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Egypt, famous for its pyramids and other monuments like the great Sphinx located at Giza, near Cairo, the capital. The majestic statue sits at the west bank of the River Nile, which is thought to be the longest river on earth. The River Nile flows from Lake Victoria in Uganda through many places including Rhino Camp, Uganda, Juba, South Sudan, Khartoum, Sudan and Cairo, Egypt. In Egypt, the River Nile spreads out and drains into the Mediterranean Sea after forming one of the world's largest river deltas from Alexandria to Port Said known as the Nile Delta. The River Nile has always been very important to all the countries through which it flows, most notably Egypt which depends on water from the river to grow crops since much of the rest of the country is in a desert. In ancient times, the Nile flooded every year and the people would starve if there was not enough water for their crops. Ancient Egyptians also got papyrus from the River Nile to make hieroglyphs, a type of celebrated writing that uses symbols or pictures to stand for sounds and words.
For Christians, Egypt holds an extra special place because it plays a major role in Christianity. For example, Egypt is the country where the Hebrew patriarchs Abraham and Jacob found refuge when drought forced them to leave their homeland. The Christian book of Genesis which is also part of the Jewish Torah records Jacob’s son Joseph rising from slavery to become the second most powerful man in Egypt after Pharaoh. The book of Genesis recounts the story about how the descendants of Abraham’s son Jacob also known as Israel grew in number in the land of Goshen, in the eastern part of the Nile Delta. As written in Exodus 1: 11, because of their increase in numbers, the Israelites caused fear and they were consequently oppressed by the ruling Egyptian dynasty and forced to build Pithom and Rameses as store cities for the Pharaoh. The ruins of these cities can still be seen today. In the New Testament, Christians are familiar with the events outlined in the Gospel of Matthew which refers to the flight of Jesus, Joseph and Mary to Egypt and states that Jesus’ stay in Egypt was the fulfillment of the prophecy of Hosea (11:1) “out of Egypt I called my son.”
SUDAN AND SOUTH SUDAN’S CONNECTION TO EGYPT
Egypt is a country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. A sparsely populated desert region between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, the Sinai Peninsula is also believed to be the location of Mount Sinai which according to the Book of Exodus in the Jewish Torah and the Christian Bible is the mountain at which God gave Moses the Ten Commandments. A Mediterranean country, Egypt is bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba to the east, the Red Sea to the east and south and Sudan to the south. From the 16th to the beginning of the 20th century, Egypt was ruled by foreign imperial powers namely the Ottoman Empire and the British Empire. Historically also known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or simply Turkey, the Ottoman Empire was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. Present day Istanbul, Turkey was the capital of the Ottoman Empire from 1453 to 1923. The same city had served as the Eastern capital of the Roman Empire under Emperor Constantine. He had renamed it Constantinople and claimed it as the Christian capital of Nea Roma (New Rome), a name sometimes used to describe the new city that the Roman Emperor Constantine created as his new imperial capital on the European coast of the Bosphorus strait.
The city was known as Byzantium prior to his rededication, and as Constantinople thereafter, until the 20th century, when it was renamed Istanbul. At the beginning of the 17th century, the Ottoman Empire contained 32 provinces and numerous vassal states including Egypt. Many of the vassal states were granted various types of autonomy during the course of centuries and Egypt was one of those states. Consequently, although it was part of the Ottoman Empire under the Sultan of Turkey, Egypt was granted autonomy under a viceroy also known as the Khedive. It is an Ottoman Turkish term and title largely equivalent to the English word viceroy. Because Egypt was a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire, its administrative set up was generally recognized as Turco-Egyptian. In 1821, the Turco-Egyptians under Mohammed Ali Pasha who was the viceroy of Egypt at the time invaded the uncharted territories called Sudan located to the south of Egypt. They were searching for ivory, gold and slaves and eventually conquered the northern part, ushering the Turko-Egyptian period in the territory.
The Sudd is a vast swamp in South Sudan, formed by the White Nile’s Bahr al-Jabal section. The Arabic word sudd is derived from sadd, meaning "barrier" or "obstruction". The term "the sudd" has come to refer to any large solid floating vegetation island or mat. The area which the swamp covers is one of the world's largest wetlands and the largest freshwater wetland in the Nile basin. For many years the swamp, and especially its thicket of vegetation, proved an impenetrable barrier to navigation along the Nile. In AD 61, a party of Roman soldiers sent by the Emperor Nero proceeded up the White Nile but were not able to get beyond the Sudd, which marked the limit of Roman penetration into equatorial Africa. However, between 1839 and 1840, a Turco-Egyptian expeditionary force under Captain Selim Qapudan broke through the swamp also known as the Sudd and successfully got to Gondokoro, an island that would become a trading-station. It is located on the east bank of the White Nile in present day South Sudan and 1,200 kilometres (750 miles) south of Khartoum. Immediately following the break through the swamp by the Turco-Egyptian expeditionary force under Captain Selim Qapudan between 1839 and 1840, merchants in Khartoum began trading in ivory with Southern Sudan. In other words, Mohammed Ali Pasha the viceroy of Egypt at the time successfully opened up regular trade routes to Southern Sudan in the process of searching for ivory and slaves. This accelerated the movement and entry of Northern Sudanese Arabs into Southern Sudan as soldiers and slave traders during the 1840s. Thereafter, Egypt proclaimed all the territories of the Nile valley as belonging to it. Over time, Mohammed Ali Pasha’s successors brought most of the territories constituting Northern Sudan and stretching up to the Sobat confluence under their rule.
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN EGYPT AND BRITAIN, THE ABOLITION OF THE SLAVE TRADE AND QUEST TO FIND THE SOURCE OF THE NILE
Trade links had existed between Egypt and Britain because Egypt was a key part of the old spice and trade routes between Europe and Asia which Britain was actively involved in. British traders had used Ottoman waters for transporting cargoes for generations and despite the direct sail routes around the Cape of Good Hope, a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula in South Africa, Egypt still provided the quickest way of maintaining communications between Britain and India where the bulk of the spices came from. It required a brief overland journey, but it was still substantially quicker than circumnavigating Africa.
Between 1840 and 1854 the source of ivory dried up in Southern Sudan, forcing incomes to fall. Consequently, traders began complementing the trade in ivory by trading in more slaves. During this period, slave trade in Africa had been banned in the West and so the British were alarmed that slavery was still going on in the new territories like present day South Sudan which Egypt had claimed. Like Egypt, the British had continued their quest to find the source of the Nile. They were also seeking an economic foothold in Central Africa as partners in administering the Sudan. They therefore put pressure on Khedive Said Pasha to stop the slave trade. Consequently, in 1854, Khedive Said Pasha ordered a stop to slavery and agreed to use Europeans to stop it including personalities like Sir Samuel Baker, Gordon Pasha, Lupton Pasha, Emin Pasha and others. In 1863, the grandson of Mohamed Ali, Khedive Ismail Pasha used these Europeans not only to stop slavery but also to extend Egyptian influence up to the Great Lakes.
