Sudan Table of Contents
One of about 200 burnt-out huts in Yei; destruction of
homes was a common form of reprisal during the civil war in
Courtesy Robert O. Collins
Except for a period of tenuous peace between 1972 and 1983, Sudan has been the scene of armed rebellion in the south since before the nation became independent in 1956. The second stage of the Sudanese civil war entered its ninth year in 1991. The protracted struggle pitting the mostly Muslim north against the adherenys of indigenous faiths and of Christianity in the south has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths--mostly noncombatants--and has forced millions to flee the south in search of food and to escape the violence. The rebel forces controlled most of the rural areas of the south as of mid-1991, besieging the government troops holding the major towns. Both sides were guilty of violence against civilians, but the government's policy since 1985 of arming undisciplined tribal militia bands was responsible for the most flagrant cruelties.
Data as of June 1991