-SPLA sentiment is unlikely
                                                 Raja, Diem Zubeir, Bazia, Mboro,
of allegiances was the effective folding                                                  to change in the near future. However,
                                                 and Bigare. The approximate size
of the SSDF as an independent fighting                                                    there does not appear to be any desire
                                                 of the Peace Defence Forces is 400.
force in June 2007, leaving a small cadre                                                 among remnant SSDF commanders to
of former SSDF leaders and intellectu-            In addition to these three groups,      return to open conflict with the SPLA
als to form a political party under the       there are at least 11 other smaller mili-   prior to the 2011 referendum on south-
name of the South Sudan Democratic            tias geographically dispersed across        ern self-determination. Even Gabriel
Front.14 Khartoum claimed around the          South Sudan, as well as around Abyei        Tang-Ginya, one of the more trouble-
same time that all SAF-aligned OAGs           (see Map and Table 1). Most are still       some OAG commanders in the eyes of
in South Sudan had been incorporated          coherent as local militias but relatively   the SPLA and United Nations Mission
into the SAF in the North, incorporated       small in numbers of armed combatants.       in Sudan (UNMIS), supposedly ordered
into the SAF and employed in the Joint        Few present serious challenges to the       his followers to wait for the referendum
Integrated Units (JIUs)15 in the South,       overwhelming SPLA presence in these         and not to provoke the SPLA in the
or disarmed and demobilized.16                areas, especially after the substantial     meantime.25



                                                                                                         www.smallarmssurvey.org/sudan   3
    Table 1 Selected Armed Groups operating in South Sudan/South Kordofan
     Name               Leader(s)           Alignment   Stated               Areas of operation          State          Ethnic         Remarks
                                                        strength                                                        group

     Remnant SSDF groups

     Peace and          Col. Hassan         SAF         1,100                Meiram                      South                         469 have incorporated
     Development        Deng Malon                                                                       Kordofan                      into the SAF; 258 are in
     Defence Force      Deng                                                                                                           the Aweil JIU

     Fangak Forces      Maj.-Gen. Gabriel   SAF         1,200—1,500          Fangak                      Jonglei        Nuer
                        Tang Shan

     El Nasser          Maj.-Gen. Gordon    SAF         500—1,000            Ketbek, Olang, El Doma,     Upper Nile     Nuer
     faction            Kong Chol                                            El Nasser, Akoka,
                                                                             Fanmadid, Rom

     Renk faction       Brig. Mohamed       SAF         650 (old figure,     Renk, Shomdi, Al Mansura,   Upper Nile     Dinka
                        Chol Al-Ahmar                   no current data)     Goy Fammi, Wadakona,
                                                                             Al Tuba Al Ghabsha,
                                                                             Matimar, Kaka, Fayiwar

     Mading Forces      Lt.-Col. Peter      SAF         300 (old figure,     Mading, Baljok, Mayor,      Upper Nile     Nuer
                        Tuaj                            no current data)     Forinang

     Abyei Forces       Thomas Thiel        SAF         Unknown              Abyei                       South                         Appears to be working
                                                                                                         Kordofan                      with the SAF unit north
                                                                                                                                       of Abyei (not verified)

     Other armed groups

     Quwat Al           Hamden Ahmed        SAF         1,250—1,475          Raja                        Western Bahr   Arabic         According to SAF not
     Fursan             Almunin                                                                          El Ghazal      speaking       OAG; SPLA disagrees
                                                                                                                        groups from
                                                                                                                        South Darfur

     Peace Defence      Maj.-Gen. Atom      SAF         300—400              Wau, Tonj, Raja             Western Bahr   Fertit and     Two groups (Dalil’s and
     Forces             Al-Nour, Col.                                                                    El Ghazal      Balanda        Zein’s) reported by OAG
                        Peter Beaku                                                                                                    CC SC in November 2007,
                                                                                                                                       153 and 150 respectively
                                                                                                                                       in Raja area, SAF aligned—
                                                                                                                                       participated in SAF
                                                                                                                                       disarmament

     Al Fursan          Al-Haj Basheer      SPLA        2,025                Raja, Babelo                Western Bahr   Arabic         Aligned with SPLA in
     Forces Raja        Mawein                                                                           El Ghazal      speaking       April 2007
     Division                                                                                                           groups from
                                                                                                                        South Darfur