The River Nile is very important to Egypt because Egypt depends on its waters for its existence. Consequently, Egypt had always harbored the idea of knowing where the Nile came from in order to control it. In Europe there was also a quest to discover the source of the River Nile. Those reasons prompted Egypt and European explorers to venture deep into the Nile valley and their venture eventually led to the creation of the modern states of the Sudan and South Sudan over 197 years. John Hanning Speke was one of those explorers. An English explorer and officer in the British Indian Army, Speke made three exploratory expeditions to Africa and discovered the source of the Nile, the lifeline of Egypt on August 3, 1858. After this discovery, he made additional expeditions and by January 1863, Speke and a fellow explorer named Grant reached Gondokoro in present day South Sudan where he met Sir Samuel Baker and his wife Florence before continuing north to Khartoum. It is written that Florence had been rescued by Baker from a slave market in Vidin during a hunting trip in Bulgaria. It is also written that it was in Khartoum, Sudan that Speke sent a celebrated telegram to London stating "The Nile is settled." The importance of Gondokoro lay in the fact that it was within a few kilometres of the limit of navigability of the Nile from Khartoum. From this point the journey south to present day Uganda was continued overland. The Nile flows through Jinja in Uganda, Juba in South Sudan and Khartoum in Sudan before ending in Cairo, Egypt in a large delta and flowing into the Mediterranean Sea. Egyptian civilization and Sudanese kingdoms have depended on the river since ancient times, with almost all the cultural and historical sites of Ancient Egypt being found along the river bank.
THE MAHDIA PERIOD IN THE SUDAN, CONTINUING BRITISH INFLUENCE AND THE PARTITION OF AFRICA BY EUROPEAN POWERS
From 1863 to 1879 Britain’s colonial strategy in Egypt was to encourage British mercenaries to serve under Egypt’s ruler. Emboldened by this, the Turco-Egyptians claimed ownership over all the territories of the Nile valley including territories constituting Northern Sudan up to the Sobat confluence. However, their rule was harsh. Consequently, in 1881, owing to the harsh rule of the Turco-Egyptians, the Northern Sudanese led by Mahdi Ahmed the Mahdi rose against them. Attempts by the Turco- Egyptian Governor to arrest Mahdism in Gezira Aba failed and Mahdi and his followers (the Ansar) retreated to Kordofan and began to organize a rebellion. In 1882, Mahdi and his followers the Ansar defeated a very large army commanded by a British named Hicks Pasha. Thereafter, they began to take towns and advance towards Khartoum. During the same year, Egyptian officers rose against their King but the British sent troops and restored the King as the ruler. Henceforth, the British assumed a very important role in and over the government and King of Egypt. They continued to be used to extend Egyptian influence.
In 1885 The Mahdi and his followers the Ansar advanced on Khartoum. That time, the British agreed to assist the Egyptian government and sent General Charles Gordon to Khartoum to rescue and evacuate the Egyptian administration in Khartoum, together with the foreigners therein. However, Gordon did not act as instructed. He stayed longer than he was expected to and was besieged by the Ansar. That time, the Ansar stormed Khartoum and beheaded Gordon. The British were angered about Gordon's death and sought to avenge it. The same year, the Mahdi died and Khalifa Abdullahi took over the leadership of the Ansar. Having prevailed over the Turco-Egptians through the uprising, the Mahdists stopped the expansion of Egyptian influence. The Turko-Egyptian colonial period in the Sudan was consequently followed by the Mahdia period, during which Muslims and Northern Arab Sudanese, particularly the Mahdist Ansars, strongly opposed the British-Egyptian influence in the Sudan because the British pursued a policy of separating the Sudan from Egypt with the possibility of transferring the administration of southern Sudan to the British East Africa Federation.
The plan failed to take off, but it was what provoked the Mahdists to stage an uprising in Khartoum against the British-Egyptian rule in the Sudan. Following the uprising, Mohammed Ahmed the Mahdi, which literally means “savior” in Arabic, proceeded to establish a theocratic Islamic state that lasted for thirteen years. He advocated an Islamic state based on the Koran and proclaimed jihad (holy war) in defense of Islam in the Sudan. Throughout their thirteen-year reign in northern Sudan, the Ansars terrorized northern Sudan and took to raiding southern Sudanese communities for slaves and livestock despite the abolition of the slave trade in 1807.
In 1885 The famous/infamous Berlin Conference which parceled out Africa among the Europeans occurred. In the Conference, it was agreed that all territories that were under the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) were not to be divided. Those territories included Egypt and the North African countries. Britain defended its presence in Egypt by stating that it was there only to restore the rule of the King, which of course was not true as they had other interests. While the Mahdist state was still flourishing in northern Sudan under Mohammed Ahmed, who continued as the Mahdi of the time, French and Belgian troops had already penetrated deeply into the Sudan through the provinces of Equatoria and the Upper Nile.
Between 1886 and 1896 the then known Sudan was under the rule of Khalifa Abdullahi and it was a Mahdist State. Knowing that the Turco-Egyptian rule had collapsed in the Sudan and the Nile valley, other European competitors, notably the French and the Belgians, began to plan to take territories for themselves in the Nile valley. The French entered from Central Africa through Wau and up to Fashoda. The Belgians came through Yei up to Rejaf on the Nile. In the meantime the British were preparing an army in Egypt to invade the Sudan, partly they say to restore Egyptian rule in the country but mainly to avenge the death of Gordon who had been beheaded by the Mahdists. In a roundabout way, they also wanted to bring the Nile valley under their control so that they can have the British Empire extend in a continuum from Cape to Cairo as envisioned by Cecil Rhodes. The Cape to Cairo Railway is an uncompleted project to cross Africa from south to north by rail. This plan was initiated at the end of the 19th century, during the time of Western colonial rule, largely under the vision of Cecil Rhodes, in the attempt to connect adjacent African possessions of the British Empire through a continuous line from Cape Town, South Africa to Cairo, Egypt. While most sections of the Cape to Cairo railway are in operation, a major part is missing between northern Sudan and Uganda.
In 1896, led by General Herbert Horatio Kitchener, the re-conquest of the Sudan began with troops from the British, Egyptian and Sudanese units. The invasion began in Wadi Halfa and moved southwards. In 1898, the invasion reached Omdurman and on September 2, 1898, a fierce battle dubbed the Battle of Omdurman took place at Kerreri outside Omdurman. The Anglo-Egyptian troops defeated the Mahdists also known as the Ansar and Khalifa Abdullahi escaped to Kordofan. After the capture of Omdurman, Kitchener proceeded to Fashoda, because it was reported that some white people with an army had hoisted their flag there and it was the French. Following his arrival, a confrontation that almost brought about a war between France and Britain took place. War was averted because the French backed down and retreated. Immediately following the fall of the Mahdist State, Darfur declared independence under Sultan Ali Dinar.
