Prof Peter Tingwa – Chronological events in the history of Sudan and South Sudan 1821-2018

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Preamble Egypt was part of the Ottoman Empire under the Sultan of Turkey. It however was autonomous under a Viceroy (Khedive). Hence, the administrative set up in Egypt was generally recognized as Turco-Egyptian. As it entirely depends on the waters of the River Nile and so Egypt had over a long period harbored the idea to know where the Nile came from and also to control it. In Europe there also was the quest to know the source of the Nile. Those reasons prompted Egypt and European explorers to venture deep into the Nile valley and thereby, eventually leading to the creation of the modern states of the Sudan and South Sudan over 197 years to date can be summarized as follows:

1821 The Turco-Egyptians under Mohamed Ali invade the unchartered territories called Sudan in search of ivory , gold and slaves. Over time, his successors brought most of the territories constituting Northern Sudan, stretching up to Sobat confluence under their rule. Their rule however was harsh

1839/40 A Turco-Egyptian expeditionary force under Captain Selim Qapudan broke through the swamp (Sudd) to Gondokoro. Immediately trade began in ivory by the merchants in Khartoum. Egypt proclaims all the territories of the Nile valley as belonging to it.

18401854 As the source of ivory dried up and incomes fell, the trade was complemented by trade in slaves. But 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 (South Sudan) which Egypt had claimed. Additionally like Egypt, the British were also interested to know the source of the Nile. They therefore put pressure on Khedive .Said Pasha to stop it.

1854 Khedive Said Pasha orders a stop to slavery and agrees to use Europeans to stop it using such personalities as Samuel Baker, Gordon Pasha, Lupton Pasha, Emin Pasha etc.

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 expansion was stopped by the Mahdist uprising..

1881 Owing to the harsh rule of the Turco-Egyptians the Northern Sudanese, led by Mahdi Ahmed the Mahdi rose against the Turco-Egyptian rule. 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.

1882 Mahdi and the Ansar defeated a very large army commanded bye a British, Hicks Pasha, and soon they begin to take towns and advance towards Khartoum

In the same year, Egyptian officers rose against their King. 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.

1885 The famous/infamous Berlin Conference which parceled out Africa among the Europeans. 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. The British 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

In this same year the Mahdi and the Ansar advanced on Khartoum. The British agreed 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. Gordon did not act as instructed. He stayed longer than he was expected to, and was besieged by the Ansar. The Ansar storm Khartoum and beheaded Gordon. The British were very angry about Gordon’s death and sought to avenge it. This same year, the Mahdi died and Khalifa Abdullahi took over the leadership of the Ansar and the country

18861896 The then known Sudan was under the rule of Khalifa Abdullahi (the Mahdist State). Knowing that the Turco-Egyptian rule had collapsed in the Sudan and the Nile valley, other Europeans 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 was 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; and also in a roundabout way bring the Nile valley under its control.  So that they can have the British Empire extend in a continuum from Cape to Cairo

1896. Led by General Herbert Horatio Kitchner, 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.

1898 the invasion reached Omdurman and on 02 September, a fierce battle took place at Kerreri outside Omdurman. The Ansar were defeated and Khalifa Abdullahi escaped to Kordofan. Upon capture of Omdurman, Kitchner had to proceed to Fashoda, because it was reported that some white people with an army had hoisted their flag there. It was the French. A confrontation that almost brought a war between France and Britain took place. The French backed down and retreated.

Immediately after the fall of the Mahdist State, Darfur declared independence under Sultan Ali Dinar. .

1899 the Condominium Charter was signed between the British and the Egyptians and Anglo Egyptian Sudan came into being and the British and the Egyptians 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. In this same year, Khalifa Abdullahi was killed in battle by the Anglo Egyptian forces. Furthermore, the Condominium Government took measures against resurgence of Mahdism (Ansar) and reduced the status of the Mahdi family to that of ordinary citizens.

In this year, the Condominium Government began enlightenment and developmental programs in the North

1900-1905 In the South, the Belgians crossed over the Nile-Congo water divide into the Nile valley. 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 the Anglo Belgian Treaty of 1894, an understanding was reached between the British and Belgian Governments that the territories already occupied by the Belgians,  of Yei, Kajokeji, Amadi and west bank of Juba Districts but excluding Tali and Terekeka, would be ceded to King Leopold II until his death. Those territories were known as the Lado Enclave.