     Debab Forces       Brig. Hassan        SPLA        1,511 out of 2,121   Debab, Kharasana,           South          Misseriya      Former Popular Defence
                        Hamid Saleh,                    verified by          Bajayea, Dandur, Abu        Kordofan                      Forces (PDF); some have
                        Col. Albatel                    UNMIS in             Sofifa, Takona (Unity                                     reportedly redeployed
                        Kabro                           September            State)                                                    to Pariang but UNMIS
                                                        2007                                                                           has not verified this.
                                                                                                                                       Recruting from former
                                                                                                                                       PDF, mostly rural/
                                                                                                                                       nomadic Misseriya
                                                                                                                                       571 troops verified by
                                                                                                                                       UNMIS as having
                                                                                                                                       redeployed to Kharasana

     Abu Matrig                             SPLA        611 out of           Abu Matrig, Safaha          South Darfur   South Darfur   837 troops verified by
     Forces                                             stated forces                                                   groups and     UNMIS as having
                                                        strength 2,500                                                  some from      redeployed to Safaha
                                                        verified by                                                     South
                                                        UNMIS in                                                        Kordofan
                                                        October 2007




4   Sudan Issue Brief   Number 11 May 2008
Ongoing OAG incorporation                        Favouritism. In the view of the rank-
                                             and-file former OAG members, their
                                                                                           are receiving support and direction from
                                                                                           Khartoum, although this is extremely
challenges                                   officers are being well treated, having       hard to quantify.
While the CPA and the Juba Declara-          become senior GoSS or SPLA members,               In late December 2007 major fight-
tion forced former OAGs to join either       while they themselves are sidelined.          ing erupted in the disputed Abyei area
the SAF or the SPLA, in reality their        Those officers and commanders who             between SPLA forces and Misseriya
new hosts were in many ways unpre-           have not received high-level posts,           tribal militias who remained loyal to
pared to receive them. At the same           whether military or civilian, remain          Khartoum after the end of the war. At
time, although most OAG members              frustrated, with both their former com-       issue is the border demarcation process
agreed to abide by the agreements            rades and new leaders.                        that will determine whether oil-rich
rather than fight, they were not particu-        Fear of DDR. The formal disarma-          areas, which are also prime cattle-
larly inclined towards integration. The      ment, demobilization, and reintegration       grazing areas, are administered by the
                                             (DDR) process for the SAF, the SPLA,          GNU or GoSS. In July 2005 the Abyei
following are among the most serious
                                             and aligned groups has been beset with        Boundaries Commission (ABC), a
challenges facing the integration process:
                                             problems, but remains a key part of           CPA-mandated authority, placed a
    Finance issues. The burden on the
                                             the CPA-mandated peace process. As            portion of the disputed areas clearly
SPLA of absorbing and accommodat-
                                             part of this, many former OAG mem-            in the South.30 The SPLM accepted
ing tens of thousands of former OAG
                                             bers will be expected to return to civil-     this determination, while Khartoum
members has stretched its finances to
                                             ian life, but confidence is low in their      rejected it. In a dangerous escalation,
breaking point. Ex-SSDF members in
                                             ability to ‘reintegrate’ into communi-        the SPLM withdrew from the GNU in
Juba rioted in December 2006 when
                                             ties where economic opportunities are         October 2007, partly over this stalemate,
salaries had not been paid for many          extremely poor.29
months. While some commanders have                                                         returning in mid-December.31 Inter-
                                                 In brief, both sides of the integra-      mittent fighting has continued in the
enjoyed more consistent supplies, no-        tion process (the hosts—the SAF and
tably those closest to Malakal, others                                                     Abyei region since.
