English as a Marker of Southern Sudanese Nationalism:

Social History, Politics and Language in the Sudan

Muhammad Sid-Ahmad  © 2007

Official languages can be divided into statutory and symbolic.  The first refers to languages becoming official by law.  As for the second, languages become symbols “not by legislation but by history.”[1]  This report charts some historical aspects of the Sudan’s history, focusing on those that have led to making English a marker of Southern Sudanese national consciousness. In other words, one would need to see South Sudan’s separatism across time in order to see how English becomes attached to this separatism.[2]

In January 9, 2005, English was elevated to become co-official with Arabic in Sudan in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that gave South Sudan the right of self-determination.  The special status of southern Sudan was highlighted by two southern MPs, who requested, four months and a few weeks before independence respectively, federal unity between North and South Sudan. Sadly the whole country, North and South, gained independence January 1, 1956 but without the federal union.[3]  Half a century later, on January 9, 2005, the government of the Sudan and the South Sudan Liberation Army/Movement signed the CPA. Why did the southern MPs want federalism on the eve of independence, and what happened between then and 2005?

Southern Sudanese nationalism is based on “hostility and resistance to the forces of the outside world,”[4] and English has become a major tool in post-independence resistance. Many former colonies’ national identities are versions of the more dominant cultural or ethnic groups’ cultures. In Sudan’s case, the situation is aggravated by the first colonial power’s system of land tenure and agricultural-slavery and the second colonial power’s limiting of development to the South compared to the North, whose Arabicised culture was counteracted by English introduced for this purpose by the second colonial administration. This use of English has continually been re-enacted by the South in post-independence Sudan, as the CPA shows.

After a brief description of North and South Sudan, I introduce the major sections of this report. The map below is only illustrative, considering that the actual North-South borders are now being negotiated between the signatories of the CPA. I have hence used an administrative map (below) to show the relative sizes of North and South Sudan. The South is about the bottom third of the Sudan in the map below, where Bahr el Ghazal flows horizontally from the west to the east, ending in the Upper Nile Province. As for the North, I speak generally of it, meaning I include Darfur, Kurdufan and the areas facing the Red Sea, despite current conflicts, as the paper focuses on the Arabicised North as a whole vis-à-vis the South.

South Sudan: from Bahr el Ghazal to Upper Nile

and southwards towards the South’s capital, Juba[5]

Section Headings:

1.                  Homogeneity: Arabic, Arabicisation

2.                  First Colonial Administration: Modern Education & Arabic

3.                  Agricultural Slave Labour: Unity & Schism

4.                  Second Colonial Administration: Status Planning & English

5.                  Seeds of Identity: Closing the South, Opening the North

6.                  Faulty Unity: Status Planning (Arabic & English)

7.                  Southern National Consciousness: the Spark

8.                  Vision for the South: Return of English

9.                  Comprehensive Peace Agreement (2005)

10.              Conclusion

1. Homogeneity: Arabic, Arabicisation

What seems to be important for this study is to begin with an historical outline of the general linguistic, ethnic and mainly cultural homogeneity[6] of North Sudan before going into the sudden, violent colonial integration of the South into modern Sudan.

North Sudan has historically been part of the ebb and flow of people, trade, war and peace. Hence cultural routes extend to the Mediterranean and the Middle East, mainly Egypt, to the North as well as westwards towards western Africa and eastwards, across the waters to east and south Arabia and India.

The culture that homogenized the North has been described as a culture of accommodation and compromise.[7] Old Nubian kingdoms, dating back to antiquity and linked to Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cultures since time immemorial, expanded northwards into Upper Egypt and the Holy Land. Most of the movement, however, has been southwards, accounting for the early establishment of indigenous Christian kingdoms, from around the sixth century, in the North. Early Muslim attempts to conquer Nubian kingdoms failed, however, and trading agreements were signed instead. Indigenous Muslim kingdoms eventually emerged by around the fourteenth century.

The main indigenous kingdom, the Funj, dominates modern Sudan’s history until the first colonial rule.  The Funj ruled for hundreds of years from the end of the medieval period to the beginning of the nineteenth century, from the Egyptian frontier to the Ethiopian foothills.  The stability provided an ideal atmosphere for developing the cultural and racial intermixing that resulted in Sudan’s cultural homogeneity.  This was before the ruler of Egypt decided to conquer Sudan in 1819, when modern Sudan was born. The longevity of the Funj was due, in part, to their complex court system, where a matriarchal system ensured stability while continuing racial mixing.

Ethnic classification and mixing, as well as Islamicisation and concomitant Arabisation, lead to the spread of the Arabic language.  The ruling Funj or ‘blues’ were ethnically indigenous. Two other groups are important for modern Sudan.  One is the ‘greens’ or Negroes and the other the ‘yellows’, the nomadic descendents of Arabs. Intermarriage between the latter two groups produced what the Funj described as ‘of two hues’, whose dominating strain was that of the Nubian inhabitants of the far North of Sudan. Other factors that helped spread Arabic are its use as the language of the court the “lingua franca of commerce and administration.”[8]

Despite the intermingling, huge swamp areas severed early ties between North and South Sudan. This is although the Shilluk, a southern tribe, used the Nile to go northwards on raids until well into the nineteenth century. The mixed ethnic group, ‘or two hues’, is also known as the Ja’liyyin; an “agricultural people of Arab and Nubian descent.”[9]  With the fall of kingdoms in the North, at the beginning of the rise of the Funj around the fifteenth century, the Ja’liyyin’s kin, the Dinka, moved from central Sudan to modern-day South Sudan.[10] They moved westwards within southern Sudan due to the reported increase in rainfall. The rainfall created a large swamp area, a natural barrier to subsequent cultural contact and ethnic mixing, so that kinship between the Dinka in the South and Ja’liyyin in the North is hardly known in modern-day Sudan.

2. First Colonial Administration: Modern Education & Arabic

Sudan’s first colonial administration introduced modern education, with Egyptian Education Ministry schools and mission schools opened in Sudan alongside traditional Sudanese schools.  Arabic was the principal language of education. The introduction of modern education, and modern administration, to the Sudan is seen as a major positive development in Sudan’s history.