1909 King Leopold died and as per the agreement, Lado Enclave reverted to Sudan, becoming part of the Mongalla Province

1914 In a territorial exchange between Uganda and the Anglo Egyptian Sudan,  souther Lado Enclave (Arua-Pakwac) was transferred to Uganda and as replacement the Sudan got the area of present Eastern Equatoria (Torit-Kapoeta)

1916 An Anglo-Egyptian Sudan force was sent to Darfur, it defeated the army of Sultan Ali Dinar and consequently Darfur came back to be part of the Sudan. And thereafter, the modern state of the Sudan took the shape as we saw in the maps before the break up in 2011.

1924 An anti-British feelings in Egypt as reaction to the dominating role of the British on their country, In the Sudan the Egyptians were also not happy with the minor role they were playing in the Sudan The Egytians find common cause with the Sudanese nationalists, led by Ali Abdel Latif. The nationalists staged demonstrations in Khartoum, demanding unity with Egypt. Sir Lee Stack was shot in Cairo by anti-British elements. In reaction, the British sent away the Egyptian army as well as the Egyptian administrators from the Sudan. This brought the relationship between the British and the Egyptians to very low ebb.

As is known, the Ansar (Mahdists) are 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.

1930 The British, having come to the realization that the South and Southerners were distinctly different from the North and Northern Sudanese, enacted the Southern Policy In this policy, the South was administered separately; and to ‘protect’ the Southerners from Northern influences, they also enacted the Closed District Ordnance, which restricted the movement of the Northerners to the South as well as Southerners to the North. At this time, they 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

1936 The Anglo Egyptian Treaty of 1899 (Condominium Charter) was revised and the Egyptian officials were returned to the Sudan once again. They also were given a greater say in the affairs of the Sudan. Nonetheless, the British continued to have the greater say

1938 The Graduates Congress was formed in the North by the educated Northerners. 1942 This group put forward a demand for self-determination and they began to agitate for independence.

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 a higher pay, i.e. equal to their colleagues in the North. This is significant, because it represented the first time Southerners acted together for their own interest. 1945 Sayed Abdel Rahman El Mahdi formed the Umma Party for the Ansar. 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 Councils/Assembly and for the whole Sudan, including Southern Sudan.  The Condominium Government relented and sought ways of how to effect it

1946 As a consequence, the famous Sudan Administrative Conference was called to decide as to how the South could fit into this new political dispensation. The Conference comprised of the following: the Government (Civil Secretary), Northern political establishment and the three British Governors of Equatoria, Bahr El Ghazal and Upper Nile. Those Governors ostensibly were to represent Southerner interests. The Southerners were excluded on the grounds that they did not have political organizations to represent them. party. 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 now was just a matter of selecting the Southern representatives for it.

This resolution of the Conference angered some of the British administrators in the South, notably, Owen, the Deputy Governor of Wau Owen, Major Wylid, the DC of Yambio and others. In reaction, Major Wyld proposed that, it at all there was to be this unified Sudan, then 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.

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 done it so 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 divergence of views among the Southerners. While the chiefs, until the next day, continued to say that the British should stay longer in order to bring them to be at the same level as the Northerners, in contrast by the next day, the 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 in the previous night that, if they support 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 any decision about the consent of Southerners for uni8ty with the North; that decision having already been made by the Sudan Administrative Conference the previous year.

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 ,

In the same year, Bahr El Ghazal was split from Equatoria and it became a separate province. This made the Sudan to have nine provinces

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

1953 In March 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 this 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

1954-1955 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 such post. 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 mainly were government officials in Juba, together with some   Southern non-commissioned officers of the Equatoria Corp of the Sudan Defence Force in Torit, began to conspire as to how to realize this. Their plan however was later discovered by the Government.

1955 The beginning of great apprehension about independence with the Northerners. The arrest of politically active persons Daniel Jumi and ….in Juba led to riots in the town. This, together with the killings 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; that was, to remove the Northerners and taking over the administration in Juba, Torit and elsewhere. This plan was however discovered by the Government of PM Ismail El Azhari

As a consequence, the Government took decisions to thwart it. It decided to disarm and remove 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 18 August the effort to disarm and take the Torit soldiers to the North backfired. The soldiers rebelled and began to kill their Northern officers, together with Northern civilian. 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 24 August, the leader of the Torit rebellion, NCO Reynaldo, surrendered under false promises by the Governor General and thereafter, many other soldiers surrendered. Subsequently, they were court martialled, 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.