                                             the SPLA—and the former OAGs) are                 The initial spark that led to the fight-
have suffered from a lack of even basic      experiencing resistance and frustration.
foodstuffs.26                                                                              ing was the December 2007 appoint-
                                             Many former OAG members feel that             ment of a Ngok Dinka, Edward Lino,
    Rank assignments. Problems related       the parties have engaged disrespect-
to rank assignments, skills, and expe-                                                     as SPLM Chairperson in Abyei. Salva
                                             fully with them, in particular by declar-     Kiir made it known that he wished Lino
rience of the new members have per-          ing them illegal. In light of this, it is
sisted.27 For instance, Paulino Matieb’s                                                   to be appointed Chief Administrator
                                             safe to assume that they may be very
                                                                                           of the area. In response, a group of
forces consisted of exceedingly large        susceptible to alternatives to integration,
                                                                                           Misseriya tribesmen calling themselves
numbers of over-promoted senior              such as rearming and remobilization,
                                                                                           the Abyei Liberation Front announced
officers who have proven difficult for       should the opportunity arise. This situ-
                                                                                           that they had appointed a new gover-
the SPLA to place as it is already top-      ation will be particularly problematic
                                                                                           nor, Mohamed Omar al-Ansari. They
heavy in terms of its previously existing    in the political environment of the up-
                                                                                           demanded that the SPLM stand down
officer corps.28                             coming elections scheduled for 2009
                                                                                           and withdraw, or face attack.32
    Redeployment issues. Many former         and the 2011 referendum. Since these
                                                                                               A tense stand-off persists today
OAG members routinely refuse to re-          (former) armed groups in many cases
                                                                                           with the Misseriya frequently block-
deploy out of their home areas. They         represent political constituencies, by
                                                                                           ing the road into Abyei and the SPLA
prefer to stay in places where they have     not effectively co-opting them the
                                                                                           preventing Misseriya from moving
a support structure and influence—           SPLM, in particular, will face serious
                                                                                           south along their traditional cattle-
and where they can also provoke local        political challenges. The current prob-
                                                                                           grazing routes.33 A peace pact was
tensions. At the same time, those troops     lematic integration process exacerbates
                                                                                           secured between the Misseriya and the
that do redeploy often have to wait a        this lack of trust and frustration.
                                                                                           Dinka Ngok communities on 3 March
considerable time for their equipment
                                                                                           2008.34 However, fighting erupted
and supplies to reach them. The SAF
                                                                                           again on 9 March, and there are indi-
has arguably been more consistent in         Armed proxies: tribal militias                cations that the recent violent confron-
the provisioning of former OAGs.
    Mutual suspicion. SPLA soldiers and      and paramilitary forces                       tations have spread into adjacent Unity
                                                                                           State.35 The SPLA continues to claim
mid-ranking officers often lack respect      Abyei / South Kordofan                        that SAF officers are directing the
for the former OAG members being
                                             Tribal groups in the border ‘Transitional     fighting.36 UNMIS has been unable to
incorporated, in part due to their illit-
                                             Areas’ probably pose a greater threat         verify this, being denied access to the
eracy and low levels of education. At                                                      areas of concern by both the SPLA and
                                             to the CPA than the remnant SSDF in
the same time, many former OAG               the South. Many observers believe they        the SAF.
members do not wish to mix with their
new SPLA colleagues, who are often
from ethnic groups that are traditional
enemies. This results in a mutual lack
of trust and constitutes a security risk          Tribal groups in the border areas probably pose a
for the SPLA as it is enhancing and
exacerbating already existing tensions            greater threat than the remnant SSDF in the South.
within its rank-and-file.



