Sobel is a contraction of soldier by day, rebel by night. It is used to describe various dubious armies, especially after the crisis in Sierra Leone in the early 1990's. It is common when a government views its main job not to look out for the state, but to look out for ones self (patrimonialism or neo-patrimonialism). Sobel's are noted fore using aggresive, coercive techniques to procure their own benifit. There is often a thin line between a Sobel and a revolutionary army, as a revolutionary army often gains its support through similar violent techniques. Sobels, however, are generally government forces. Examples of Sobel forces include those led by Charles Taylor in Liberia and those by Foday Sankoh and Valentine Strasser in Sierra Leone.
(please msg me to add other forces which are considered sobels!!)