South Sudan History

By | November 4, 2021

The history of the South Sudanese in the last two centuries has been linked to that of their neighbors in Sudan, the largest state in Africa until the independence of South Sudan, and to the different colonial invasions suffered in the 19th century by Turks, Egyptians and British. All searched the fertile lands watered by the Nile for slaves among the tribes of the area and raw materials such as gold, ebony and other noble woods.

According to data released by the South Sudanese government, during those years, millions of citizens from those areas were taken to neighboring Arab countries and treated as slaves. Modern Sudan, as it was before the southern secession, emerged during the British – Egyptian protectorate (1898 – 1955). While the occupying powers promoted socio-economic development in the north, their southern neighbors were turned over to the almost exclusive work of Christian missions and became what was called a “closed district” with a special ordinance that limited activity. and movements of its citizens. This policy did nothing more than promote territorial imbalances and inequalities among neighbors and instill among the South Sudanese the feeling of being a people colonized by the north.

The autonomy regime that the south had in the last six years before acceding to independence in 2011, much broader than that given before 1956 by the colonial occupiers, allowed South Sudan to take some steps in the preparation of its independence. They had a 170-member parliament elected by popular will, which approved an interim constitution. They designed and put into action government structures to attend to economic, political and social development, and took steps to have a flag, anthem, currency, and other historical and cultural symbols.

The conflict with the north

When in 1953, the British and Egyptians, the colonial lords of Sudan since 1899, signed an agreement in Khartoum, the official capital of the country, in which the total independence of Sudan was guaranteed within three years. Thus, in 1955, the transitional government that was to give way to an independent Sudan, began to receive strong pressure from radical Islamists in the north, causing the first war between the north and the south of the country, a southern part of the country, to break out in 1956. Christian and multi-ethnic majority, and unleashing a violent conflict that plunged both parts of the Sudan into misery.

In 1958 there will be a coup that will put President Ibrahim Abbud in power, who six years later will be overthrown by another coup, creating a climate of instability throughout the country, which will be exploited in 1969 by John M. De Garang to establish a rebellious government in the south. This fact will reactivate the civil war causing the death of hundreds of thousands of people.

Despite everything, a door to peace was opened in 1972 with the signing in Addis Ababa of a peace agreement between the two parties, which established a ceasefire and the right to self-determination for South Sudan, a country located in Africa according to BUSINESSCARRIERS. This agreement would seek a relative calm in the country for 11 years.

However, in 1980 the democratic government of Jafar al Nimeiri began to suffer pressure from the National Islamic Party (PIN), chaired by Hassan el-Turabi, a fact that would produce a crisis that the south tried to take advantage of by claiming the division of that zone in three provinces. Faced with such a proposal, the North reacted with the repeal of the autonomy of the South, and in 1983, General Omar al-Bashir, President of the North Sudan, promulgated the “September Laws” for the entire country that provided for cruel and physical punishments. in case of theft, and that would produce a new outbreak of civil war.

It will be in this second stage of the war when the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) is created in the south and when the conflict becomes more violent and deadly than during the first, due to the use of more sophisticated modern weapons and the use of paramilitary groups.

The situation worsens in 1989, when a coup d’état will establish a revolutionary Islamic regime in the north that, in 1991, will introduce sharia. It is from that moment that the conflict acquires religious connotations when its origin only responded to struggles over water, oil, land and ethnic conflicts.

After the attacks in the November of September of 2011 and the implementation of a strategy of global domination by the most right – wing circles of the government of the United States, this nation begins to mediate in the Sudanese conflict and exert pressure against the North, promoting a series of conversations that resulted in a set of truces and free transit agreements for humanitarian aid.

In July 2002, peace talks began in Machakos (near the Kenyan capital) between the government of Omar al-Bashir and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), which ended with the signing of the agreement protocol of the July 20 of that year in which a ceasefire was established, the commitment to negotiate a new political organization in Sudan, and a referendum on self-determination. The agreement also implied the commitment to open a transitional period of six years, during which the south would have a Statute of Autonomy and the sharia would not be applied in that area.

This agreement was followed by the Law for Peace, Machakos II and Machakos III. This last, of 18 of November of 2002, a distribution of the wealth of the country was agreed. The 9 of January of 2005 the Government of Sudan and the southern rebels signed a peace deal that promised to end the civil war. The agreement was signed in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, with Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Mohammed Taha and SPLA leader John Garang.

Subsequently, the Government also signed the reconciliation with the National Democratic Alliance that became part of the administration, and on July 9, Garang was sworn in as Vice President of the country (replaced by Salva Kiir a month later due to Garang’s death) and the new Constitution was signed that granted a high degree of autonomy to the south.

South Sudan History