SIGNING THE CONDOMINIUM CHARTER
In 1899 the Condominium Charter was signed between the British and the Egyptians and Anglo Egyptian Sudan came into being. The British and the Egyptians also recognized Darfur as a separate state under Sultan Ali Dinar. In the Condominium however, the British called the shots, assigning minor and junior roles to the Egyptians. Moreover the money for running the new state came from the Egyptian coffers. During the same year 1899, Khalifa Abdullahi was killed in battle by the Anglo Egyptian forces. Furthermore, the Condominium Government took measures against the resurgence of Mahdism (Ansar) by reducing the status of the Mahdi family to that of ordinary citizens. That same year, the Condominium Government also began enlightenment and developmental programs in the North. The British signed the Condominium Agreement with Egypt in 1899, to prevent France and Belgium from making possible claims to the Sudan as they had already encroached into southern Sudan. This agreement accorded Britain political domination over Sudan hence began the history of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, which lasted until 1955. The Condominium Agreement restored Egyptian rule over Sudan but the rule was part of a joint authority exercised by both Britain and Egypt. At the onset, nearly all administrative personnel were British Army officers affiliated with the Egyptian army. However, in 1901 civilian administrators started arriving in Sudan from Britain and formed the core of the Sudan Political Service. Egyptians filled middle-level posts while Sudanese acquired lower-level positions in small stages. The early years of the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium rule in Sudan were marked by the return of missionaries to southern Sudan. Roman Catholics entered the Shilluk areas in 1901, American Presbyterians went to the Sobat River in 1902 and Nasir in 1904 and the Church Missionary Society (CMS) went to Malek, Bor District, in 1905.
THE LADO ENCLAVE, BRITISH POLICY TO CUT OFF SOUTHERN SUDAN FROM NORTHERN SUDANESE INFLUENCE AND ANTI-BRITISH FEELINGS IN EGYPT
Between 1900 and 1905, the Belgians crossed over the Nile-Congo water divide into the Nile valley in present day South Sudan. On the western side, they invaded Zande land and fought with King Gbudwe. On hearing this, the Condominium government quickly sent troops to secure Bahr El Ghazal and Zande land in order to prevent further Belgian incursion. On the eastern side, the Belgians advanced through Yei up to Rejaf. The British government protested this incursion and requested them to proceed no further than the areas they had already occupied. Based on an Anglo Belgian Treaty of 1894, an understanding was reached between the British and Belgian governments that the territories already occupied by the Belgians would be ceded to King Leopold II until his death. Those territories were known as the Lado Enclave and they included Yei, Kajokeji, Amadi and the west bank of Juba Districts but they excluded Tali and Terekeka. In 1909 King Leopold died and as per the 1894 agreement, Lado Enclave reverted to Sudan, becoming part of the Mongalla Province.
British policy in the Sudan in 1910 was to cut off southern Sudan from northern Sudanese influence. To accomplish that, Britain encouraged Christian missionaries to work in southern Sudan. They discouraged Arab traders from trading in southern Sudan and withdrew northern Sudanese Arab troops from southern Sudan. This plan was aimed at dividing the Sudan into two countries: the southern part was to be incorporated into a Federation of East Africa States as a buffer zone against the spread of Islam. Although it was the richest part of the Sudan, southern Sudan was virtually neglected economically from developmental benefits. Meanwhile, northern Sudan enjoyed all the benefits meant for the whole country. The south relied educationally on the literacy system of missionaries aimed at teaching pupils to read the Bible. The colonial administration discouraged the spread of Islam, the practice of Arab customs and the wearing of Arab dress. In addition, that time, the British made efforts to revitalize the African customs and tribal life that the slave trade in southern Sudan had disrupted.
In 1914, in a territorial exchange between Uganda and the Anglo Egyptian Sudan, southern Lado Enclave (Arua-Pakwach) was transferred to Uganda and as a replacement, the Sudan got the area of present day Eastern Equatoria (Torit-Kapoeta). In 1916, an Anglo-Egyptian Sudan force was sent to Darfur and it defeated the army of Sultan Ali Dinar. Consequently Darfur was reinstated as part of the Sudan. Thereafter, the modern state of the Sudan took the shape we saw in the maps before the break up in 2011. In 1924, anti-British feelings began developing in Egypt as a reaction to the dominating role of the British in their country. The Egyptians were also not happy with the minor role they were playing in the Sudan. They found common cause with the Sudanese nationalists led by Ali Abdel Latif. Emboldened by the mutual dislike, the nationalists staged demonstrations in Khartoum, demanding unity with Egypt. That time, Sir Lee Stack was shot in Cairo by anti-British elements. In reaction to this uprising, the British sent away the Egyptian army as well as the Egyptian administrators from the Sudan which brought the relationship between the British and the Egyptians to a very low ebb.
As was known, the Ansar (Mahdists) were an anti-Egyptian group. Hence, to counter the growing political alliance between the Egyptians and pro-Egyptian Sudanese nationalists, the British reinstated and recognized Mahdi's son Abdel Rahman as the Imam and head of the Ansar and tacitly encouraged him to pursue Sudanese nationalism in contrast to the call for unity with the Egyptians. Hence, the Ansar sect was revived and became a political force in the country. In the meantime political consciousness started to grow in the North. In 1930, having come to the realization that the South and Southerners were distinctly different from the North and Northern Sudanese, the British enacted the Southern Policy. In this policy, the South was administered separately and to 'protect' the Southerners from Northern influences, the British also enacted the Closed District Ordinance, which restricted the movement of the Northerners to the South as well as Southerners to the North. At this time, the British even toyed with the idea of cutting off the South and adding it to East Africa but they feared the reaction of their Egyptian partners in the condominium as well as growing Northern political opinion about the Sudan as one country. In 1936, the Anglo Egyptian Treaty of 1899 (the Condominium Charter) was revised and the Egyptian officials were returned to the Sudan once again. They were also given a greater say in the affairs of the Sudan. Nonetheless, the British continued to have the greater say.
