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Four Layers Of Silence: Counterinsurgency In Northeastern Ethiopia

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Chapter Summary

Sites of violence are especially revealing contexts for exploring the soft underbelly of ethnographic practice. Prone to wildly volatile upheavals, war zone research can prove harrowing, physically and emotionally. This chapter describes briefly several tense encounters the author had with suspicious representatives of the Khartoum government and how the author sought to defuse their hostility. Although these situations and their resolutions are unique, they may offer some insight and helpful lessons for other foreign academic researchers traversing the shifting sands of war. Even before civil war severed Sudan, 'the government' (Hukuma) was not a unitary concept in Nuer eyes. During the early 1980s, Nuer drew a marked distinction between the government of the left and the government of the right..

Keywords:civil war; Sudan; violence



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