South Sudan Second Civil War

By: Payton Kwintner

Issues of The South Sudan Second Civil War and The American Civil War

-These issues compare to the issues fought over in the U.S. Civil War because both issues arose between two sides that each had different views upon a dispute. President Nimeiri and the Muslim government in the North tried to impose Sharia Law on South Sudan, forcing them to follow different paths of religion. Likewise, the antislavery Northerners in the U.S. Civil War wanted the South to change their views upon slavery and stop it. Also, the South Sudan War was partially fought over resources and religion, which is similar to fighting over slave's rights due to their religion and ethnicity.

Precursor Events:

  • The agreement that ended the First Sudanese Civil War's fighting in 1972, The Addis Ababa Agreement, failed to completely dispel the tensions that had originally caused it, leading to a reigniting of the north-south conflict during the Second Sudanese Civil War.
  • Sources describe the conflict as ethnoreligious, where Muslim’s central government and President Jaafar Nimeiri tried to impose Sharia Law on non- Muslims in the south, which led to violence and war.

The precursor event of the South Sudan Second Civil War when The Addis Ababa Agreement failed to hold off the tensions that originally caused the war reminded me greatly of the Compromise of 1850. I think this because both The Addis Ababa Agreement and The Compromise of 1850 were made to end or hold off the growing tensions of two conflicting sides. Similar to this, the two agreements failed and eventually led to war.


The leaders of the South Sudan Second Civil War compare to the leaders of the American Civil War. For example....

  • Abraham Lincoln is quite similar to John Garang De Mabior.
  • Both men were wise, ambitous, and recognizable leaders.
  • Lincoln ran in the Senate race in 1858 and debated with a man named Stephen A. Douglass. His strong views about slavery led his publicity to rise, which helped him become President of the United States in 1860.
  • John Garang De Mabior's military organization skills allowed his ranking to rise very quickly after he rejoined the Anyanya I revolt. His guidance and direction led him to be the leader of SPLA/M.

Arms and Amry:

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Types of weapons used:

  • Israel had a big advantage for the Sudanese government due to their weapons.
  • They made rifles used in the South Sudan Civil War.
  • Israel produced IWI ACE automatic rifles (in the photo above.) The main weapon was ace, which was an upgraded version of the Galil Assault rifle developed by the Israeli Military Industries.
  • SPLA had enormous available manpower and large personnel (most fit for service).
  • They used land systems: tanks, armored fighting vehicles, self-propelled guns, launch rocket systems, airpower, and artillery.

Strengths/tactics of each army:

  • The Sudanese government had Sudan armed militias, known as the Janjaweed ("evil man on horseback" in Arabic.)
  • The Janjaweed used scorched-Earth tactics aganist civilians and SPlA. They are also blamed for killings, widespread rape, and abductions.
  • Refugees were scared of the Janjaweed.
  • In 1991, SPLA had at least 40 battalions formed.
  • SPLA divided itself into 3 main factions: the SPLA Torit faction, the SPLA Bahr-al-Ghazal faction, and the South Sudan Independence Movement.


  • SPLA: The Sudan People's Liberation Amry is the army of the Republic of South Sudan. They were founded as a guerilla movement in 1983. While based in Southern Sudan, SPLA identified itself as a movement for all oppressed Sudanese citizens, and was led by John Garang. The SPLA campaigned for a "United Sudan," criticizing the central government for policies that were leading to national disintegration.
  • NIF: The National Islmamic Front was an Islamic political orginization founded in 1976 and led by Dr. Hassan al-Turabi. The group influenced the Sudanese government starting in 1979 and dominated it from 1989 to the late 1900's.
  • Dinka Tribe: The Dinka Tribe was an ethnic group that inhabited the Bahr el Ghazal region of the Nile basin, Jonglei, and parts of Kordofan and Upper Nile regions. They believed that they derived religious power from nature.
  • Nuer Tribe: The Nuers were a Nilotic ethnic group that primarily inhabited the Nile Valley. They spoke the Nuer langauge, which belonged to the Nilo-Saharan family.
  • National Democratic Alliance: The NDA (National Democratic Alliance) was a group formed in 1989 that was made up of different Sudanese politcal parties. They wanted to oppose the new regime of Omar Hasan al-Bashir after he seized strength and power in 1989 on a military coup. The NDA also signed the peace agreement of the second civil war. Parties such as The Democratic Unionist Party, The Umma Party, and The SPLA are examples of organizations that are on The Leadership Council of the NDA.
Alliances influence and complicate civil wars in many ways. In terms of the South Sudan Second Civil War, The NIF became the primary political apparatus and main support base for the al-Bashir government. Under the Bashir government, leader, Turabi wanted to use Sudan as the stage for a worldwide Islamic revolution. This complicated South Sudan because non-Islamic Sudanese citizens did not want South Sudan to become an Islamic country. During the civil war, the National Decmocratic Alliance played a large role in making peace for Sudan. The conflict is that different alliances have different views and thoughts, but not everyone can get their way. Thus, war is the outcome.


The Arts:

  • The arts help people deal with war because it helps open their eyes to bigger things.
  • Art is the way that people express their feelings or emotions towards any issue, event, or particular person.
  • The people of South Sudan dealt with the war through writing, painting, singing, and other artistic expressions.
  • Art is relaxing and therapeutic for many people.
  • Art can be used to tell stories of civil wars. Paintings are very precise and detailed, like a war.
  • Music and poetry are great ways to tell stories. Singing songs get the words across, as does writing a poem.