A 1965 SUDAN DEMONSTRATION
SUDAN’S INDEPENDENCE, THE BIRTH OF THE ANYANYA FREEDOM MOVEMENT AND THE FIRST SUDANESE CIVIL WAR
AGITATING FOR INDEPENDENCE
In 1938, the Graduates Congress was formed in the North by the educated Northerners. In 1942, this group put forward a demand for self-determination and they began to agitate for independence. In 1943, in order to placate them, the Condominium Government created the Northern Advisory Council to associate the Northerners with the policies and administration of their areas. The Northerners however wanted independence and together with the South. Interestingly in this same year, Southern government officials came together to demand for higher pay equal to their colleagues in the North. This is significant because it represented the first time Southerners acted together for their own interest. In 1945, Sayed Abdel Rahman El Mahdi formed the Umma Party for the Ansar (Mahdists). The party’s demand was for total independence for the Sudan but the Northerners were not satisfied with an advisory role. They demanded the Advisory Council to be transformed into a full Legislative Council/Assembly for the whole Sudan, including Southern Sudan. The Condominium Government relented and sought ways of how to effect it.
In 1946, as a consequence, the famous Sudan Administrative Conference was called to decide on how the South could fit into this new political dispensation. The Conference comprised of the government (Civil Secretary), the Northern political establishment and the three British Governors of Equatoria, Bahr El Ghazal and Upper Nile. Those Governors were ostensibly to represent Southern interests. The Southerners were excluded on the grounds that they did not have political organizations to represent them. The Conference decided that the Northern Advisory Council should be transformed into a Legislative Assembly for the whole country and as such, Southerners should be represented in it. The idea of a separate Assembly for the South was vehemently rejected by the Northerners who were in the Conference. As a solution, it was resolved that the interest of the Southerners would be protected by the Governor General. This Conference is the one that decided for Sudan to be a unified country with one Legislative Assembly and not the 1947 Conference in Juba as wrongly stated by many, especially the Northerners. Therefore, it was now just a matter of selecting the Southern representatives for the Legislative Assembly.
This resolution of the Conference angered some of the British administrators in the South notably Owen, the Deputy Governor of Wau, Major Wylid, the DC of Yambio and others. In reaction, Major Wyld proposed that if at all there was to be this unified Sudan, it must be a federated unity, with Southern Sudan as a federal state. This was the first time the word federation came into the vocabulary of the politics of South Sudan in relation to the Sudan. In June 1947, at a conference christened the Juba Conference, British authorities forced the unification of southern and northern Sudan. The southern conferees at the Juba Conference were informed about the new decision to hand over the administration of southern Sudan to the new rulers, the Arabs in northern Sudan. A Sudan Legislative Assembly was formed by the British administration which handpicked thirteen delegates from southern Sudan to represent southern Sudan in that assembly. This was the start of the self-determination process for Sudan’s independence but the southern Sudanese were effectively excluded from the decision-making process. Consequently, the fate of the southern Sudanese people was effectively handed to the northern Sudanese.
In 1947, in order to placate those restive British administrators of South Sudan, the Civil Secretary, James Robertson, convened the infamous 1947 Conference in Juba as a palliative measure. In his own words he said that that conference was not to ask the opinion of the Southerners about a unified Sudan but he had called it to assess the level of understanding of the Southerners and to see how they could be represented in the Legislative Assembly in Khartoum. An interesting development in the conference was the divergence of views among the Southerners. While the chiefs continued to say that the British should stay longer in order to bring them to the same level as the Northerners until the next day, in contrast, by the next day, government officials had changed tune. They now had no objection for the Southerners to be represented in the Legislative Assembly in Khartoum. That change was because the Northerners in the Conference had told them the previous night that if they supported the idea of one Legislative Assembly and the British departed, they would receive the same salary as their Northern counterparts. As per the words of Sir James Robertson, this conference did not take into account any decision about the consent of Southerners for unity with the North because that decision had already been made by the Sudan Administrative Conference the previous year 1946.
In 1948, the Legislative Assembly was opened in Khartoum and thirteen Southerners were selected by the British administrators to represent the Southerners in it. This Assembly voted for immediate self-rule after the expiry of its term. During the same year, Bahr El Ghazal was split from Equatoria and it became a separate province. This made the Sudan to have nine provinces. In 1951, serious disagreement arose between the British and the Egyptians over the future of the Sudan. While the British wanted the Sudan to be an independent country (backed by the Umma Party/Ansar), the Egyptians wanted the Sudan to unite with Egypt. They therefore informed the British that they had unilaterally abrogated the Anglo Egyptian Charter of 1899 and consequently, they went ahead to write a constitution for the Sudan and Egypt as one country under their King, Farouk. The British ignored this but encouraged the Umma Party/Ansar to push ahead for an independent Sudan. Following a July 1952 Revolution in Egypt, the British expedited the northern Sudanese demand for the country’s independence. Accordingly, they drafted plans with the Umma Party of the Ansars for the formation of a transitional government.
On February 12, 1953, the Egyptian government and the northern Sudanese sectarian political parties met without the southern Sudanese political groups and made the Cairo Agreement, which initiated the process of independence for Sudan. In March 1953, a conference was called in Cairo to discuss self-rule for the Sudan. It was attended by the Egyptians, British and the Northern political parties. The Cairo Agreement confirmed the recommendation for the self-rule and the immediate Sudanization of government posts occupied by the British and the Egyptians. Again the Southerners were not represented in this critical conference on the grounds that they had no political party, though there were Southern members in the Assembly. Angered by this exclusion, the Southern politicians formed the Liberal Party. Later the same year, the first general election was held and Ismail El Azhari's party, the NUP, won the election and he became the Prime Minister of the country in April 1954. In 1954, on the eve of independence—which occurred two years later on January 1, 1956—there were over eight hundred positions that the British colonial administration left for Sudanese to occupy. However, only four junior posts were allocated to southern Sudanese. The southern Sudanese people were dissatisfied with such an unfair allocation of positions and they sensed this exercise as another type of discrimination and colonization of southern Sudan by northern Sudanese Arabs.
THE BIRTH OF THE ANYANYA FREEDOM MOVEMENT
Between 1954 and 1955 there was much unhappiness in the South about independence with the North. Many feared that, after the departure of the British, the Northerners would mistreat them, just as they did during the era of slavery. Additionally, among the educated, there was disappointment with the Sudanization program, since only four posts went to Southerners, out of 900. Moreover, the utterances by some Northern politicians that Arabic would be the official language in independent Sudan frightened many of them of imminent Arabization and Islamization. Consequently, many began to entertain the idea of federation, while others sought outright separation of the South from the North. This feeling was at its height in Equatoria. Hence, elements of the Liberal Party, who were mainly government officials in Juba, together with some Southern non-commissioned officers of the Equatoria Corps of the Sudan Defence Force in Torit began to conspire as to how to realize this. However, their plan was later discovered by the government.
