Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Sudan !st civil war (contd-1)
The origins of the civil war in the south date back to the 1950s. On Aug 18, 1955,the Equatoria Corps, a military unitcomposed of southerners mutined at at Torit. Rather than surrender to Sudanese Govt. authorities, many mutineers disappeared into hiding with their weapons marking the beginning of the first war in southern Sudan. By late 1960s,the war had resulted in the deaths of about 500,000people. Several hundred thousand more southerners hid in the forests or escaped to refugee camps in neighbouring countries.
By 1969, the rebels had developed foreign contacts to obtain weapons and supplies. Israel, for exmple, trained Anya Nya recruits and shipped weapons via Ethiopia and Uganda to the rebels.Anya Nya also purchased arms from Congolese rebels and International arms dealer with money collected in the southand from among southern Sudanese exile communities in the middle east , western EEurope and North America.The rebels also captured arms,equipments and supplies from Govt. troops.
Military Anya Nya controlled much of the southern countryside while Govt forces occuppied the regions of major towns. An estimate of the number of guerrillas was between 5,000 to 10,000. The Khartoum Govt. increased the number of military personnel to South and purchased arms from Soviet union.
In 1971, Joseph lagu , who had become the leader of southern forces opposed to Khartoum, proclaimed the creation of the Southern Sudan Liberation Movement (SSLM), Anya Nya leaders unite behind himand nearly all exiled southern Sudanese supported the SSLM.
Ultimately the Khartoum Govt. had to come down and had an accord with the rebels in Addis Ababa. Though many SSLM leaders opposed the terms of the agreement but the leader lagu on march 27, 1972, issued a decree of settlement, which was celebrated as National Unity Day.