Interview with Martin Kenyi and Garhoth Garkuoth of the South Sudan Defence Force

"The South Sudan Defence Force (SSDF) is a group of armed forces operating in southern Sudan, aligned with the Government of Sudan (GoS) against the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A). The SSDF derives its origins from territorial and tribal based militias (particularly from Equatoria) that resisted SPLM/A incursions during the 1980s, as well as the largely Nuer fighters who remained loyal to Dr. Riek Macher after his failed attempt to overthrow Dr. John Garang, the leader of the SPLM/A. These groups signed the Khartoum Agreement in 1997, which committed the GoS to self-determination for southern Sudan. While the referendum that was promised has never been conducted, and Dr. Riek returned to the SPLM/A in January 2002, most of his forces, together with a group of GoSallied militias (which joined the SSDF in mid 2001) continue to maintain their commitment to the Khartoum Agreement."