1955 brought about the beginning of great apprehension about independence with the Northerners. The arrest of politically active persons such as Daniel Jumi and others in Juba led to riots in the town. This, together with the killing of 14 Zandes in July during the riots in Nzara, heightened the anti-North feelings in Equatoria. Consequently the conspiracy between the politicians in Juba and the soldiers in Torit moved to high gear. The intention was to remove the Northerners and take over the administration in Juba, Torit and elsewhere. However, this plan was discovered by the Government of PM Ismail El Azhari. As a consequence, the government took decisions to thwart it. It decided to disarm and move the Torit soldiers to the North and bring a contingent of Northern troops to Juba, since it could not rely on the Southern soldiers to keep law and order. On August 18, 1955, the effort to disarm and take the Torit soldiers to the North backfired. The soldiers rebelled and began to kill their Northern officers along with Northern civilians. The civil population of Equatoria joined them and there was a full uprising in Equatoria. Consequently, for about a month or so, the government lost control of Equatoria. The Governor General Alexander Knox Helm appealed to the soldiers to surrender on behalf of the Government of PM El Azhari.
On August 18, 1955, a liberation struggle was therefore ignited in southern Sudan through a mutiny popularly known as the Torit Mutiny. Led by members of the British-administered Sudan Defence Force Equatorial Corps, the Torit Mutiny was the culmination of dissent that had been building in southern Sudan for over a century because of perceived exploitation by a predominantly Arab Northern Sudan throughout a number of colonial periods. It occurred a few months before Sudan declared its independence from Great Britain. The British colonial authority wanted the whole country to remain under northern Sudan Arab rule but the notion of forced unity between the two parts of Sudan was totally rejected by all southern Sudanese who viewed this imposed unity with great suspicion due to past human rights violations meted on southern Sudanese by a predominantly Arab Northern Sudan. On August 24, 1955, the leader of the Torit rebellion, NCO Reynaldo, surrendered under false promises by the Governor General and thereafter, many other soldiers surrendered also. Subsequently, they were court-martialed. Some were executed while others were jailed or dismissed dishonorably but a few like NCOs Taffeng Lodongi and Ali Gbatala escaped to the forests to continue the war against the government and the North. The civilians who were suspected of participating in the uprising, were tried by special courts. Many were jailed and others executed.
On January 1, 1956 Sudan declared its independence, ending fifty-six years of Anglo-Egyptian rule in the Sudan. However, there was little joy in Southern Sudan. In spite of this independence, hostility from southern Sudanese toward predominantly Arab northern Sudanese had already emerged forcefully when southern Sudanese army units mutinied in Torit on August 18, 1955. In other words, southern dissent continued because southern Sudanese begrudged the replacement of British administrators in southern Sudan with northern Sudanese instead of southern Sudanese. Furthermore, although Sudanese nationalism had developed by the time Sudan attained independence, it was an Arab and Muslim phenomenon with minimal to no involvement by southern Sudanese. Consequently, such nationalism had its support base in northern Sudan and not the whole country. The Torit Mutiny would eventually lead to the formation of the Anyanya Freedom Movement which waged a 17 year war to win freedom for the people of southern Sudan with the ultimate goal being independence from Northern Sudan. This war is often referred to as the First Sudanese War.
In 1958, a general election was held. Southern MPs, under Father Saturnino demanded that the permanent constitution that was in the making must contain a federal status for Southern Sudan. The Northerners refused, thus the constitution making process was stalled. In 1958, due to this and acrimony in the coalition government, Prime Minister Abdalla Bey Khalil of the Umma Party handed over the government to the army under General Ibrahim Abboud. The military junta dissolved the political parties and suppressed politics country-wide. In Southern Sudan, it prohibited any mention of the word federation and embarked on an Islamization and Arabicization program where several chiefs were compelled to convert to Islam and it made Friday to be the official rest day in the South instead of Sunday. Military chief General Ibrahim Abboud who staged a military coup on November 17, 1958 and ruled Sudan until a popular uprising in 1964 waged a holy war (jihad) against persistent Anyanya Freedom Fighters.
General Abboud’s policy was to forcibly establish Islamic institutions in southern Sudan in direct opposition to the original plan by the British during the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium, to divide the Sudan into two countries with southern Sudan to be preponderantly Christian. In the process of General Abboud’s determination to wage a holy Muslim war against predominantly Christian southern Sudanese, his regime committed enormous human rights abuses in southern Sudan. The Christian Sunday worship was banned throughout southern Sudan and Friday was declared a holiday for both Muslims and Christians in the whole country. Security organs in southern Sudan were instructed to round up and force all male adults in the different towns of southern Sudan to attend Friday worship in mosques. Islamization and Arabization were strongly imposed on all non-Muslims, especially Christians. All the schools in southern Sudan were either closed down or moved to northern Sudan. All the mission schools were nationalized or closed down. The missionaries who worked in southern Sudan were expelled and denied entry visas into Sudan. Hundreds of thousands of civilians were restricted to concentration camps and southern Sudan experienced a rigorous and repressive army occupation leading to intensified insurgency by the Anya Nya revolutionary movement which waged a 17 year war that ended with the signing of the Addis Ababa Agreement also known as the Addis Ababa Accord on February 27, 1972. The agreement was facilitated by the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie.
In 1960, due to this suppression, Southern politicians that included Father Saturnino, Joseph Oduho, Pancarazio and many others escaped to Uganda to inform the world about the suppression of Southerners in the Sudan and to put up resistance to that suppression. They were followed a month later in 1961 by William Deng. In 1962, the escapees formed a political organization named the Sudan African Closed District National Union (SACDNU). Owing to the information they were disseminating to the world about the mistreatment of the Southerners, the government reacted angrily and enacted the Missionary Act in order to curtail the activities of the missionaries and the Church, both of whom they accused of backing the dissidents outside the country. In January 1963, Sudan African Closed District National Union (SACDNU) was renamed Sudan African National Union (SANU) and in July it formed a military wing called the Anyanya in order to complement the efforts of the political wing. In 1964, the activities of the Anyanya provoked the government to expel the foreign missionaries from Southern Sudan, accusing them of supporting and supplying arms to the Anyanya rebels. In October of the same year, the military government of General Ibrahim Abboud was brought down by popular uprising and a transitional government was formed under PM Sir El Khatim El Khalifa. Southerners were represented in it through the Southern Front.
In 1965, a Round-table Conference was held in Khartoum to resolve the 'Southern Problem’. On the Northern side, there were the Northern political parties who included the Umma Party, DUP, NUP, Moslem Brothers, Communists and the National Front (composed of the professionals). On the Southern side there were Southern Front, SANU Outside, led by Aggrey Jaden, SANU Inside, led by William Deng and Unity Party, led by Santino Deng Teng. As the demands and objectives of the conferees were so wide apart, no conclusive resolution was arrived at except the formation of a Twelve man Committee to follow on the unresolved issues but the Committee got nowhere. The same year 1965, a general election was held. It was boycotted by Southern Front but embraced by SANU William Deng. However, William Deng got killed by the Sudan army while campaigning in Lakes. The election was won by the Umma Party and Mohamed Ahmed Mahgoub became the Prime Minister. However, PM Mahgoub followed a very hostile path towards the Anyanya and the Southern Front. He unleashed the army against Southerners and as a consequence, many Southern officials were killed simply because they were members of Southern Front. Given the free hand, the army massacred people in Juba, Wau and several other places.