The colonial administration, however, planted the seeds for the schism between North and South Sudan. In the early nineteenth century, Egypt, nominally under Ottoman rule, extended its ambitious modernization program to Sudan, [11] where Egypt’s powerful governor, Mohamed-Ali, appointed European administrators and officers to senior positions to implement his modernization program.[12] Modern irrigation and large-scale farming involved introducing a new system of private land tenure and agricultural-slavery, discussed in the next section.

Modern education in the Sudan followed the Egyptian educational system, whose introduction was made easier by the existence of a traditional system of education under the Funj, who used Arabic for administration and commerce. Spiritual religious leaders, the Sufis, taught, amongst other subjects, the Quran, which required literacy in Arabic.  The Sufis’ prestige in Funj society was based on their religious learning, but they grew in independence and influence due to land grants offered by the Funj nobility. 

Sufi schools seem to have been numerous, as by the mid-seventeenth century, about seventeen schools had existed around Khartoum – to be destroyed in a Shilluk raid in 1684.[13] The traditional educational network they created spread from northern villages along the Nile to Kurdufan and the kingdom of Darfur in the west and to Red Sea regions in the east, but not to South Sudan.

The pre-colonial educational network did not extend to the South until Mohamed-Ali’s southward push into the Sudan in 1820.  With the modern borders of the Sudan set around 1840, unified administration and educational systems were introduced to the whole country though gradually within North Sudan, from the Nile valley to both the east and west, and finally to South Sudan. 

Now part of the Egyptian educational system, Sudanese students aged seven to twelve studied Arabic, also the medium of instruction, and the three ‘Rs’: reading, writing and arithmetic. The schooling system trained Sudanese to fill a variety of positions, partly to reduce expenditure; Sudanese were trained to fill positions in the justice system, medicine and pharmacy. Sudanese students were also sent to Europe with their Egyptian counterparts where they studied agriculture, a field that was to have an important impact on Sudanese society.

Naturally the educational system expanded with the colonial administration’s expansion to all parts of Sudan, and through the new schools and administration, Arabic expanded as well.  As Darfur and the southern provinces were included, the number of schools increased to meet the administration’s need for clerks and technicians.  Army battalions stationed in places where there were no schools were also provided with special teachers.  Arabic was the medium of instruction in these schools as well. This is how a form of pidjin Arabic spread in southern Sudan, its first reported appearance in the South.

Christian missionaries were invited to open schools in Sudan, and they too taught Arabic – not English. Exempted from taxes, missions opened schools in the whole country, but again not the South. Catholic missionaries were quick to respond.[14] A Papal decree making Khartoum, Sudan’s capital geographically in North Sudan, the centre of missionary work directed missionaries’ attention to the country. At the first Catholic school in Khartoum, Arabic, French and Italian were taught. Arabic seems to have been common to missionary, Egyptian and traditional schools.

Though the colonial administration introduced agricultural-slavery, discussed below, to Sudan, the administration later banned slave raids and assisted in teaching freed slaves’ children.  These children were also taught Arabic. In addition to mission schools, freed slaves’ children received their education through special schools provided by the colonial administration.

Just as the general population in the North was suspicious of missionary work, preventing them from sending their children to mission schools, in the South, tribal chiefs were suspicious of government schools’ association with the slave trade, so government personnel’s children were the main beneficiaries.

3.  Agricultural Slave Labour: Unity and Schism

Arabic and Arabicisation existed prior to the modern educational and administrative systems introduced by the first colonial administration, but modern systems of land farming and irrigation associated colonisation with Arabic in the non-Arab part of Sudan: the South. Large-scale farming required the removal of the existing system in the North: Under the Funj or Sinnarian system, cultivators shared wealth through patterns of kinship and taxes were paid in kind, again, to redistribute wealth in times of hardship. Large-scale farming also required cheap agricultural labour, for which expeditions were sent to the South to acquire slaves, creating a schism between North and South Sudan.

The new land tenure system was aimed at consolidating fertile land in the North to create large agricultural projects, so a new tax system, where Turkish coin was collected, was introduced. “If my Sinnarians were to cultivate ten times as much as they are doing,” protested a local governor to a colonial officer, “they would still have only grain and animals to give you, and not money.”[15] Villager-farmers along the Nile in the North were effectively reduced to poverty.  Refusal to comply with the new rules could result in decapitation, because as one Hermann von Puckler-Muskau explained, “without these stern measures, one could never have made the natives accept it.”  These measures were coupled with laws on land seizure. Consolidated land needed cheap labour.

Before discussing agricultural slave labour, it is important to distinguish between it and existing systems of slavery or captivity to fully appreciate the impact of the former on Sudanese society. 

Under the Funj, for example, slaves joined the ranks of the elite, carrying out bureaucratic and military functions.  They were also an important part of the ruling class. Taken from the ranks of war captives, they became members of the court, carrying out the functions of the executive or the vazier who seems to have “governed everything.”[16]  Other positions occupied by slaves include the treasurer, the Funj-Arabic interpreter, and military officers.  Gold and the Funj trading caravan were the sultanate’s main income; slaves were rarely sold.

In South Sudan, raiding and taking captives often resulted in the integration of tribes.  The Nuer tribe, for example, expanded its kingship through raiding.  Forced by ecological and population pressure, the Nuer moved northwards into South Sudan.  They raided other tribes, mainly the numerically dominant Dinka, for cattle.  Taking captives, however, extended their kingship, as the captives were incorporated in the new tribe. The Nuer have been known to exchange bridge wealth even with women who were originally captives. Later Dinka would take refuge amongst Nuer where many of their relatives already existed, and raids were avoided where captive kin were incorporated into the other tribe. What applies to the Nuer generally applies to the Dinka When they arrived in the South, the Dinka displaced other tribes.  Eventually however these new people were absorbed.[17] 

As for the king of the Shilluk in the South, he controlled a market where small-scale traders, individuals or a small company in search of modest trading, sought the king’s permission.  Some of these were traders from the North, respected as people who came in peace.[18]  They turned to slave trading with the king’s permission, but only as a by-product of the Egyptian colonial introduction of slaving expeditions, which created social upheaval.  Captivity was originally motivated by and resulting in ransoms where casual grazing and other agreements were made.  Captives remaining with the Shilluk became members of the king’s clan, the ruling class. The ensuing slave trading was a novelty, created by colonial conditions, and in any case, the Shilluk themselves fell victims of colonial slavery.

