Hundreds of people have been wounded in ethnic violence over the past few months in South Sudan, the world's newest country. Nearly two years after its independence, the country continues to face a myriad of obstacles to political stability and economic self-reliance. Its leadership is fragmented and is dominated by former military commanders. The government itself is largely inaccessible outside of Juba, the capital. The lack of a state apparatus in many areas, alongside large caches of small arms from the civil war, have led to the rise of militias. With little or no legal protection, conflicts over property, land, and water rights have become commonplace in the countryside. Since the South's separation from Sudan, Jonglei, the largest of the 10 states of South Sudan, has become the epicenter for ethnic division and anti-government spoilers.
What is the conflict in Jonglei?
The situation in Jonglei consists of two separate but interrelated conflicts. The first is an insurgency campaign being waged between a renegade former general, David Yau Yau, and the South Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA). The second conflict is the ongoing tribal violence between the Lou Nuer and the Murle communities within Jonglei.