Between 1965 and 1967 internal problems beset the resistance movement outside. Aggrey Jaden was deposed as head of SANU and in its place Joseph Oduho formed the Azania Liberation Front (ALF) with himself as President and Eziboni Mondiri as the Minister of Defence. On January 22, 1967, Father Saturnino was killed by the Uganda army at the behest of the Sudan. In 1968, the government of Azania Liberation Front collapsed and was superseded by the South Sudan Provisional Government (SSPG) under Aggrey Jaden. In Khartoum, there was a succession of a weak coalition government while war raged in the South. In 1969, another internal problem occurred in SSPG followed by internecine fighting. During this period, Anyidi Government was formed by Gordon Mourtat, followed by a military takeover initially under General Taffeng Lodingi but soon he was replaced by the Anyanya High Military Command under General Joseph Lagu. In Khartoum, Colonel Gaafar Nimeiri took over the government and recognized that the Southern Problem was real.
In 1970, the Ansar revolted against Nimeiri’s regime but the revolt was crushed and Imam El Hadi got killed in the process. In the South, General Joseph Lagu took over from General Taffeng and formed the Anyanya High Command. In 1971, there was a Communist coup against Nimeiri led by Hasim el Atta but it was crushed. In 1972, under pressure, preliminary contact and talks began between the Government of Sudan and the Anyanya. On March 3 1972, the Addis Ababa Agreement was signed, granting regional autonomy to Southern Sudan under a Regional High Executive Council and Regional Legislative Assembly. The Addis Ababa Agreement was enshrined into the Constitution of Sudan and President Nimeiri appointed Abel Alier as the first President of the Regional High Executive Council (HEC). The Anya Nya revolutionary movement which waged a 17 year war that ended with the signing of the Addis Ababa Agreement also known as the Addis Ababa Accord on February 27, 1972 had finally agreed to lay down arms but there were elements who refused to sign that agreement. The agreement was facilitated by the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie. The 17 year war waged by the Anya Nya Freedom Fighters ended with the signing of the February 27, 1972 Addis Ababa Agreement which granted southern Sudan local autonomy within the framework of a United Sudan. Although this agreement was a concession, there was relative peace immediately following the signing of the agreement. The war waged by the Anya Nya Freedom Fighters was to protest continuing human rights violations by successive governments in the Sudan.
In 1974, southern elements that refused the 1972 Addis Ababa Accord formed the Anya Nya II Movement. Officers among these disgruntled elements formed the Anya Nya Patriotic Front (APF) in August 1974. This renewed movement became known as Anya Nya II named after the first movement known as Anya Nya I. It was a regrouping of Anya Nya I by disgruntled Freedom Fighters from the first insurgency launched in 1963 following the August 18, 1955 mutiny led by members of the British-administered Sudan Defence Force Equatorial Corps. This second liberation movement was formed in August 1974, but it was not formally launched until 1975. Born amid ideological uncertainties, Anya Nya II was launched with a mutiny in the military garrison of Akobo. In 1975, three years after the Addis Ababa Agreement of February 1972, a group of Anya Nya Fighters who were absorbed into the Sudanese National Armed Forces stationed in Akobo district pursuant to the February 1972 Addis Ababa Agreement staged a mutiny upon receiving orders of a transfer to northern Sudan. The mutineers of Akobo decided to return to the bush and continue the struggle against the Khartoum regime with the ultimate goal of liberating southern Sudan as an independent country this time. They crossed the border into Ethiopia and joined the other southern Sudanese refugees who refused to support the Addis Ababa Accord in 1972 (1975 Akobo Mutiny, Anyanya II formed). Following in the footsteps of the 1975 mutineers of Akobo, the ex-Anyanya soldiers in the government garrisons of Juba and Wau also staged mutinies the following year 1976.
In 1976 there was an attempted takeover of the government from President Nimeiri by Hassan Hussein in collaboration with externally based opposition, led by Saddig El Mahdi. The attempt failed. In 1977, President Nimeiri embarked on national reconciliation with the northern opposition and at Port Sudan, a charter was signed, thus enabling Saddig El Mahdi to return to the country. In 1978, Retired General Lagu was elected as the President of the Southern Region High Executive Council instead of Abel Alier. In 1979, oil was discovered in Bentiu District. After recruiting and training fighters, the Anyanya II Freedom Fighters also began military campaigns in 1979 by disrupting communication links in eastern and western Upper Nile Province as well as northern Bahr El Ghazal Province, with the purpose of paralysing state economic power. They used mostly guerrilla tactics—hit and run methods and managed to overrun the government garrisons of Kutkea in 1979. In 1980, owing to some shortcomings of which some were deliberately created, President Nimeiri dissolved Lagu’s government and appointed Peter Gatkuoth Gual as President of the HEC until the elections. The election was held and Abel Alier was once again elected as the President of the HEC. Encouraged by President Nimeiri, some members of the Southern delegation to the Sudan Socialist Union (SSU) National Congress proposed to the President that the Southern Region should be broken up into smaller regions of Bahr El Ghazal, Equatoria and Upper Nile. The issue was referred to the Southern Regional SSU Congress to address. This marked the beginning of kokora. There was an attempt by President Nimeiri and the national government to alter the borders of the Southern Region in such a way that the oil fields would fall within the ambit of Northern Sudan. Nimeiri and the government dropped the plan because of protests from the Southern Regional Government headed by Abel Alier, resulting in a poor relationship between Abel and Nimeiri.
In 1981, probably owing to his estranged relationship with Abel’s government, President Nimeiri dissolved both the national and regional (Abel’s) governments and ordered country-wide elections. He appointed Retired General Gismalla Abdalla Rassas as interim President of the HEC until the elections. The ensuing election campaigns saw Southerners sharply divided between unionists and the supporters of Kokora. The supporters of Kokora felt that the Dinka were dominating the government institutions at the expense of the other tribes. In 1982, the election was won by the supporters of Kokora and Joseph James Tambura became the President of the High Executive Council. During the same year 1982, after continuing to recruit and train fighters, the Anya Nya II Freedom Fighters continued military campaigns. They continued to use mostly guerrilla tactics—hit and run methods and managed to overrun the government garrison of Akoka in June 1982. During the same year, 1982, a large group of university and high school students escaped from Malakal the capital of Upper Nile and joined the Anya Nya II rank and file at a place named Bilpam in Ethiopia.