In short, the slave trade under traditional systems of government and society can best be described as captivity.  One can define it in terms of predominant historical phenomena of intermarriage and integration; incorporation into the ruling class; and the intention to come to casual grazing or similar agreements in exchange for ransom. This changed with Sudan’s first colonial period, which transformed the practice in both kind and degree from the earlier systems of captivity.

With colonial rule, military expeditions were aimed at gathering slaves from southern Sudan to work in government farms, plantation style, in the North. The new agricultural system involved the enclosure of land “farmed out” to “yield slaves, particularly for Muhammad Ali’s armies.[19]  The slaves taken to the North were government property. Five years after colonial rule, a traveller from the far North to Khartoum could not see any slaves working in agriculture in northern villages “except for the newly-captured indigo cultivators on a Turkish experimental plantation.”[20]

More fertile land had to be acquired, and so the traditional system of land ownership was to give way to modern land tenure through harsh tax policies that consolidated fertile land for full exploitation.  The ensuing social disruption also included the exploitation of free, peasant land-owners, who had mainly less fertile land.  Changes in the systems of payment, including the threat of replacement by slaves, allowed the government to exact forced labour from the peasant land-owners, in lieu of unpaid taxes, in the digging of canals and cultivating land.

Peasant land-owners were still free compared to agricultural slaves, who were also used as currency. The colonial administration “would force prominent Sudanese to purchase slaves, at a rate [the administration] dictated” and later “forcibly” requisition the slaves  “when the need arose.” The administration perpetuated the slaves’ condition by exacting taxes in the form of slaves and paying its soldiers also in the form of slaves. This has had huge impact on Sudanese society. In the North, a clear class system based on ethnic grounds was in the making.  In both the South and the North, the victims of the expeditions and concessionaries, the slaves, suffered unspeakable cruelty.

With the removal of the traditional system that provided security to land cultivators in the north, many destitute northerners migrated to the South. They eventually became associated with the colonial slave trade, but their role has been exaggerated.  Known as the jellaba, they were stigmatised by the likes of Charles Gordon, the Governor of Equatoria, who claimed they had “innate mercantile gifts and lusts” inherited from their tribes. The stigma continues to today, but as Spaulding notes, this “guilt-by-race” is a convenient exoneration of “admittedly atrocious conditions” created by colonial rule in the South

Ironically the greater victims of colonial rule, southerners taken into slavery, were given the major role in the Northerner’s disintegration; northerners were forced from their land, which slaves would till. One should pause here to consider Spaulding’s comment on this irony. Without diminishing the role they played in the slave trade, the irony “does offer a perspective upon which the friend of both north and south can agree; the jellaba, like the southerners, were unwilling victims of socioeconomic forces unleashed and supported by the colonial regime.[21]  Yet slavery and the stigmatised jellaba created bitterness that permeated twentieth-century political rhetoric.

Colonial rule’s cruel policies were resisted, and soon colonial rule came to an end.  Discontent took the shape of the charismatic Mahdi, whose rise to power was quickly followed by the defeat of Mohamed-Ali’s officers, such as Hicks Pasha and Gordon Pasha.  The Mahdi swiftly freed the Sudan of its first colonial power. Despite his short-lived rule, he managed to instil a sense of patriotism coupled with population movements, which, though they began with some tension, settled in increased national integration and cohesion.[22]

The Mahdi’s army also successfully faced several powers interested in the Sudan, so educational institutions shrunk under his rule but were soon revived.  Under his successor, the Khalifa Abdullah, the dust of war settled.  The Khalifa appointed to his administration many of the graduates of colonial schools.  He encouraged education to such a degree that about six hundred schools were reported in his capital Omdurman, part of modern-day Khartoum. 

This period was not to last long, however, as the theatrical death of General Gordon at the hands of the Mahdi’s men was portrayed as an heroic one in Britain, and supporters of re-conquest succeeded in rallying British public opinion.  Under Kitchener British troops rolled into Sudan defeating the Khalifa’s troops; the North was occupied in 1889, Darfur in 1916.  South Sudan was taken from the beginning, but stiff resistance continued well into the twentieth century, with the first use of British airpower recorded in the area.

4.  Second Colonial Administration: Status Planning & English

Under the British, Arabic was still the primary language in the country as a whole, as schools following the Egyptian system were reopened, but education in the North and the South took different directions. In the South, where resources available to the new colonial administration were earmarked for policing, missionary societies were given exclusive control over education though administration was conducted in Arabic. The administration believed missionaries would succeed in gaining the ‘pagan’ tribe’s confidence and help pacify them. Also “over a third [of British civil servicemen] … were themselves sons of clergymen”[23] a fact that affected policy, especially the eventual quick introduction of English for identity formation purposes.

The North, on the other hand, witnessed the return of the modern education introduced by Egypt. This was facilitated by the creation of an Islamic religious council, which, in addition to combating unorthodox Mahdist ideas, provided stability and some justification for British rule. More significant though is the long history of education in Northern Sudan prior to Egyptian rule.  Though the British administration kept Arabic as the medium of instruction, at the limited upper levels, the language of instruction was English – its first appearance in the Sudan.

A modern college, Gordon Memorial College, was set up in Khartoum in North Sudan.  The choice of English for the college, and upper levels, in the North is related to the fact that “the latest technological achievements [were] recorded in the latest scientific publications” in English.[24]  Graduates were to use English in junior government positions, where Arabic was also used. Ironically in the South, Arabic was the sole official language, but this soon changed.

In control of education in the South, missionaries perceived the use of Arabic in elementary education and the presence of northerners in the South as threats to missionary work. A Church Missionary Society member sent a letter to Lord Cromer in 1904 pointing out a need for a lingua franca in the multi-linguistic South.  He referred to two alternatives: “either Arabic and the Koran or English and the Bible.”[25]  The director of education in Khartoum, Sir Currie, expressed a similar concern when a school was proposed in Wau, the South’s provincial capital. Because pidgin Arabic was spoken in Wau’s mixed population, pagan and Muslim with semi-Arabicised populations, Sir Currie believed that the pupils would be influenced by their teachers’ language and religion.  His fear was confirmed when 29 pupils of a Syrian teacher spoke Arabic and claimed Islam as their religion.