                                                                                                            www.smallarmssurvey.org/sudan   5
    Table 2 Misseriya militia strengths and redeployment from Abyei                                                            significant presence in Western Bahr
                                                                                                                               el Ghazal. Of particular significance are
                                    Claimed                       UNMIS verified                UNMIS verified   Total UNMIS   the SAF-aligned Quwat Al Fursan
                                                                  remaining                     redeployed       verified
                                                                                                                               Forces based in Raja under the com-
                                                                  around Abyei
                                                                                                                               mand of Hamden Ahmed Almunin.
      Debab Forces                  2,121                         940                           571              1,511         The stated size of the Quwat Al Fursan
                                                                                                                               Force is 5,000, but UNMIS estimates it
      Abu Matrig Forces             2,500                         289                           812              1,101
                                                                                                                               at between 1,250 and 1,475.46 This force
    Sources: 20th Report of CJMC to CPC, dated 17 February 2008; CPC meeting agenda for 18 February 2008.                      is opposed by the Al Fursan Forces Raja
                                                                                                                               Division, previously a sister militia of
                                                                                                                               the Quwat Al Fursan. It boasts 2,000
        As in Upper Nile, the SPLM has                                           armed groups represents a major shift
                                                                                                                               members dispersed around Raja and
    tried to reach out to its enemies, playing                                   in power dynamics away from Khar-
                                                                                                                               Babelo, in the far north of Western
    to the frustrations of the Misseriya—                                        toum in favour of Juba.
                                                                                                                               Bahr el Ghazal, under the command
    and to a lesser extent of the Rizeigat—                                           Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir
                                                                                                                               of Alhaj Beshir Mawin. The Raja Divi-
    over the failure of Khartoum to deliver                                      has responded to the realignment of the
                                                                                                                               sion of the Al Fursan Forces aligned
    on its development promises. The strat-                                      Misseriya by remobilizing, in Novem-
                                                                                                                               with the SPLA in April 2007, purport-
    egy seems to be working. Some former                                         ber 2007, the paramilitary Popular
                                                                                                                               edly over a lack of material support
    SAF-aligned militia tribesmen have                                           Defence Force in the area.41 The core of
                                                                                                                               from Khartoum and the government’s
    formed the pro-SPLA Debab Forces                                             these PDF forces consisted of the sol-
                                                                                                                               failure to deliver on promises made
    (mainly Misseriya) and Abu Matrig                                            diers used to back up the authority of
                                                                                                                               over the long years of civil war.47
    Forces (mainly Rizeigat), drawing on                                         the National Islamic Front and Bashir
                                                                                                                                   The growing, factionalizing militia
    disaffected Popular Defence Force                                            during the war, who were sent to con-
                                                                                                                               presence in northern Western Bahr el
    paramilitaries.37 The Misseriya have                                         duct warfare in rural areas along the
                                                                                                                               Ghazal and increasing conflict in South
    long interacted, often violently, with                                       border between Bahr el Ghazal and
                                                                                                                               Kordofan are particularly worrisome
    the Dinka of Northern Bahr el Ghazal.                                        South Kordofan.42 Some of these para-
                                                                                                                               as they provide potential linkages be-
    Fighting between the two groups was                                          militaries are reported to have been
                                                                                                                               tween South Sudan tensions and the
    a significant feature of the war in the                                      involved in the fighting with the SPLA
                                                                                                                               conflict in Darfur. Increased numbers
    area along the Bahr el Jebel Arab (also                                      in Meirem in December 2007 and Febru-
                                                                                                                               of Darfur rebels—from the Justice and
    known as the River Kiir), which began                                        ary 2008.43 Overall, with the Popular
                                                                                                                               Equality Movement (JEM) and the
    as confrontations over grazing and                                           Defense Forces, the remaining loyal
                                                                                                                               Sudan Liberation Army (SLA)—have
    water access. (The Rizeigat have similarly                                   Misseriya tribal militias, and other
                                                                                                                               been moving between South Darfur
    taken part in armed conflict further to                                      local groups such as the Peace and
                                                                                                                               into south-western South Kordofan
    the west in Darfur and Bahr el Ghazal.)                                      Development Defence Force,44 the SAF
                                                                                                                               and at times further south into Bahr el
    By mid-2007 significant numbers of                                           still has formidable allies in the region.
                                                                                                                               Ghazal.48 SPLM/A outreach to previ-
    Misseriya were encamped north of                                                  The SAF and the National Congress        ously SAF-aligned armed groups could
    Abyei at Debab and appeared to be                                            Party (NCP) claim that these forces           also allow it greater influence in the
    awaiting incorporation into the SPLA,                                        are not armed groups but government           Darfur conflict, which the SPLM/A
    while the Abu Matrig Forces were col-                                        entities, and hence legitimate bodies;        has long been involved with in various
    lected to the west similarly awaiting                                        the SPLM/A naturally disagrees, and           capacities. This is a likely concern of
    SPLA and GoSS direction.38                                                   claims that its new Debab Forces allies       the SAF and the NCP given historical
        On 1 November 2007, the Ceasefire                                        are not an armed group either. The OAG        linkages between the Darfurians and
    Political Commission (CPC), the high-                                        Collaborative Committee,45 which last         armed groups from Kordofan.49
    est Sudanese political body governing                                        met in September 2007, has yet to                 The above developments present
    the CPA’s implementation, called on                                          convene to discuss the Abyei tensions;        significant challenges to CPA imple-
    both the Debab and Abu Matrig Forces                                         a meeting planned for January 2008 did        mentation in both South Kordofan and
    to redeploy to South Sudan, since they                                       not take place. It appears that neither       Western and Northern Bahr el Ghazal
    were understood to be part of the                                            Khartoum nor Juba is keen to officially       states. In this context, the continued
    SPLA.39 Both militias appear to have                                         resolve the question of whether their         presence of armed groups in both areas,
    complied, though to differing degrees.                                       respective allied forces are armed            as well as potential linkages to the
    UNMIS found that the Debab Forces                                            groups. Neither are they willing to stem      ongoing Darfur conflict, are extremely
    moved about 38 per cent of their veri-                                       the ongoing proxy fighting. Indeed,           dangerous.
    fied troops to Paraing, Unity State,                                         given the ongoing political dispute
    while the Abu Matrig Forces moved                                            over border demarcation and the erup-
    74 per cent of their men southwards                                          tion of violence between the SPLA and
    to the Safaha area (not technically in                                       Misseriya tribesmen, Abyei is the ‘line       Closing reflections
    South Sudan; the forces are spread                                           in the sand’ on which neither Khartoum        The majority of OAG ex-combatants
    out in an area that straddles the dis-                                       nor Juba is willing to compromise.            who took part in the civil war remain
    puted border area south of the town                                                                                        only marginally integrated into the
    of Safaha).40 These developments have                                                                                      SPLA and the SAF. These ex-OAG
    exacerbated broader national tensions                                        Bahr el Ghazal                                members, such as the many SSDF who
    as the SPLM/A rapprochement with                                             In addition to areas of Abyei and South       have switched allegiances, must deal
    previously SAF-aligned South Kordofan                                        Kordofan, armed entities also have a          with a range of challenges, including



