Many counterinsurgent tribal militias emerged during the second civil war in Southern Sudan. Existing studies give the impression that formation of these groups was largely a top-down process. Focusing on the rise of the Fertit militia and relying on a series of in-depth interviews with tribal leaders, this article challenges that assumption. The article shows that the emergence of the Fertit militia was principally a grassroots phenomenon stemming from local tensions and conflicts. The article discusses the wider applicability of these insights and, generally, proposes a more nuanced approach to the study of counterinsurgent militia formation. The approach suggests simultaneous attention to state interventions and local interactions.
Blocq, Daniel (2014) The Grassroots Nature of Counterinsurgent Tribal Militia Formation: The Case of the Fertit in Southern Sudan, 1985–1989, Journal of Eastern African Studies 8 (4): 539–557.