Home | Comment & Analysis    Thursday 13 October 2011

Anyanya One should be a lesson to South Sudan

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By Peter Kleto Oyoyo

A few years after the August 18, 1955 Torit mutiny led by the late hero Maj Gen Emedio Tafeng Odongi, Southern politicians in the personalities of the late heroes Joseph Oduho and Fr. Saturlino Ohure fled the country for Uganda. While in Kampala, the two founded the Sudan Christian Association (SCA). They moved to Kinshasha as their relations with the Obote’s regime was not going smoothly, and in the Congo, they founded the Sudan National Close Districts and were joined by William Deng Nhial from Bahr el Gazal. They returned to Kampala in 1963 and while in there, they founded the Sudan African Nation Union (SANU) and SCA was absorbed into SANU which later under pressure by the British government accepted the publication of the Voice of Southern Sudan in London.

A good number of sources indicated that the failure of SANU as a political party was caused by differences in the personalities of its leaders and its lack of foundation in the Sudan. August 19, 1963 Joseph Oduho held a meeting at his house in Kampala with a half dozen southerners including Joseph Lagu and the late Fr. Ohure. The purpose of the meeting was to form a revolution. In the course of the meeting, Fr. Ohure proposed the movement to be named the Sudan Pan-African Freedom Fighters (SPAFF). He thought this would appeal to pan-african leaders like Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya and others. But others at the meeting suggested for a more legitimate indigenous name that would appealed to African Southerners like the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya or the Maji Maji in Tanzania.

From the 7-14 of October, 1963, they conducted their convention at Silver Hotel in Kampala, which resulted to the election of Aggrey Jaden as president and Philip Pedak as vice-president of the would be movement. My reliable sources have informed me that Aggrey Jaden beat Oduho by only one vote. Joseph Oduho upon hearing the result decided to quit the party to forming the Azanian Liberation Front calling for southern secession from the North. One would love to know as to why a true nationalist like Joseph Oduho took such a drastic decision? No one knows the real reason but I recommend readers to consult Joseph Lagu because he was present when the election took place.

The quitting of movements to form new ones by the Anyanya I leadership supported by differences in personalities in my view is part of the grand failures of the movement’s leadership to unite South Sudanese under one umbrella for a common objective. These misunderstandings were also illustrated during the entire session of the round table conference organized by the Kalifa government to address the Southern question. Unfortunately, the negotiation was being dragged down by suspicions, factional disputes and personal differences among southerners, and manipulation on the other hand by northerners.

SANU was represented by two rival delegations, one inside the Sudan and the other outside in exile. The one inside was headed by William Deng Nhial who advocated for federation and unity of the Sudan, SANU outside was led by Elia Lupe, and was composed of the leaders of the Azanian Liberation Front, Fr. Saturlino Ohure, Joseph Oduho and Aggrey Jaden who had split from the SANU to form the rival Sudan African Liberation Front advocating for a complete independence of South Sudan.

This proposal for a complete independence called by SANU in exile was rejected by the regime and by all of the northern political forces in Khartoum in front of the observer countries namely, Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Egypt, Algeria and Nigeria. Federation could have been accepted as it was not only called by Southerners but by also the Beja people in the East and was seen by the majority of the Sudanese as the only viable strategy for the smooth running of the country. That is why the Beja Congress which calls for the federation was formed. Those who called for the total independence of the South left Khartoum to continue with their rebel activities. Aggrey Jaden as president upon returning back appointed Maj Gen Emedio Tafeng Odongi as Commander In Chief of the Anyanya forces with Lagu as its Chief of Staff.

It is now clear from this stage in Sudan’s history that the call for separation of South Sudan from North was and still is not a southern making but a northern one. No south Sudanese would call for separation if all of the successive regimes were seeing them as human beings like them who deserve to be treated with due respect and dignity by giving them freedom to exercise their human rights in all types of spheres.

It is also necessary at this point to remember Anyanya Ones’s main reason for waging an armed struggle against the oppressive regime in Khartoum. It is widely known by many that their main reason for waging that protracted war was almost limited to demands for job opportunities in the civil service sphere. Opportunities which were denied to them by the ruling clique in Khartoum. A case in question was the Sudanisation stage in 1955, whereby 800 jobs were Sudanised and southerners only demand for 40 positions out of the total. The result was that they got only 6.