6   Sudan Issue Brief          Number 11 May 2008
the mistrust of their colleagues and                       www.unmis.org/English/documents/                    SPLA in 1983. Some had arrived in Ethio-
delayed salaries. In their current posi-                   cpa-en.pdf>.                                        pia earlier than Garang and competed with
                                                      5    Note that the CPA had mandated a dead-              Garang for the support of Ethiopia’s former
tion, they will certainly look to keep                     line of 9 January 2006 but this was extended        ruler, Mengistu Haile Mariam (and lost).
their options open, and to remain sus-                     until 9 March 2006 and has since been          24   Arnold (2007), p. 498.
ceptible to whatever other opportuni-                      extended for ‘special cases’ that have         25   Interview with Gabriel Tang-Ginya,
ties may arise. Even among the pool                        emerged since the CPA was signed, in par-           Khartoum, 20 November 2007. Tang-Ginya
                                                           ticular the Debab and Abu Matrig Forces.            said: ‘I have told them to be calm and we
of ex-fighters who have shown a will-
                                                      6    Note that the OAGs themselves were not              will be quiet until the referendum and
ingness to cooperate, their patience                       a party to the agreement and, therefore,            elections when we’ll decide what to do
cannot last forever.                                       had no say in the matter.                           next’.
    Outside this pool of former OAG                   7    See Young (2006).                              26   Arnold (2007), p. 505.
                                                      8    The OAG Collaborative Committee con-           27   See Young (2006).
members who are complying with the
                                                           cluded that about 2,000 of Ismael Konye’s      28   Even as late as late 2007, some of Paulino
integration process are those who re-                      men had been ‘out of existence’ on 1                Matieb’s generals were yet recognized by
main unaligned or retain their ties with                   August 2007; 1,470 of Sultan Abdul Bagi’s           the SPLA. The SPLA demanded that they
Khartoum, technically operating ille-                      men were confirmed on 28 August 2007                go through an extended acceptance pro-
gally in South Sudan. For now they                         as having ‘joined’ the SPLA. See Arnold             cess, which Matieb rejected as contrary to
                                                           and Alden (2007).                                   the terms of the Juba Declaration.
do not present a significant security                 9    UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) working            29   A forthcoming HSBA publication will
threat but could easily become one in                      document obtained from confidential                 focus exclusively on DDR of combatants
the future. Most threatening of all are                    source.                                             in North and South Sudan.
the forces being used by both sides to                10   This follows an agreement between Konye        30   Abyei Boundaries Commission (2005),
                                                           and the SPLA/GoSS and is not part of                pp. 20–23.
engage in proxy fighting in disputed
                                                           formal disarmament, demobilization, and        31   For more on the SPLM’s withdrawal
areas. It is clear that they are being                     reintegration (DDR).                                from the GNU, see Vuni (2007).
supported in one way or another by                    11   UNMIS internal report ‘Present Situation       32   Sudan Tribune (2008c).
either side, and that their continued                      of OAGs as of January 2007’. The presen-       33   Sudan Tribune (2008a).
use as proxies is a disturbing sign—a                      tation details the split in Bagi’s forces.     34   ‘Report of Meeting Between The Dinka
                                                      12   Reports from UNMIS Area Joint Monitor-              and Misseriya’, Annex to ‘UNMIS AJMC
return in many ways to the patterns of                     ing Committee (AJMC) and others indi-               Meeting Decision Points Sector 6’, 4 March
the civil war. Indeed, there is an active                  cate that some have been incorporated               2008.
struggle between the two armies for                        into the SAF Joint Integrated Unit (JIU)       35   Sudan Tribune (2008d).
the allegiance of new potential allies;                    component while others have become             36   Sudan First Vice President Salva Kiir
                                                           SPLA-aligned. See also Young (2006),                accused the National Congress Party (NCP)
and many unemployed ex-combatants                          pp. 22–23.                                          and the SAF of direct involvement (Sudan
are willing to fight and to switch sides,             13   UNMIS presentation to the Ceasefire                 Tribune, 2008b).
depending on who is offering more                          Political Commission (CPC), ‘Overview          37   For more on the Popular Defence Forces,
support.                                                   of Security and CPA Implementation in               see Salmon (2007).
