Sunday, 22 May 2011
The Differences between Oduho, William Deng & Aggrey Jaden
Making Peace While Waging War - A Peacemaking
Effort in the Sudanese Civil War, 1965-1966
Excerpts from MA thesis in history
By Marit Magelssen Vambheim
University of Bergen
SANU (outside) were willing to accept nothing short of separation as a solution to the civil war, and thus Deng’s initiative and subsequent statements that Southerners favoured federation were perceived as a fierce betrayal. The party claimed that they had learnt “[…] from hard practical experience over the years to be suspicious of the promises made by the Sudan Government.”152 Nevertheless, they finally agreed to sending a delegation to the conference, although the leader of their delegation, Aggrey Jaden, abruptly left Khartoum after holding a hostile introductory speech on behalf of SANU (outside).153 In his speech to the RTC Jaden demanded elections in the South, to give the Southern people an opportunity to decide for themselves whether they
wanted a future in union or federation with the Northern Sudan, or as an independent state. The Southern conflict, according to SANU (outside) was based on the vast racial, cultural and religious differences between Northern and Southern Sudan:
“With this real division there are in fact two Sudans and the most important thing is that there can never be a basis of unity between the two.”154 This is an important aspect of the rhetoric of SANU (outside). Their insistence on the impossibility of a solution implying unity with the North was directly based on ethnic differences, and was hence likely to widen the gap between the warring parties and their constituencies, as it legitimized continued warfare. By affirming and adding to Southern preconceived images of their own as opposed to the Northern identity, they created a situation where there was in reality no solution other than fighting the war until it was
won, thus leading them right into Kaufman’s “symbolic politics trap”.
Jaden also approached the foreign observers, claiming that the conflict had already spread to neighbouring countries, a development that would continue were the Southerners not granted independence. The Southern Sudanese people were subject to colonialism and suppression by their Northern counterparts, and the international community was obliged to recognize their struggle for justice and freedom, Jaden claimed.
SANU (outside) consisted by mid-1965 of two blocks. The majority block argued in favour of independence gained through diplomatic means, such as gaining support in neighbouring states. The second block, led by Joseph Oduho, called themselves ‘extremists’, and supported the Anya-Nya strategy of winning self-determination through military means.155 In June 1965, the Oduho-led block separated from SANU (outside), and established the Azania Liberation Front (ALF).156 ALF claimed that the Anya-Nya was its military arm, and that they controlled the rebel movement politically. They wanted to take a harder and more violent stance to achieve their separatist goal, and Jaden initiately denounced them for extremism. Jaden and his followers ultimately merged with ALF, making Oduho President and Jaden Vice-President of the organization. Nonetheless, the situation once again was spoiled by the personal rivalries between Oduho and Jaden, when Jaden was dismissed from ALF in December 1965, after allegedly having met William Deng to discuss the Southern situation, without informing Oduho.