For the civilians who were suspected to have participated in the uprising, they were tried by special courts and many were jailed and others executed

1956 Independence of the Sudan, but little joy in Southern Sudan

1958 A general election was held. Southern MPs, under Fr. Saturnino, demanded that the permanent constitution that was in the making must contain a federal status for Southern Sudan. The Northerners refused, thus constitution making process was stalled..

1959 Due to this as well as acrimony in the coalition government, Prime Minister Abdalla Bey Khalil of Umma Party handed over the government to 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. It 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

1960 Due to this suppression, Southern politicians that included Fr. 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 (1961) by William Deng

1962 The escapees form a political organization, the Sudan African Closed District National Union (SACDNU); and 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

1963 In January 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

1964 The Anyanya activities 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

1965 A Round-table Conference was held in Khartoum to resolve the ‘Southern Problem’. On the Northern side, there were the Northern political parties of, 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 Twelf-man Committee to follow on the unresolved issues. The Committee got nowhere.

1965 A general election was held. It was boycotted by Southern Front but embraced by SANU William Deng. 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. But 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.

1965-1967 Internal problems beset the resistance movement outside. Aggrey Jaden was deposed as head of SANU and in its place Joseph Oduho forms the Azania Liberation Front (ALF) with himself as President and Eziboni Mondiri as the Minister of Defence

196.. Fr. Saturnino was killed by Uganda army at the behest of the Sudan

1968 The government of Azania Liberation Front collapses it is superseded by the South Sudan Provisional Government (SSPG) under Aggrey Jaden. In Khartoum a succession of weak coalition government while war rages in the South

1969 Another internal problem 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 was replaced by Anyanya High Military Command under General Joseph Lagu.

In Khartoum Col Gaafar Nimeiri takes over the government and recognizes that Southern Problem was real

1970 The Ansar revolt against Nimeiri’s regime and is crushed and Imam El Hadi got killed in it. In the South, Gen. Joseph Lagu takes over from Gen Taffeng and forms the Anyanya High Command

1971 Communist coup against Nimeiri led by Hasim el Atta and is crushed

1972 Under pressure, preliminary contact and talks begin between the Government of Sudan and the Anyanya. On 03 March 1972, the Addis Ababa Agreement was signed, granting a regional autonomy to South Sudan under a Regional High Executive Council and Regional Legislative Assembly. Addis Ababa Agreement enshrined into the Constitution; and President Nimeiri appoints Abel Alier as the first President of the Regional High Executive Council (HEC)

1975 Akobo Mutiny, Anyanya II formed

1976 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

1977 President Nimeiri embarks 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.

1978 Rtd. Gen Lagu elected as the President of the Southern Region High Executive Council instead of Abel Alier

1979 Oil discovered in Bentiu District

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 HEC, until the elections. The election was held and Abel Alier was once again elected as the President of HEC

Encouraged by President Nimeiri, some members of the Southern delegation to the Sudan Socialist Union (SSU) National Congress propose to the President that, the Southern Region should be broken up to 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 Nimeirt 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 pla because of protests from the Southern Regional Government headed by Abel Alier, resulting in poor relationship between Abel and Nimeiri

1981 Probably owing to his estranged relationship with Abel’s government, President Nimeiri dissolved both the national and regional (Abel’s) governments and ordered a country-wide elections. He appointed Rtd Gen Gismalla Abdalla Rassas as interim President of 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.

1982 The election was won by the supporters of Kokora and Joseph James Tambura became the President of the High Executive Council. .

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. Col John Garang who at the time was in Bor, escaped with them. Battalion105 was soon followed by Battalions in Ayod and Akobo. Those battalions formed the nucleus of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement/ Army (SPLM/A) under Col John Garang. After this, active war began between the SPLA and the Government Army.

Acting upon a memorandum from the President of HEC, James Joseph Tambura, President Nimeiri issues 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 September President Nimeiri decreed Islamic Sharia to be the law in the country

1985 A popular uprising in Khartoum leading to the demise of the May Regime of President Nimeiri and its system of SSU. A Military Council under Gen. 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 SPLM.A but they were unsuccessful

1986 The general election was held; but it was mainly in the North because large chunks of the South were under 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.

19861989 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. 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.

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 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

1991 SPLM/A split into two: Torit faction, led by John Garang; and the Nasir faction, led by Riek Machar and Lam Akol. Fighting erupts between the two factions in several places, but more so in Upper Nile.

19911994 Weakened by the split, the Government retook many towns in Southern Sudan from 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 cancelled. S there remained 25 states 15 in the North and 10 in the South.