                                                           Ceasefire Zone’. From CJMC meeting on          38   (ICG, 2007, p. 6).
    How this contest unfolds in the
                                                           5 March 2007.                                  39   (Sudan Tribune, 2007b).
near future will be decisive for the                  14   The South Sudan Democratic Front (SSDF)        40   Telephone interview with UNMIS official
peace process, not only in and around                      was officially launched on 24 September             in Khartoum, 9 March 2008.
the North–South border areas, though                       2007 in Khartoum out of the ‘political         41   AFP (2007).
they are undoubtedly the hottest                           wings’ of the South Sudan Defence Force,       42   While the core of the force was made up
                                                           namely, the South Sudan United Demo-                of recruits from urban centres who had
flashpoints, but throughout South                          cratic Alliance and the South Sudan Demo-           not previously been involved in militia
Sudan. The parties to the CPA as well                      cratic Front (Sudan Tribune, 2007a). Major          activity, the PDF was also made up of
as the international community must                        General Gordon Kong and David Chand,                various militias from Northern Bahr el
recognize the hazards in allowing this                     a South Sudanese academic who lives                 Ghazal, South Kordofan, and South Dar-
                                                           and works in the United States, are the             fur. These included components of many
situation to continue. Proxy fighting                                                                          of the Debab, Abu Matrig, as well as other
                                                           primary organizers of the party. Inter-
was a hallmark of the civil war, and                       view with David Chand, Khartoum, 18                 Rizeigat militia such as the Al Fursan
its recent escalation in the post-CPA                      November 2007.                                      Forces from Ed Daien in Darfur and the
period is a bad omen, not only for                    15   See Small Arms Survey (2008).                       Fertit forces from Wau in Bahr el Ghazal.
                                                      16   Assessment and Evaluation Commission                The relationship between the PDF and
long-term implementation of the CPA
                                                           (2007), p. 62.                                      tribal militias has been relatively fluid
but also for the security of communi-                 17   Interview with Gabriel Tang-Ginya,                  over the years; they have worked along-
ties across Sudan.                                         Khartoum, 20 November 2007.                         side one another, as well as maintaining
                                                      18   Assessment and Evaluation Commission                separate identities. See Salmon (2007),
                                                           (2007), p. 62.                                      p. 14.
                                                      19   As of March 2008, SAF had deployed             43   A UN Development Programme (UNDP)
Notes                                                      44,952 troops from South Sudan (including           source interviewed on 6 March 2008 indi-
                                                           8,919 voluntarily demobilized soldiers),            cated that PDF badges had been collected
This Issue Brief was based on research by
                                                           97.8 per cent of the number originally              on the battlefield and that the bodies of
Matthew Arnold and Matthew LeRiche.                        stated to be located there. UNMIS had               senior SAF and PDF officers were found,
Matthew Arnold is a Ph.D. candidate at                     verified 10,490 SAF in South Sudan as               both in December 2007 and in the last
the London School of Economics; Matthew                    part of the JIUs; this will eventually rise         week of February 2008. Fighting in Meirem
                                                           to 12,000 (UNMIS, 2008, pp. 29, 31).                was reported by the Area Joint Monitor-
LeRiche is a Ph.D. candidate at King’s
                                                      20   Arnold (2007), p. 494.                              ing Committee (AJMC) Meeting Decision
College London.                                       21   Interview with UNMIS monitor, Juba,                 Points.
                                                           14 November 2007.                              44   Interestingly, the pro-Khartoum Peace and
1   See Small Arms Survey (2006a).                    22   Interview with UNMIS monitor, Khartoum,             Development Defence Force (Misseriya
2   See Small Arms Survey (2006b).                         5 March 2008.                                       Brigade) under Col. Hassan Deng, claim-
3   See Small Arms Survey (2006b).                    23   Anyanya 2 refers to various rebel groups            ing 1,100 troops, reportedly did not par-
4   See CPA, Chapter 6, Annexure I, Section                who were opposing the GoS by force at the           ticipate in the fighting. UNMIS Sector 6
    11.3, page 100. Full text available at <http://        same time as John Garang launched the               briefing notes, 14 April 2007.