ANYA NYA FREEDOM FIGHTERS
THE SECOND SUDANESE CIVIL WAR AND THE SUDAN PEOPLE’S LIBERATION MOVEMENT/ARMY
In 1983 an army contingent was dispatched from Juba to Bor to suppress an alleged mutinous behavior by Battalion 105 based in the town. After a brief exchange of fire, the Battalion withdrew into the forest. Colonel John Garang who at the time was in Bor escaped with them. Battalion105 was soon followed by Battalions in Ayod and Akobo. Those battalions would form the nucleus of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) under Colonel John Garang. After this, active war began between the SPLA and the Government Army. Acting upon a memorandum from the President of the HEC, James Joseph Tambura, President Nimeiri issued a decree, dissolving the Southern Regional Government and breaking it into Equatoria, Bahr El Ghazal and Upper Nile Regions. With this, he essentially abrogated the Addis Ababa Agreement. In May 1983, another mutiny by a group of Southern Sudanese in the Sudan Armed Forces ignited the second war between southern Sudan and Northern Sudan in full. This second war led to the formation of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLM/SPLA) in July 1983 which was eventually led by Dr. John Garang de Mabior. In September 1983, President Nimeiri decreed Islamic Sharia to be the law in the country.
In 1985, a popular uprising in Khartoum led to the demise of the May Regime of President Nimeiri and its system of SSU. A Military Council under General Swar El Dahab and a Cabinet headed by a Prime Minister Dr El Gizouli took over the government until the elections. During this period, attempts were made to reach an understanding with the SPLM/A but they were unsuccessful. In 1986, the general election was held but it was mainly in the North because large chunks of the South were under the SPLM/A, hence outside the reach of the government. The Umma Party won a narrow majority and had to form a coalition government with the DUP Party of Osman El Mirghani. Saddiq El Mahdi became the Prime Minister. Between 1986 and 1989, several attempts were made to bring the SPLM/A and the Government to talk but they were not successful mainly because of the issue of Sharia laws. The SPLM/A wanted it either to be repealed or temporarily suspended but Saddig El Mahdi could not bring himself to do either of them because, as an Imam of the Ansar, Hassan El Turabe was blackmailing him that he would go into infamy as the first Imam to remove God’s laws.
In 1989, a group of diehard Islamic fundamentalist army officers led by Omar Hassan El Bashir took over the government specifically to protect the Sharia laws from being removed because they felt that it was under threat from an agreement reached between DUP leader, Osman El Mirghani and John Garang of the SPLM/A. Several attempts were made by individuals, organizations and governments to reconcile the two sides but all failed because of the issue of Sharia. In 1991, the SPLM/A split into two namely the Torit faction, led by John Garang and the Nasir faction, led by Riek Machar and Lam Akol. Fighting erupted between the two factions in several places, but more so in Upper Nile. Between 1991 and 1994 weakened by the split, the government retook many towns in Southern Sudan from the SPLM/A, except the area of Western Equatoria west of River Yei. In 1994, the Government divided the country into 26 States, 16 in the North and 10 in the South, through the elevation of the regions to states. In order to conform to the two thirds proportion in the CPA, one state, West Kordofan was canceled. So there remained 25 states, 15 in the North and 10 in the South. In 1994, IGAD initiated a three-way talk between the Government of the Sudan and the two factions of the SPLM/A. They succeeded in persuading the three sides to sign a Declaration of Principles.
In 1997, Riek Machar the leader of the Nassir faction, now called SPLM United, returned to Khartoum and signed the Khartoum Peace Agreement. He was subsequently made an Assistant President. That same year, the SPLA launched a major offensive, retaking all the towns it lost, from Yei up to Gogrial. In 1999 Omar El Bashir dropped Hassan El Turabi from Speaker of the National Assembly, thereby diminishing his influence on and in the government. This split the National Congress (the Muslim Brotherhood) into two. In 2002, Riek Machar rejoined the SPLM/A under John Garang and he was re-instated in his former position as Vice Chairman. During the same year, the Machakos Protocol was signed. The Protocol delineated the salient areas for the negotiations as well as the framework of the anticipated agreement. In 2003 Lam Akol rejoined the SPLM/A and in the same year, the war in Darfur escalated.
DUPED BY LUCIFER
The war waged in full by the SPLM/SPLA is commonly referred to as the second Sudanese war. More vicious than the first Sudanese war, this war cost over 3 million lives and produced millions of internally displaced people. Using contradictory messages in all its external relations and engaging in a seemingly endless “principle-shopping” business, the SPLM/SPLA was very successful in amassing powerful weapons they turned on the southerners they purported to be fighting to free from oppression by Northern Sudanese. In other words, the first victims of the SPLM/SPLA were helpless southern Sudanese women, children, elderly people and unarmed civilians To the Arab world, the SPLM/SPLA gave the impression that their movement’s objective was to preserve the unity of Sudan under a secular system, a unity based on equality and justice for all Sudanese regardless of their color of skin or religious beliefs. For the black African states, the SPLM/SPLA informed them that it was fighting against Arab expansion toward the south of the Sahara and it therefore served as a useful human shield worth supporting against Arab/Islamic expansion.
To the Western countries, the SPLM/SPLA postulated that it was fighting against forced Islamization and Arabization of black African Christians in the southern part of the country. Having willfully exaggerated one of its contradictory messages respecting fighting a predominantly Arab and Muslim Northern Sudan to free Black African south Sudanese from forced Islamization, Americans especially Christians and African Americans rallied behind the SPLM/SPLA in full pursuit of an agenda that would turn out to be an unholy one. Christians all over the world also rallied behind the SPLM/SPLA and inadvertently aided the organization's fiendish agenda and fraudulence. Operating under the radar, members of the SPLM/SPLA raped, murdered and looted at will. They committed the most abhorrent forms of human rights violations against children, women, the elderly and unarmed civilians in total contradiction of the core teachings of Christianity namely love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. In other words, members of the duplicitous organization duped Christians all over the world into believing that they were supporting fellow Christians in southern Sudan to win non-negotiable rights to worship the God of the Bible without the reproval of Sharia Law when nothing could be further from the truth. The falsity of the SPLM/SPLA would eventually manifest openly and set off the most horrific catastrophe of all time. Believing it was supporting a noble cause, the United States of America assumed the leading role in ensuring that the SPLM/SPLA got what it purported to fight for – freeing southern Sudanese from forced Islamization and Arabization of black African Christians in the southern part of the country.