At the turn of the century, Sudan’s Governor General Wingate made a statement of policy on education with a mention of language in the South.  “If the present schools increase,” Wingate began, “it is logically evident that all the boys will become Arabic-speaking Moslems with a smattering of English,” adding that the “Sudan Government does not intend necessarily to Moslemise all of is subjects.” The policy was not precise on language, but Wingate cautioned against “[striving] for a high standard of the actual inhabitants of the Bahr el Ghazal,” stressing that the objective of education there was to “provide a certain number of trained artisans … who … should also have a moderate knowledge of reading, writing and simple arithmetic.”[26]

To missionaries’ credit, local southern vernaculars replaced Arabic at the elementary level, but in the provincial capital, Arabic continued to pose a problem for missionary work. Arabic was prevalent and was the medium of instruction there, so it was decided that it would be written in Roman script rather than Arabic letters. Romanised Arabic, however, did not prevent continued conversion.  Missions complained.

Eventually the government’s use of Arabic as the official language of correspondence was seen as a problem; an argument for replacing it with English was made. Another Missionary Society member complained in 1910 that the use of Arabic was a hindrance for the “desire for English,” warning that “unless the Governors of the Pagan Provinces would encourage the employment of English-speaking natives it would not be worthwhile … teaching English nor would there be any demand for this from the natives themselves.”[27]

Wingate finally responded with a clearer policy on language in the South; status planning policy where English is concerned could not have been clearer. Addressing the governor of the southern province, he wrote,

What I would like you to do is to consider very carefully whether … any method of making English the official language is feasible.  My own view is that if the new system is started very quietly and tentatively without any fuss and without putting dots on the i’s too prominently, the desideratum may become a fait accompli almost before anyone had realised that a change has taken place.  It is very much easier to deal with an accomplished fact should opposition eventually be raised.[28]

Wingate’s “fait accompli” was achieved by 1913: English became the lingua franca of administration in the South, and the policy was officially announced in 1918.[29]

The same year, the policy of Indirect Rule was applied in southern Sudan, and so British District Commissioners replaced northern graduates of Gordon College. With the further Anglicanisation of administration in the South, the government stressed teaching English in schools, and began, in 1922, to financially support mission schools.[30] 

The sentiments of missionaries and British administrators in different capacities, such as Currie and Wingate, fear of the spread of Arabic language and Islamicization resulted in the implementation of the perceived antidotes: English and the Bible. Thus in contrast to North Sudan, where English was used for its utilitarian function (science and administration), in the South, language was seen as identity forming. Status planning in the South was initiated on this basis, and – confounded with northern hostility towards British colonial rule and its different policies, especially native administration – continued in the postcolonial era.

5. Seeds of Identity: Closing the South, Opening the North

The introduction of English to the South was coupled with the administrative separation of the North and South, which as Dustin Wai suggests did not begin the feelings of mistrust between the two.[31]  Missions felt that the very presence of “Muslim traders, Egyptian mamours (administrative assistants) and northern Sudanese troops” in the South was a further handicap to their activities, so any physical trace of ‘Arab’ northerners or their cultural manifestation was removed from the South. The policy was exhaustive in detail, replacing non-southern Muslim traders with Greek and Syrian ones, discouraging southerners from using Arabic or wearing Arab dress, prohibiting shops from selling these, directing merchants not to speak Arabic to customers, and even ensuring prisoners used English not Arabic.

The southern provinces were now “Closed Districts” for northerners.  The South was organized into “self-contained racial or tribal units” governed as much as possible “upon the indigenous customs, traditional usage and beliefs,” according to a memorandum from the British Civil Secretary’s Office.

A language conference was held in 1928/30 with the objective, which was met, to replace Arabic with English as the lingua franca in the South.  The “Standard of English spoken by the mission boy when he becomes a government clerk and prospective English teacher,” according to the conference’s linguist, was “extraordinarily high.” Though many British administrators expressed the “private” opinion that English would “never work” as lingua franca in the South, “Native clerks and sergeant-majors,” the conference linguist reported in 1932, “spoke with a halting fluency that promised well for the future.”[32]  The success of the English language policy can be explained in the fact that English had become the language of administration and official correspondence in 1913.

The major achievement of the language conference, however, was the recognition of local vernaculars.  Six language groups were identified, and despite some challenges in orthography hence book printing, the vernaculars were soon taught at the primary levels.  British administrators too were starting to learn the local vernaculars.

Some British administrators were discouraged, however, by the quality of education in the South when compared to the North.  British District Commissioners (DCs) and southern governors were concerned about the prospect of the “half-educated man.” As they expected, missions produced “tenants for subordinate posts;” in reality, few southerners were given government posts.  In 1938, in Wau for example, only sixteen positions out of 93 were filled by southerners, but most were illiterate.

The major complaint, however, was that aiming to “counteract northern influence” made missions a “disintegrating rather than a constructive” agent.  The discussion, however, was silenced when the director of education, in 1933, reaffirmed mission monopoly on education.[33]  Hence education in the Closed Districts firmly proceeded on its own path. 

In the meantime, Arab identity in the North developed into nationalism eventually threatening Southern policy.[34] The North’s was similar to other Arab societies the British controlled. Also the educational system they found in place, which they revived, followed the Egyptian one, and to keep stability, the Arabicised and Islamic identity of the North was never challenged. At the same time, upper-level schools in the North, and especially Gordon College, was modelled on British institution. A large mass of articulate, detribalized graduates appeared in the North. Debating in school continued after graduation, and topics of social and political concern developed into anti-colonial national consciousness.

Northern Sudanese were reading Egyptian newspapers, which expressed pan-Arab sentiments. Northern Sudanese literary figures were writing in Arabic and echoing these sentiments, which together with its historical heritage, northern nationalism was hence decidedly based on Arab nationalism as the Sudanese courted and abandoned the politics of the Nile Valley’s unity (i.e. unity with Egypt).