                                                                                                                             www.smallarmssurvey.org/sudan   7
    45 The body established to oversee OAG             —— and Chris Alden. 2007. ‘This Gun is Our            mentation.’ 25 August. <http://www.
       integration.                                        Food: Disarming the White Army Militias           sudantribune.com/spip.php?article23923
    46 Confidential UNMIS document tracking                of South Sudan.’ Conflict, Security and           &var_recherche=New%20S.%20Sudan
       the evolution of armed forces obtained              Development, Vol 7, No. 3, pp. 361–65.            %20front%20resolved%20to%20contribute
       by the authors.                                 Assessment and Evaluation Commission. 2007.           %20to%20peace%20implementation25/
    47 ‘Our forces were working side by side               Factual Report on the Status of CPA Imple-        7/2007>
       with SAF protecting the country and its             mentation. <http://www.sudantribune.           ——. 2007b. ‘Sudan North and South Armies
       sanctuaries since it was established in             com/IMG/pdf/AEC_Report_on_CPA_                    Finalize Deal on Troops Redeployment.’
       1990. Until today, we are not getting any           Implementation_2007.pdf>                          7 December.
       care or appreciation for all the effort         ICG (International Crisis Group). 2007. ‘Sudan:    ——. 2008a. ‘Sudan Army Clashes with SPLA
       being made and the rights being guaran-             Breaking the Abyei Deadlock.’ Africa              in Abyei.’ 11 February.
       teed in the implementation of the CPA by            Briefing 47. 12 October.                       ——. 2008b. ‘Sudan First Vice President says
       marginalisation from SAF.’ Al Fursan            IRIN. 2006. ‘SUDAN: Calm after Heavy Fight-           Abyei Report “Binding” to Ruling Party.’
       Forces Raja Division press release, April           ing in Southern Town.’ 30 November.               13 February. <http://www.sudantribune.
       2007.                                               <http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?             com/spip.php?article25965>
    48 Interviews with JEM and SLA sources,                ReportId=62250>                                ——. 2008c. ‘Sudan SPLM Vows Swift Response
       Juba, 24 November 2007.                         Salmon, Jago. 2007. A Paramilitary Revolution:        to Military Attacks in Abyei.’ 19 February.
    49 Telephone interview with UNMIS source,              The Popular Defence Forces. HSBA Working       ——. 2008d. ‘Fresh Fighting in Sudan’s Abyei
       Khartoum, 5 March 2008.                             Paper No. 10. Geneva: Small Arms Survey.          Region – Salva Kiir.’ 10 March. <http://
                                                           December.                                         www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article
                                                       Small Arms Survey. 2006a. Armed groups in             26327>
                                                           Sudan: The South Sudan Defence Forces in       UNMIS (United Nations Mission in Sudan).
    Bibliography                                           the aftermath of the Juba Declaration. HSBA       2008. CPA Monitor. March. <http://
    Abyei Boundaries Commission. 2005. Report,             Issue Brief No. 2. Geneva: Small Arms             www.unmis.org/common/documents/
       Part 1. 14 July. <http://www.sudantribune.          Survey. October.                                  cpa-monitor/cpaMonitor_mar08.pdf>
       com/IMG/pdf/Abey_boundary_com_                  ——. 2006b. Anatomy of civilian disarmament:        Vuni, Issac. 2007. ‘Sudan’s SPLM Recall Min-
       report-1.pdf>                                       recent experiences and implications. HSBA         isters from National Government’. Sudan
    AFP (Agence France Presse). 2007. ‘Sudan               Issue Brief No. 3. Geneva: Small Arms             Tribune, 12 October. <http://www.sudan
       President Orders Paramilitary Forces                Survey. November.                                 tribune.com/spip.php?article24185>
       Mobilization, Rejects Abyei Report.’            ——. 2008. Neither ‘joint’ nor ‘integrated’: The    Young, John. 2006. The South Sudan Defence
       18 November.                                        Joint Integrated Units and the future of the      Forces in the wake of the Juba Declaration.
    Arnold, Matthew. 2007. ‘The South Sudan                CPA. HSBA Issue Brief No. 10. Geneva:             HSBA Working Paper No. 1. Geneva:
       Defence Force: Patriots, Collaborators or           Small Arms Survey. March.                         Small Arms Survey. November.
       Spoilers?’ Journal of Modern African Studies,   Sudan Tribune. 2007a. ‘New S. Sudan Front
       Vol. 45, No.4. December, pp. 489–516.               Resolved to Contribute to Peace Imple-




