SUDAN WATCH: Sudan scholar Douglas H. Johnson re inter-ethnic clashes

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Sudan scholar Douglas H. Johnson re inter-ethnic clashes

From Sudan Radio Service, Thursday, 09 July 2009:
Sudan Scholar Johnson and Inter-Ethnic Clashes
(London) – The chairman of the Sudan Studies Society of the UK says that inter-ethnic fighting in south Sudan has its roots in the civil war, the time when militias were armed by both sides and clashes arose between SPLA, SAF and the civilians.

Historian Douglas H. Johnson spoke to Sudan Radio service on Thursday. This was his response to the question of whether conflicts in southern Sudan are politically motivated.

[Douglas H. Johnson]: “Well, I think some of them are politically motivated but I think that what you have to recognize is that people can not be made to fight if they do not have reasons of their own to fight. They may be helped by people from outside, but if they have particular grievances that have not been addressed by the state governments or the Government of south Sudan, those would be the underlining reasons why they will want to go to fighting. Of course, cattle raiding has a long history but civil administration also has a long history of how to deal with cattle raiding, how to bring it to an end and how to punish people who have been involved in the raiding. This is something that has been true of the British government or the independent government and even the government of the old regional southern government. They all had ways of calling people together, having inter-tribal meetings, identifying who has been involved in raiding or abduction. And paying compensation and organizing the return of the cattle and the abducted people. It is something I would say would be the prime duty of civil administration, to address these issues. The state government and the Government of southern Sudan each have a role to play in that.”

Douglas Johnson spoke to Sudan Radio service on Thursday from London.
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