Northern nationalist sentiments quickly translated into anti-colonialism. As early as 1912-13, an Arabic supplement provided a forum in which social and political issues were discussed.  It was soon closed down due to strong expressions of nationalism favouring unity with Egypt. And for the period 1924-30, a secret British intelligence report warned that Egyptian newspapers “contain all the news of the Near East and frequent articles on Eastern problems … movements, colonisation, British Imperialist policy etc. all contributing,” the report continued, “to the formation of a definite political consciousness, hostile to Western dominion.”[35]

The Northern intelligentsia, however, found another forum.  This was the newly set up White Flag League, with Second Lieutenant Ali Abd al-Latif as president. Anti-colonial feeling continued under this organisation, culminating in a mutiny in 1924 when Sudanese officers and soldiers broke into an arms store and “marched towards Khartoum North to join the Egyptians,” stationed in Sudan.[36]  The purpose was to show their solidarity at a time when Egypt was trying to assert itself in Sudan against the more dominant British administration in the Anglo-Egyptian condominium.

The Sudanese officers’ mutiny in the North failed with consequences for South Sudan.  Because the Egyptians promised to support the mutineers, Sudanese felt abandoned as the promise was never fulfilled, and most of the mutineers were executed. Though union with Egypt became unpopular, the British were now wary that northern nationalism, firmly based on an Arab identity, might extend to the South. The symbol of Sudanese nationalism and the mutiny, Ali Abd al-Latif, was actually of southern origin – ironic for nationalism in North Sudan.  There were other southerners.  Rallies leading up to the mutiny included some southern cities. It is therefore not surprising that the South would be ‘closed’ to northerners.

6.  Faulty Unity and Status Planning (Arabic & English)

The 1924 mutiny was only an early stage of Sudanese national consciousness, which lead to an independence marred by violence: privileged by a history of education and development, Arab nationalism influenced political debate and northerners dominated public office.  Graduates of Gordon Memorial College in Khartoum formed the very influential Sudanese Graduates’ Congress in the North whose calls for self-government were becoming louder.  The British administration eventually succumbed to these calls, so it set up an Advisory Council in 1943 in response to northern demands.

Soon Arabic was introduced to the South at the secondary level.  Considered too ethnically diverse and comparatively “backward” southern tribes were deemed not to have “suitable indigenous representatives,”[37] so northern politicians dominated the Advisory Council.  Continued pressure from northern politicians lead to the reversal of the Southern Policy. “Geography and economics combine,” the Civil Secretary, Sir James Robertson, announced, “to render [southerners] inextricably bound for future development to Middle Eastern and Arabized northern Sudan.”[38] This paved the way for the reversal of the Southern Policy, including the language policy that introduced English as it closed the South to northern influences, especially the Arabic language.

Robertson also convened a conference in the South in response to criticism over the absence of southern representatives in the Advisory Council, but the conference, convened to rubberstamp Robertson’s decisions, could hardly conceal southern suspicion of northerners. The most senior southerner, Chief Lolik Lado, had this to say: “a girl who had been asked to marry a young man usually wanted time to hear reports of that young man from other people before consenting.” He added that only time would tell what the intentions of younger northerners are, in a clear allusion to previous slave raids.[39] And so the first colonial administration’s introduction of agricultural slave labour lingered in people’s memory, aided by the second colonial administration’s closure of the South, which was denied access to educational and economic development offered to the North.

In spite of of fear of northern domination in a united Sudan and because the mandate of the conference in the South was limited, Robertson interpreted its outcome as endorsement for a united Sudan. Events went quickly after that. Sudanese representatives participated in Anglo-Egyptian negotiations leading, which in1953 granted Sudan self-determination in three years. No southern representatives were present in these negotiations.  “Complete Sudanization”[40] resulted in qualified civil servants, i.e. mainly northerners, filling higher posts in the civil service and defence forces. This included the South, resulting in general discontent.

Northern domination of civil service ranks in the South made the government feel vulnerable.  The elected Sudanese self-rule government dominated by northerners regarded first Britain and then Egypt with suspicions of attempting to thwart the promised self-determination by inciting the South. The government hence took a stern rhetoric on public safety in the South.  Egypt, unhappy about the self-rule government’s lack of interest in unity with Egypt, reportedly exploited unease about the rhetoric, and spread “rumours that northern troops were coming to ‘kill Southerners.’”

The rumours sparked violence. An Egyptian “agent” in the South planned a “pre-emptive massacre of the northern officers,” but Southern soldiers suspicious of his claims disobeyed his orders and the plot surfaced. However, an earlier decision to move southern troops to the North to participate in the evacuation of Egyptian and British troops seemed to confirm the rumours.[41]  Hundreds of northern families in the South were massacred,[42] exemplifying the atmosphere of suspicion at the eve of independence.

In the midst of disturbances in the South, Arabic was introduced there in the 1950s and eventually became the medium of instruction in the whole country in the 1960s.  During the period of self-government and immediately after independence, the issue of medium of instruction was debated at national forums; the subject was also part of larger political debates.  In the mid-50s, an international educational commission touring the country disagreed on only one item: the removal of the vernaculars from the South.  In spite of this disagreement, the commission concluded that teaching the vernacular in the South would isolate learners from their compatriots.[43]

The decision to stop teaching the vernaculars, coupled with the rejection of southern political demands, led to symbolic references to English at the national and regional levels, in opposition to the domination of the North and the Arabic language.  It has already been noted that Southern MPs’ demands for federalism months before independence were rejected.  As a result and only a year after independence in 1957, the South Federalist Party’s manifesto included the call for a federalist constitution.  Significantly, the manifesto highlighted the southern demand to make English co-official with Arabic and Christianity a state religion with Islam. To this party, the markers of identification for both South and North were clear.

The South Federalist Party’s demands were ignored by northern politicians.  The demands were seen as those of a minority – an elite – in the South and hence not representative.[44]  While it may be argued, as Joseph Garang, a southerner himself, has done years later, that this southern elite’s attempts to speak for the whole South was an intellectual mistake, where they “mistake their own aspirations to power and prestige as the interest of the masses in their national grouping,”[45] the integrity of the likes of southern leaders like Booth Diu is hard to question. Diu, an MP in the pre-independence Sudanese parliament, requested federal unity between North and South when he addressed parliament on the vote for independence.

