Support for South Sudan's White Army is complex. Some say backing comes from a diaspora of armed youth, local politicians eager to stoke violence, and militias, writes a guest blogger.
• A version of this post ran on the Enough Said blog. The views expressed are the author's own.
Cyclical violence has been common in South Sudan for decades and the most recent flare-up of heavy fighting in Jonglei state has been going on for months. The continued tension, attacks, and fear of reprisals have displaced an estimated 140,000 people as of early February 2012. The pervasive problem of insecurity, retaliatory violence, and lack of state capacity in service delivery and civilian protection presents a huge challenge to the government of South Sudan.
The layers of support and influence surrounding the Lou-Nuer White Army, a group central to fighting in Jonglei state, have been complex and rather opaque. There have been questions about diaspora support of the armed youth, speculations about the incentives of powerful local politicians in stoking violence, and support for the youth on the part of established militia groups.