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Tribal Roots in South Sudan

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Science  18 May 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6083, pp. 824
DOI: 10.1126/science.336.6083.824

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The patterns of violence in Sudan are centuries old, but the impact of fighting has intensified since the 1990s, according to many Sudan analysts. Factions in a long civil war between northern and southern Sudan distributed automatic weapons far and wide; these are now in the hands of uncontrolled militia. The government of South Sudan, just 10 months old, hasn't been able to confront the anarchy at home, in part because it is still fighting on the border with Sudan. For now, South Sudan's leaders have chosen a simple remedy to combat violence. In April, they launched a campaign to confiscate weapons from civilians. Hundreds have been collected already, but experts say this is not a viable long-term strategy.