7. Southern National Consciousness: the spark

Barely a year after the Federalist Party’s manifesto called for making English co-official with Arabic and only two years after independence, the northern-dominated army staged a coup and started an aggressive Arabicisation program in the South. [46] Like many post-colonial states where the dominant groups’ identities, used to resist colonialism, become the nation states’ identities, in Sudan’s case, the North’s Arab identity became the nation state’s national identity, especially with Arab nationalism sweeping through the region. The deterioration of order in the South, specifically the threat to this national identity, is the context to which the army reacted.

Ultimately however, the army’s policies of forced acculturation, arbitrary arrests and heavy-handed military tactics “gave impetus to the [southern] separatist movement.”[47]

Three years into Abboud’s regime, leaders of a mutiny in the South fled to the ‘bush’ where they created the Sudan Christian Association whose religious affiliation was aimed at getting support from Christian organizations and camouflaging political activity. The association, however, soon dissolved itself and openly declared its political nature when it created the Southern African Closed Districts Union a year later.[48]

As a marker of identity, the southern political movement’s name, Southern African Closed Districts Union (SADCU), is significant.  The turn-of-the century British colonial ordinance forming the Closed Districts of the Southern Provinces became the marker of the South’s first post-independence, openly political organisation in the 1960s. The choice of the name SADCU can be seen as the moment when southern resistance to forced acculturation was openly associated with pre-independence southern identity. Once the symbolic attachment between was made, it would not drop even after parliamentary democracy was restored four years later.

While some northern politicians have since referred to the South’s self-identification vis-à-vis the North as a product of colonial rule, others have argued that this identification is the South’s inheritance.[49] More importantly, the South’s self-identification should be seen as the product of the army’s attempts to impose a national identity that is decidedly northern on the South.

The continued articulation of southern identity in opposition to the North, regardless of the southern movement’s name, as there were later differing ones, coupled with protracted periods of civil war, has had two results.  It gave rise to a new history of symbolic identification while simultaneously recalling historical markers of identification.  Since it is the closed districts that are recalled, it is only natural that English would acquire symbolic status, as both the closed districts and the language policies were enforced by the British colonial administration in the South to counteract the identity of the North.

As a result of the army’s measures in the South, the issue of language as a marker of identity appeared in the international arena.  Southern school children, Muslim and Christian in the intermediate and secondary levels, went on strike in 1962 against the cruelty of the regime and the imposition of Arabic. The militarization of the South made SADCU petition the United Nations. It complained that vernacular languages at the lower levels were replaced with Arabic. A further complaint was racial discrimination in the classroom, and hence another element in the North-South divide emerges, an element connected to the socio-ethnic classification resulting from the history of slavery. The army was soon overthrown.

8. Vision for the South: Return of English

The overthrow of General Abboud created the atmosphere for a clearer vision for the South, a vision that heralded the return of English to southern Sudan. A popular uprising lead to the overthrow of the military regime in 1964. The caretaker government was headed by Sir el Khatim El Khalifah, who had worked in southern Sudan and was viewed as sympathetic to the South. Under him, the Roundtable Conference was held in 1965, the first time southern and northern politicians voiced their positions on equal footing. 

The ensuing parliamentary democracy paved the way for the South’s assertion of its cultural identity.  The favourable atmosphere affected Sudan African National Union (SANU), which replaced SADCU.  One of SANU’s founding members, William Deng, returned from exile and worked, with others, for southern interests from inside Sudan, in the national parliament under an organisation with the same name: SANU. SANU Deng managed to win important political recognition for the South’s cultural identity.

SANU Deng’s political manoeuvring in parliament succeeded in asserting the South’s cultural separateness, symbolised in the English language.  Southern MPs cooperated with another marginalised group: the Islamists. The Southern MPs agreed to vote for an Islamic constitution for the Sudan in exchange for Islamist MPs support for autonomy for the South. When it came time for voting though, Islamists voted for autonomy for the South as they had agreed to do, but the Southern MPs voted against the Islamic constitution. A second reading was required. The constitution was passed, but not before two important amendments were made: respect for Christianity and the use of English in the South.[50]

The symbolic importance of English to the South as safeguard against cultural hegemony was now recognized by Northern politicians. Outside political demands for a special status for English, such as the South Federalist Party’s manifesto, this was the first time English was discussed at a national public forum: parliament.  Not in recognition of its role as an international language nor as the language of science, the special status given to English was an attempt to address Southern concerns.

The elected government in Khartoum, however, made Arabic essential for civil service promotion.  “The Vigilant,” a southern English-language daily published in Khartoum, complained that it was “not the fault of Southerners presently in the civil Service that they didn’t have a chance of knowing Arabic since Arabic was only introduced properly to the Southern schools in 1957. To penalize one for a fault far beyond his control,” it added, “smacks of nothing else but naked discrimination.”  The paper concluded that the “reckless imposition of Arabic and Arabism is an ingredient factor in the North-South conflict.”[51]

Public opinion in the North, however, reflected the government’s stance on Arabic, indicating the degree to which El Khalifa was politically ahead of his time. The same year of the Roundtable Conference (1965), the association of teachers in northern Sudan gave the Minister of Education an ultimatum: they would go on strike in four days if secondary education in the whole country was not Arabised. The minister was forced to comply, and the program of Arabisation, which included South Sudan, was completed in 1968.[52] Arabisation in the South was short-lived due to events outside Sudan.

The success of SANU Deng within parliament was matched (or exceeded) by southern politicians-in-exile’s success in articulating clear national aspirations.  In a convention – under the main SANU – in 1967, they decided that separation was the objective of their movement, and that though armed resistance was necessary, negotiations were the route to self-determination for the South. This clearer vision is symbolised in the convention’s flag: three colours and a shield, the symbol of southern tribes’ resistance to slave raiders from the North. Also part of practical steps in the expression of nationalism, the flag proposed for the South recreates unifying memories of slave raids as it expresses resistance and nationalism. Another convention (1969) reiterated that separation was the objective, but that federation could be accepted as a compromise.[53] 

Southern conventions allowed political expressions that eventually created the circumstances for the emergence of a charismatic leader capable of ending internal differences and negotiating with Khartoum. Leading the newly named South Sudan Liberation Movement, Joseph Lago negotiated a settlement with a new military regime, which took power in 1969 in Khartoum. The Addis Ababa peace accord was signed in March 1972.  Prior to that, the new military leader, Numeiri, showed keenness to address the southern problem.

