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From Civilians to Soldiers and from Soldiers to Civilians

From Civilians to Soldiers and from Soldiers to Civilians: Mobilization and Demobilization in Sudan

Saskia Baas
Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 240
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  • Book Info
    From Civilians to Soldiers and from Soldiers to Civilians
    Book Description:

    Provides an insiders account of the workings of an armed rebel movement.Offers a thorough account of the Sudanese conflicts.A critical analysis of post-conflict security dynamics and the role of DDR policy, and is relevant for policy makers.From Civilians to Soldiers and from Soldiers to Civilians: Mobilization and Demobilization in Sudan investigates the processes of mobilization and demobilization of fighters during civil war. Why do civilians, at some point during a conflict, decide to participate in the violence of the war? What are the consequences of becoming part of a guerilla movement? And, once a civil war has come to an end, how can former fighters be reintegrated into civilian life? In answering these questions, the author draws on in-depth interviews she conducted with current and former combatants in Sudan. She paints a vivid picture of the people who fought as part of these movements. The book provides new insights into the dynamics of violent conflict by looking at conflict as it is seen through the eyes of those directly involved.

    eISBN: 978-90-485-1300-0
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 13-36)

    On 9 July 2011 South Sudan became the 193rd nation of the world, after its population had nearly unanimously voted for independence in a referendum for self-determination. The referendum and the subsequent secession of South Sudan from the north were the final outcome of over half a century of civil war between armed opposition movements in the South and subsequent governments in Khartoum. Armed rebellion has also occurred in other peripheral areas of Sudan, of which the ongoing civil war in the western region of Darfur forms an example. The current work addresses the question of how civilians become soldiers...

  2. 2 Recruitment
    (pp. 37-96)

    This chapter deals with the recruitment of soldiers into the various armed movements in Sudan, with a strong focus on the SPLA. After a brief historical background to the conflict between North and South Sudan, and the foundation of the SPLA in 1983, I will switch to the perspectives of my respondents to reconstruct the contexts from which they joined the movement and their motivations to do so. A categorization of respondents will be presented on the basis of their most prominent motivation to join. A short analysis of data gathered among people who did not join the movement, will...

  3. 3 Becoming a soldier
    (pp. 97-142)

    So far, we have looked at the backgrounds of fighters in several Sudanese militias and we have managed to understand the context from which they joined those armed movements. Insecurity turned out to play a major role in triggering young men – but also women – to join the ranks of the SPLA during the civil war in South Sudan. Many soldiers also joined out of a belief in the movement’s ideology. Lastly, we have acknowledged the importance of forced recruitment practices in filling the ranks of the SPLA. These three motivations produced the majority of recruits for the movement.

    This chapter...

  4. 4 At war’s end
    (pp. 143-176)

    Like all other post-conflict development policies, a DDR process starts when a civil war has come to an end. However, the political and military dynamics of post-conflict environments can differ significantly, and not all peace agreements lead to a successful transition from war to peace.¹ Increased involvement of the international community in the implementation of peace agreements has led to a broad repertoire of post-conflict development policies that are all thought to enhance the sustainability of the peace. DDR is one element of post-conflict development policy that aims to facilitate a peaceful transition from war to peace.

    This chapter and...

  5. 5 DDR policies and realities in Sudan
    (pp. 177-202)

    In the context of a civil war that ends through a negotiated settlement, DDR processes serve as a solution to the abundance of weapons and idle combatants, which could cause insecurity in a post-conflict setting. Often, a DDR program is one of many tools in a more comprehensive Security Sector Reform (SSR) strategy, which envisions stabilization in the long term. DDR programs aim at ‘neutralizing’ former combatants in the short term, by ensuring their socioeconomic reintegration into society, diverting them away from a criminal path, or continued armed rebellion. The expected effects are considered to be twofold: first, a direct...

  6. Concluding remarks
    (pp. 203-206)

    Since the mid 1990s, social scientists have increasingly engaged themselves in debating the causes and cures of civil wars. Theorists who emphasize the rationality of civil wars by pointing towards the role of natural resources have been criticized for their one-dimensional approach that overlooks the complex interplay of economic, political and social factors during civil wars. These days, the greed-grievance debate seems to be reaching a point of synthesis, as more and more studies are integrating economic factors into more comprehensive analyses of wars. This has brought forth some insightful studies that do justice to the complexity of civil wars....

  7. Appendix I Checklist interviews former combatants
    (pp. 207-208)
  8. Appendix II Example of an interview report
    (pp. 209-212)