The war waged by the SPLM/SPLA which is commonly referred to as the second North-South Sudanese war lasted for over two decades. After a lot of lobbying and pressure, it ended with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) also known as the Naivasha Agreement between the government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army on January 9, 2005 . The Agreement catered for a Government for Southern Sudan, self-determination for Southern Sudan after six years (2011) and Colonel John Garang was to be the First Vice President in the Sudan. He was duly sworn in. Following the signing of the CPA on January 9, 2005, Dr. John Garang the incumbent leader of the SPLM/SPLA served briefly as First Vice President of Sudan from July 9, 2005 until July 30, 2005 when he was killed in a helicopter crash after spending only 21 days in office. On July 30, 2005John Garang who had just been sworn in as First Vice President died in a plane crash. Following his death, the SPLM Leadership Council nominated and confirmed Dr. Garang’s deputy Lieutenant General Salva Kiir Mayardit as his successor and Dr. Riek Machar became his deputy. Salva Kiir Mayardit took over as Chairman of the SPLM. He was subsequently sworn in as First Vice President of the country as well as the President of the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS). It was agreed that Sudan would remain united under President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and South Sudan would be ruled by the Government of South Sudan under the leadership of Salva Kiir Mayardit who would also assume the position of First Vice President of the Republic of Sudan.
GRAVE OF DR. JOHN GARANG DE MABIOR, LEADER OF THE SPLM/SPLA
ESTABLISHING THE GOVERNMENT OF SOUTHERN SUDAN AND PRESIDENT OMAR HASSAN EL BASHIR INDICTED BY THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT
After Lieutenant General Salva Kiir Mayardit took the oath of office, he and President Bashir worked out the coalition Government of National Unity in Khartoum and the Government of southern Sudan was also formed. However, bad governance, continuing rampant human rights violations as the habitual character of many members of the now ruling SPLM/SPLA, institutionalized corruption, tribalism, nepotism, dictatorship, illegal and forceful land seizure from citizens became the norm, just to mention a few. Wanton killings and abhorrent forms of human rights violations meted by SPLA forces on children, women and unarmed civilians continued unabated. Tribal and sectional skirmishes among different communities where thousands of civilians have been killed or displaced from their settlements have been the status quo and method of operation of the SPLA since it was constituted in 1983. These horrendous occurrences continued after the formation of the Government of South Sudan in 2005 when the SPLM/SPLA imposed itself on the people of South Sudan.
In 2007, the International Criminal Court indicted President Omar Hassan El Bashir and two others on allegations of crimes against humanity committed in Darfur. The SPLM suspended participation in the National Government due to differences over the implementation of the CPA. In 2008, the SPLM held its Second National Convention. Differences emerged as to the leadership of the party and the government. A compromise was reached to retain the existing structure. However, seeds of disagreement had already been sown between them. In 2010, general election was held in the country and both Omar El Bashir and the NCP as well as Salva Kiir and the SPLM won respectively in the country and Southern Sudan.
THE INDEPENDENCE OF SOUTH SUDAN
After the end of the interim period instituted with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, an internationally supervised referendum was to be held to resolve whether South Sudan should opt to become an independent state or remain part of Sudan. The referendum took place from January 9, 2011 to January 15, 2011 and the majority wish for South Sudan to attain independence from Northern Sudan prevailed. On July 9, 2011, South Sudan was declared an independent and sovereign state and the pronouncement was accompanied by jubilation in South Sudan and around the world. A Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 was drafted by a southern Sudan Constitutional Drafting Committee and it came into force on the day of the independence of South Sudan on July 9, 2011 after being signed by the president of the new republic Salva Kiir Mayardit. For the 2011 referendum for self-determination that was held in Southern Sudan, the people voted overwhelmingly (98%) for independence and on July 9, 2011, South Sudan became an independent sovereign state.
MOBILIZING FOR THE SOUTH SUDAN INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM
JULY 9, 2011 NDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS IN JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN
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CELEBRATING INDEPENDENCE FROM A PREDOMINANTLY MUSLIM NORTH
SOUTH SUDAN AFTER INDEPENDENCE
After over half a century of war between Northern Sudan and Southern Sudan and a Referendum held from January 9, 2011 to January 15, 2011, Southern Sudan had finally won the right to self determination and become the Republic of South Sudan on Saturday, July 9, 2011. After overwhelmingly voting for independence, the people of South Sudan had exceedingly high hopes for a just and resource rich country of their own enjoyed by all the citizens at last. However, unbeknown to most of the nationals of the newly independent country, the Transitional Constitution vested all powers on one man namely the President and it replaced the existing 2005 Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan. Many people foresaw that this obvious fact would certainly entrench dictatorship in the promising young country. However, before the people of South Sudan could rectify that oversight through the proper legal channels, institutionalized corruption and lawlessness intensified having already besieged the new nation and set it on a destructive path immediately following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement on January 9, 2005. Bad governance, human rights violations, rampant corruption, tribalism, nepotism, dictatorship, forceful land seizures, wanton killings of children, women, the elderly and unarmed civilians by SPLA forces, inter and intra tribal and sectional skirmishes among different communities continued intensely.
In 2012 owing to the non-transparent way through which the Sudan and the oil companies were transacting the proceeds of the oil, and especially because of Khartoum’s refusal to load the share of the crude for South Sudan, in reaction, South Sudan stopped the pumping of the oil and introduced austerity measures to mitigate the effect. Intrigues and suspicions gripped the leadership of the SPLM and the Government. A security law that gave excessive powers to the security organ was enacted. In 2013, President Salva Kiir withdrew powers from First VP Riek Machar and subsequently dismissed him. He also dismissed Pagan Amum from the position of Secretary General of the SPLM Party and lastly, he dismissed the entire Cabinet and appointed a new one. A fight broke out in Juba in the Republican Guard Unit, pitting elements of the Dinka and Nuer in the Unit. Former VP Riek fled the town. The fighting quickly engulfed the town and later spread to other towns in the country, notably in Upper Nile. SPLA got split. Riek assumed the leadership of the wing fighting the main group. Uganda intervened militarily in support of the Government. Later in the talks, Riek’s group was dubbed SPLM ‘In Opposition’ in order to distinguish it from the SPLM ‘In Government’ of President Salva.
THE SPLA’S REVERSION TO WAR
A mere two years after South Sudan's independence from Sudan, the destructive path taken by the government of the new country culminated in genocide against citizens from the Nuer tribe of South Sudan which is the second largest tribe in the country after the Dinka tribe from which Salva Kiir Mayardit hails, beginning on December 15, 2013. Tribal Politics which characterizes most of the African political landscape reared its ugly head in the new country with horrendous consequences. Following the genocide, the SPLM/SPLA reverted back to civil war with two main factions taking up arms against each other namely the SPLM/SPLA in government and the SPLM/SPLA in opposition. A war raged on in South Sudan beginning on that gloomy day, leading to more genocide, mass murder, the displacement of millions of innocent civilians, the most abhorrent forms of human rights violations including the castration of male children, the gang rape of women and other forms of reprehensible lawlessness!! It is a war that may go down in history as the most brutal war of all times as partially documented in a report commissioned by the African Union titled AFRICAN UNION COMMISSION OF INQUIRY ON SOUTH SUDAN and elsewhere .