The new regime in Khartoum decided to teach southern vernaculars in the South in the first two years of primary school. This was a reversal of previous policies. The new language policy was part of broader government recognition of “historical and cultural differences between the north and the south,” a recognition on which a healthier unity could be based.[54] This paved the way for the Addis Ababa agreement.

The agreement itself stipulated that English was the principal language for the Southern Region – Arabic for the rest of the country.  Though educational planning was a national prerogative, which the South’s Regional Assembly could not legislate on, Yusuf A. Abu Bakr, technical advisor to Southern Affairs Minister Joseph Garang, interpreted the clauses of the agreement thus: English was to meet the “aspirations of southerners and to efficiently run regional departments.”

The Southern Region’s first educational conference, which reintroduced English to southern schools, was held in 1972. Recommendation included teaching English and the vernaculars in the South. Since educational planning was a national prerogative, “one can say,” as Abu Bakr explains, “this language policy [articulated in the Southern Region’s educational conference] represents the opinion of the central government in Khartoum” (45-16). So in the South, both English and Arabic were media of instruction in two separate patterns, with the vernacular taught in the first two years. A third pattern had Arabic taught from the beginning, with English as a subject.  Interestingly, southern politicians used English as lingua franca, but when they addressed multilingual public gatherings, they spoke in Arabic.

Soon, however, southern educational authorities decided to unify the educational system under one pattern: the English pattern. By 1980 it was clear that there was a problem in the educational system. Resources were very limited and standards were low, placing southern students at disadvantageous positions vis-à-vis their northern counterparts in national examinations and government jobs. Also some southern secondary students had to complete their education in the North in Arabic medium schools. So although most primary schools followed the Arabic medium, the then regional minister decided that all schools in the South should use English as the medium of instruction by the academic year 1981/82. Civil war, however, broke out again in 1983.

9. Comprehensive Peace Agreement (2005)

The second civil war in southern Sudan continued from 1983 to 2004, when a temporary ceasefire was announced. During this period, the Numeiri regime collapsed. Coalition governments formed in the following period of parliamentary democracy were unstable so that in four years (1989) a military coup ended the democratic process. Throughout most of the 1990s, this third military regime was more aggressive than Abboud in Islamicisation and Arabicisation.  Unlike Abboud though, whose Islamicisation policies focused on the South, the new regime’s policies extended to the whole country, the South and, ironically, the already Arabicised and Muslim North.

War spread throughout the South, which was temporarily recovered from southern ‘rebels’, but soon the main group, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M), regained most of the South, except for a few garrison towns. The SPLA/M’s success, the unpopularity of the repressive regime even in the North, and international isolation forced the regime to negotiate.  Civil war, however, brought about a new linguistic situation.

Two distinct linguistic realities crystallized in southern Sudan during the long period of the second civil war. In government-held garrison towns in the South, Arabic was the medium of instruction so that even today, the level of Arabic spoken in most of the towns is comparable to that in northern Sudan.[55]  In rebel-held areas, however, the situation was quite different.  The SPLA/M, in control of most parts of the South, was the de facto government under its charismatic leader, John Garang.

The SPLA/M developed clearer administrative hierarchies in the South that helped the development of the South’s main linguistic reality. Interestingly the SPLA/M’s administrative hierarchies were a version of the British colonial Native Administration of the first half of the twentieth century. Tribal leaders reported to District Commissioners, who were mostly members of the SPLA/M.  Not surprisingly, the adoption of this administrative system coincided with the adoption of major elements of the colonial period’s educational policies.[56]

The SPLA/M reintroduced a version of the British colonial educational policies to the South. The SPLA/M encouraged the teaching of the vernaculars at the primary levels, and English, where possible, at the upper levels in “bush” schools, which were surprisingly successful considering the circumstances or perhaps not surprisingly so considering the development of the South’s national consciousness. In effect, during the period of pseudo-self-government, the South managed to have its own educational policy, similar to the one the Southern Region’s government, under the Addis agreement, was about to implement when the civil war broke out again in 1983.

The spread of education in SPLA/M-controlled areas in the South, especially with the adoption of UNESCO Education For All[57] policies, made the transition to the Government of South Sudan (GOSS), after the January 2005 peace agreement, very easy.  The Education Ministry of the GOSS completed a Rapid Assessment of Learning Spaces draft report, with the help of the United Nations Children’s Fund in November 2006.[58] Virtually all learning spaces, including ‘bush’ schools, in Southern Sudan were visited to prepare the report.

The GOSS educational authorities are very busy organizing many educational programs to increase the literacy levels, especially in English.  Examples include initiating the Southern Sudan Interactive Radio Instruction program;[59] rehabilitating educational training centres, which actually began before the formal signing of the CPA;[60] and even inviting southern Sudanese in exile to volunteer to teach English.[61]  And with a massive influx of southerners returning to the South, from neighbouring countries but mostly from northern Sudan, programs like the Sudanese Returnees Education and Training programme, where returning students are taught all subjects in English, with Arabic as a subject, were set up by NGOs on the educational authorities’ request.[62]

Though teachers are allowed to teach in vernaculars and Arabic, the official medium of instruction is English in the South. All the programs above are designed to ensure that literacy in English is achieved as quickly as possible. It is an achievement that the agreement stipulates that English is not only the main language in the South but co-official with Arabic for the whole country, South and North. This is after English had been rashly banned from northern schools, where it had been taught as a subject in recognition of its international status, in the early 1990s by the current regime’s educational authorities.  English has subsequently been reintroduced as a subject from grade one in the North.

10. Conclusion

Though it is assumed that the outcome of the referendum stipulated in the CPA will be complete separation for the South, who knows what will actually happen in 2011? On the one hand, the SPLA/M’s official position on a united Sudan with special status for the South, unpopular amongst most southern Sudanese, may be an intentional use of the ambiguous term ‘self-determination,’ not to cover internal differences as Horowitz suggests writing before the 1983 civil war[63], but to preserve peace and stability as development proceeds in earnest in the South.

On the other hand, the “compelling summation of grievance” that has lead to the South’s construction of nationalism in the “schoolhouse[64], where a pedagogy of nation [is being] recited,”[65] may find itself confronted with a redefined North Sudan. Self-governing and proportionally represented in the central government, the South might find in the North less of a cultural antagonist. The ‘new’ Sudan, the SPLA/M’s motto for many years, may become reality.

