A full range of government forces had a presence inside Wau in late 1997. Not only were there regular army forces in Wau, and at the military base in Girinti north of Wau, but there were also Fertit militia, PDF, muraheleen, and splinter militias (breakaways from the army).140 Added to these were the police and game wardens, a majority of them Dinka, and the Dinka forces of KerubinoCwho would defect to the SPLA on January 28, 1998. Most of these forces were ethnically based, except for the army, many of whose officers were northerners and most of whose conscripts were from marginalized areas of western and southern Sudan. All circulated with their arms inside Wau, where there was a 6:00 p.m. curfew.141
140 Among the crimes believed to have been committed by splinter militias, according to one source, were the abductions of some twelve wealthy persons in Wau, held for ransom. Human Rights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 1, 1998.