1994 IGAD initiated a three-way talk between the Government of the Sudan and the two factions of SPLM/A. They succeed to persuade the three sides to sign a Declaration of Principles.

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.

SPLA launches a major offensive, retaking all the towns it lost, from Yei up to Gogrial

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

2002 Riek Machar rejoins SPLM/A under John Garang and is re-instated in his former position as Vice Chairman.

Machakos Protocol was signed, The Protocol delineated the salient areas for the negotiations as well as the framework of the anticipated agreement.

2003 Lam Akol rejoins SPLM/A and in the same year, the war in Darfur escalated

2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed between SPLM/A and the Government of Sudan at Naivasha. The Agreement catered for a Government for Southern Sudan; self-determination for Southern Sudan after six years (2011); and Col John Garang to be the First Vice President in the Sudan. He was duly sworn.

On 30 August,  John Garang who had just been sworn in as First Vice President died in a plane crash and Salva Kiir Mayardit took over as Chairman of SPLM. He subsequently was sworn in as First Vice President of the country as well as the President of the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS)

2007 The International Criminal Court indicts President Omar Hassan El Bashir and two others on allegations of crimes against humanity committedin Darfur. SPLM suspends participation in the National Government due to differences over the implementation of the CPA

2008 SPLM holds its Second National Convention. Differences emerge as to the leadership of the party and the government. Compromise was reached to retain the existing structure. However, seeds of disagreement had already been sown between them

2010 General election held in the country and both Omar El Bashir and the NCP as well as Salva Kiir and SPLM won respectively in the country and Southern Sudan

2011 A referendum (self-determination) was held in Southern Sudan in which the people voted overwhelmingly (98%) for independence. And on 09 July, South Sudan became an independent sovereign state

2012 Owing to the non-transparent way through which the Sudan and the oil companies were transacting the proceeds of the oil, and especially Khartoum’s refusal to load the share of the crude for South Sudan, In reaction,  South Sudan stopped the pumping ofrthe oil and introduced austerity measures to mitigate the effect

Intrigues and suspicions grip the leadership of the SPLM and the Government.  A security law that gave excessive powers to the security organ was enacted

2013 President Salva withdraws powers from First VP Riek 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 is dubbed SPLM ‘In Opposition’ in order to distinguish it from the SPLM ‘In Government’ of President Salva.

20142015 IGAD intervened and began to .broker peace, but the war continued to spread to Equatoria and Western Bahr El Ghazal

2015 In August an Agreement (ARCISS) was hammered out which, among others, restored the status quo ante with Salva as the President and Riek as First Vice President; and an increase in the number of Legislators. President Sa

President Salva controversially decrees the establishment of 28 then later 32 states in the country instead of the ten states. There were loud protests about this decree from SPLM IO, other opposition groups and independents

2016 In April Riek returned to Juba to assume his First VP position but in July fighting broke out again between Riek’s forces and SPLA IG. Riek fled to DR Congo with government forces in hot pursuit

Riek’s Chief negotiator, Taban Deng Gai, controversially claims leadership of the SPLM IO and wa intead pf Rieks sworn in by President Salva as the First Vice President.  After evacuation from DR Congo to Khartoum, Riek was exiled to South Africa, ostensibly so as to give chance to Salva and Taban to implement the agreement without undue interference from Riek. However, no progress was made. Instead the fighting spread to many parts of the country and new fighting groups emerged

2017 IGAD revives the peacemaking process under a euphemism of revitalization of ARCSS. The new fighting and political groups which had emerged since the collapse of the ARCSS were included in the talks. They form an alliance dubbed South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA)

2018 For finalization of the new agreement, Riek was released from virtual detention in South Africa and he traveled to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia to meet Salva.  The talks were transferred from Addis Ababa to Khartoum for completion under the aegis of President Omar El Bashir.

In Khartoum, however, the opposition groups complained of overt high-handedness by the mediators. Nonetheless, a draft agreement was reached. SSOA expressed reservations on the draft but it divided them: with some of the members rejecting it and others going along with it. Those rejecting it included NAS, PDM, UPDM and SSNMC on the grounds it has and did not address the root causes of the problem and conflict. Additionally, the agreement caused split within each of the groups.

The talks returned to Addis Ababa and the final Khartoum draft was signed on 12 September by the parties.

As of today, 20 September 2018, many neutral observers and international organizations alike, however, express reservations about its success

 

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