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Durham University

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Publication details for Dr Cherry Leonardi

Leonardi, Cherry (2007). 'Liberation' or Capture? Youth in between 'hakuma' and 'home' during civil war and its aftermath in Southern Sudan. African Affairs 106(424): 391-412.

Author(s) from Durham


Generational tension and youth crisis have been prominent themes in recent analyses of civil conflict in Africa. Field research in Southern Sudan in 2004–2006 suggests that the analysis does not fit the Sudanese war. This article examines a structural opposition between the sphere of military/government (the ‘hakuma’) and the sphere of ‘home’. It argues that to be a ‘youth’ in Southern Sudan means to inhabit the tensions of the space between these spheres. While attempting to resist capture by either sphere, youth have used their recruitment by the military to invest in their home or family sphere. Their aspiration to ‘responsibility’ illustrates not generational rebellion, but the moral continuity in local society, also evident in discussions of marriage.