Jobs were relegated to southerners, the expulsion of Christian missionaries from south in 1962. These reasons forced the Anyanya One to call for the chapter of self-determination in their movement’s manifesto that calls for an internationally supervise referendum for the people of South Sudan to choose between unity and separation. Such war ended with an agreement in Addis Ababa in 1972 between the South Sudan Liberation Movement and the Numeiry’s government. The agreement was aborted few days from the date in which it was sign and no convincing explanation was given by the Numeiry’s government for the abrogation of the agreement.

After the signing of the Addis Ababa agreement of 1972 and the establishment of regional government in South Sudan, many remnants of the Anyanya One were not satisfied with both the provisions and the implementation procedures of the agreement. A good number of Anyanya soldiers were left in limbo without job opportunities, the issue of real equal sharing of resources and wealth, the issue of true equality under the law were of important concern to the movement and to the masses of South Sudan in general. A group of dissidents, along with remnants from the Anyanya movement mutinied in Akobo and is also known as the Akobo incident of 1975. This was the emergence of a second liberation movement known as Anyanya II led by Vincent Kuany. The group left for Ethiopia in the same year to establish a military camp which came to be known as Bilpam.

The group of Samuel Gai Tut and Akuot Atem followed by that of Cdrs. Gordon Koang, Gabriel Tanginya, William Abdalla Chol, Paulino Matip Nhial, and others were the leaders of the movement. Their objective was to fight for the independence of Southern Sudan.

It is worth mentioning that their movement’s manifesto submitted to the Ethiopian government was rejected as it was incompatible with the government policy which articulates unity in diversity and not separation and that of Organization of African Policy which prohibited any movement that calls for the split of the country. A good number of South Sudanese were not conscious about the terms of the Addis Ababa agreement as it was not given to be owned by the people. Any agreement that is not owned by the people will not be defended by the people as John Adam’s (former American President) stated that “Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people” (pacta sunt servanda= agreements should be kept). Thank God the SPLM/A came to the rescue of the dishonored agreement and continue with the bigger vision for the liberation of the marginalised in the whole of the Sudan instead of South Sudan alone. “Thanks to both unionists and separatists”.

In conclusion, I call upon the people of South Sudan to stand tall against anything that aims to divide and corrupt us in all times. Brethren, this new nation is a father us, a mother to us, a grand parents to us, and finally a country to us. Let us all put our hands together and do what is right. No one will develop this beautiful nation apart concerned citizens in the personalities of you and I.

Peter Kleto is based in Toronto, Ontario Canada. He can be reached at peterkleto8@hotmail.com



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  • 13 October 2011 03:47, by Elijha B. Elkan

    Mr. Oyoyo,

    Positive writing, but you should mention William N. in more details how he lost his life?. William was assassinated-by the Arabs north while campaigning for President of Sudan. If I am mistaken anyone should correct my comments. Chronological history of struggle you wrote is well well taken. No one should forget the hardship of 50 years.
    Elijah

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    • 13 October 2011 18:15

      thank you very much brother for your comment. It is highly appreciated.
      Blessings

      repondre message

  • 13 October 2011 17:23

    Well put it, article Mr. Peter Kleto Oyoyo. We South Sudanese need true base piece of history like what you had just posted here. Your are really good writer if I might say or add.Furthermore, our people need history without being distorted by some individuals who are always being driven by personal interest.

    repondre message

  • 14 October 2011 01:36, by bmb

    Elijha,
    I think you’ve confused William Deng with William Nyuon. William Deng was the one assassinated between Tonj and Rumbek.

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    • 14 October 2011 22:00, by Elijha B. Elkan

      Dear BMB,

      I was referring William Deng Nhial from Bahr el Gazal. I would like you update the reader on both Williams. Who is William (excuse my ignorance) Nyuon and what roll did he played in the struggle.

      Sincerely,

      Elijah

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      • 15 October 2011 16:25

        The late hero William nyuon Bany was a major in Sudanese Armed forces during Numery’s regime; and he together with the late hero Kerubino kuanyi Bol rebelled against Numery in 1983. He rebelled in Ayod and Kerubino in Bor before late hero Dr. Garang join them. Was killed by forces under Peter Gadet in Bentiu. He was a man of zeal.
        thanks
        peter oyoyo kleto

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  • 14 October 2011 03:51, by Nation-State!

    Dear Peter Kleto,

    Well articulated and excellent historical narraive. Keep up the good job and please write more! I appreciate your objective inputs. If this nation would only have a thousand people like you,it will surely develop and prosper unlike any other nation in Africa as a whole.

    repondre message



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