                  HSBA project summary
                  The Sudan Human Security Baseline Assessment                   Pool, the Danish International Development Agency
                  (HSBA) is a three-year research project (2005–08)              (Danida), and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
                  administered by the Small Arms Survey. It has
    been developed in cooperation with the Canadian Depart-
    ment of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the UN                      Credits
    Mission in Sudan, the UN Development Programme, and a
                                                                                 Series editor: Emile LeBrun
    wide array of international and Sudanese NGO partners.
                                                                                 Design and layout: Richard Jones (rick@ studioexile.com)
    Through the active generation and dissemination of timely
    empirical research, the HSBA project works to support dis-                   Cartography: Jillie Luff, MAPgrafix
    armament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR), secu-
    rity sector reform (SSR), and arms control interventions to
    promote security. The assessment is being carried out by a                   Contact details
    multidisciplinary team of regional, security, and public health              For more information or to provide feedback, contact
    specialists. It reviews the spatial distribution of armed vio-               Claire Mc Evoy, HSBA project coordinator, at
    lence throughout Sudan and offers policy-relevant advice                     mcevoy@hei.unige.ch
    to redress insecurity.
        Sudan Issue Briefs are designed to provide periodic snap-                Sudan Human Security Baseline Assessment
    shots of baseline information. Future briefs will focus on a                 Small Arms Survey
    variety of issues, including the militarization of the Nuba                  47 Avenue Blanc
    mountains region of South Kordofan. The HSBA also generates                  1202 Geneva
    a series of timely and user-friendly working papers in English               Switzerland
    and Arabic, available at www.smallarmssurvey.org/sudan.                      Tel.: +41 22 908 5777
        The HSBA project is supported the Global Peace and
                                                                                 Fax: +41 22 732 2738
    Security Fund at Foreign Affairs and International Trade
    Canada, the UK Government Global Conflict Prevention                         Visit www.smallarmssurvey.org/sudan



8   Sudan Issue Brief          6 May 2007
                        Number 11 April2008

				
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