Pyrex Journal of Political Science and International Relations (PJPSIR)

October 2016 Vol. 2(2), pp. 40-45

ISSN: 2985-8704

Copyright © 2016 Pyrex Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Mathiang Anyoor and the White Army: Violence as a Conflict Resolution Mechanism in South Sudan

Ebenezer D. M. Akwanga, PhD

University of the People, California, USA.

Corresponding Author E-mail:

Accepted 11th October, 2016


The use of violence as a conflict resolution mechanism is a controversial subject in conflict analysis. It may even be argued that at the superficial level, there is an apparent aberration in the idea that violence can engender peace. Indeed, conventional wisdom suggests that violence cannot be justified or legitimised if it is not objectively directed at conflict resolution, especially if it is driven by personal, political, economic, or other interests of the perpetrators of such violence. This article interrogates the idea of violence as a tool for conflict resolution with reference to reciprocal violence between the Mathiang Anyoor and the White Army in South Sudan. The paper argues that the factor of ethnicity plays fundamental role in the ignition and sustenance of violence between the aforesaid groups of militants. The case of South Sudan shows that every party to the conflict has its own interest, which propelled the party to enter the conflict. This paper argues that in the case of South Sudan, neither the Mathiang Anyoor nor the White Army unleashes violence for the benefit of peace and successful conflict resolution. The overall purpose of violence in this case was each groupís economic or political interest disguised under the pretence of conflict resolution. Specifically, the instrumentality of violence enables each group to actualise economic and political agendas, which may not be readily achievable in the short term under peaceful conditions or using peaceful means. Within this milieu, there is little or no incentive to seek diplomatic means to conflict resolution. Hence, this paper argues that the parties at issue are often reluctant to reveal their true political and economic interest and, thus, they take efforts to misrepresent their real drivers for violence as a desire to achieve and maintain peace through violent means. This paper shows that successful peace implementation is dependent on the economic priorities of the party.

Keywords: Mathiang Anyoor, White Army, violence, conflict, resolution.

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