With the CPA initiating the reintroduction of English in the North, where English carries much prestige, and parliamentary democracy in the whole country, more acceptance of diversity – in a much needed solution to the Muslim non-Arab Darfur question – may lead to a “redefinition of the Sudanese nation”[66] in a way that gives space to the peaceful expression of multiple identities: religious, cultural, ethnic and linguistic.  Too hopeful? Perhaps.  Such a heavy burden is only made lighter with optimism.

[1] Cooper Language Planning and Social Change (Cambridge: Cambridge UP,1989) 103.

[2] I follow Donald Horowitz’s definition of separatism as movements whose aim is either complete independence or autonomy within a larger state. “Patterns of Ethnic Separatism,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 23:2 (Apr 1981) 165-166. This essay can be considered a case study of one of the patterns of separatism Horowitz outlines in a chart (192).  The essay can also be considered an example of the making of a symbolic language official in Cooper’s definition (above).

[3] Mohammed Omar Beshir, Educational Development in the Sudan 1898-1956, (Oxford:

Clarendon, 1969) 15-16, 37-38.

[4] Richard Gray, “The Southern Sudan,” Journal of Contemporary History 6:1 (1971): 109-110; emphasis added.

[5] “Administrative Map of Sudan.”  <www.sudan.net/government/admnmap.html>

[6] Prominent linguistic exceptions are the Beja in the east and a section of the Nubians in the far north; both speak their respective languages as primary languages.

[7] Sayyid Hureiz, “Ethnic, Cultural and National Identity in the Sudan: An Overview,”

Ethnicity, Conflict and National Integration in the Sudan.  Eds. Sayyid Hurreiz &

Elfatih Abdel Salam (Khartoum: UP, 1989).  The culture is exemplified in Amitav Ghosh’s In An Antique Land (1992).

[8] Spaulding (1973) 22.

[9] Spaulding (1973) 21.

[10] The Dinka-Ja’liyin link is gaining scholarly attention and credibility due to the emerging “converging lines of evidence.” See Beswick (below).  Like the Dinka, the Ja’liyin revolted against the Turco-Egyptian invading armies, resulting in their massacre. Ja’liyin revolt is an early symbol of Sudanese resistance. See Warburg, “The Turco-Egyptian Sudan: A Recent Historiographical Controversy,” Die Welt des Islams 31:2 (1991) 210.

[11] This is the beginning of what is called the Turco-Egyptian period though it was only Ottoman.  A negative term, ‘Turk’ is a term Sudanese use to foreign fairer-skinned colonial administrators.

[12] Liza Sandell, English Language in Sudan, A History of its Teachings and Politics (London: Ithaca, 1982) 3.

[13] Sandell 1.

[14] Beshir 18.

[15] Jay Spaulding, “Slavery, Land Tenure and Social Class in the Northern Turkish Sudan,” The International Journal of African Historical Studies, 15:1 (1982) 4.

[16] Jay Spaulding, “The Government of Sinnar,” The International Journal of African Historical Studies 6:1 (1973) 30.

[17] Stephannie Beswick, Sudan’s Blood Memory (Rochester: U of Rochester P., 2004) 32.

[18] Patricia Mercer, “Shilluk Trade and Politics from the Mid-Seventeenth Century to 1861,” The Journal of African History 12:3 (1971) 418.

[19] Spaulding (1982) 10.

[20] Spaulding (1982) 14, n. 67.

[21] Spaulding (1982) 20.

[22] Sayyid Hurreiz. “Ethnic, Cultural and National Identity in the Sudan: An Overview,” Ethnicity, Conflict and National Integration in the Sudan.  Eds. Sayyid Hurreiz &

Elfatih Abdel Salam (Khartoum: Khartoum UP, 1989).

[23] Robert Collins, Shadows in the Grass: Britain in the Southern Sudan, 1918-1956,

(New Haven: Yale UP, 1983) 224.

[24] Sandell 6-7.

[25] quoted in Sandell 52.

[26] quoted in Sandell 53. Other factors played a role in Wingate’s caution.  The government was not able to provide English teachers at this time and Catholic missionaries were not fully fluent in English.  Wingate was also sensitive to political considerations in northern Sudan, especially after the Mahdi’s revolt.

[27] quoted in Sandell 53.

[28] quoted in Sandell 54.

[29] Blaming the North-South divide on the colonial administration’s removal of Arab influences “is an argument against a rival in cultural imperial pursuits,” says Dustin Wai, “Pax Britannica and the Southern Sudan: The View from the Theatre,” African Affairs 79:316 (July 1980) 379.

[30] There were of course British administrators who saw no point in removing Arabic.  Some thought it was unnecessary since it was spoken in many districts.  Others were not anathema to the spread of Islam in the South. Sandell 55.

[31] Wai 379.

[32] A.N. Tucker, “The Linguistic Situation in the Southern Sudan,” Africa: Journal of the International African Institute 7:1 (January 1934) 30-36.

[33] Robert Collins, Shadows in the Grass: Britain in the Southern Sudan, 1918-1956,

(New Haven: Yale UP, 1983) 228-9.

[34] Heather J. Sharkey, Living with Colonialism (Berkeley: U of California P, 2003) 44, 51-52.

[35] quoted in M. Nuri El-Amin, “Britain, The 1924 Sudanese Uprising, and the Impact of Egypt on the Sudan,” The International Journal of African Historical Studies 19:2 (1986) 239.

[36] El-Amin 248.

[37] quoted in Wai 381

[38] quoted in Wai 384

[39] Wai 386-387.

[40] Wai 391-2.

[41] Lilian Sanderson & Neville Sanderson, Education Religion and Politics in Southern Sudan (London: Ithaca) 340-343.

[42] G.H. Gretton, Review of The Problem of Southern Sudan, by Joseph Oduho and William Deng, International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs), 40:1 (January 1964) 152.

[43] Sandell 71-72.

[44] Sandell 75-76.

[45] Joseph Garang,  “On Economics and Regional Autonomy,” The Southern Sudan,

The Problem of National Integration.  Ed. Dustin Wai (London: Frank Cass,1973) 85-87.

[46] Abdelwahab El-Affendi, “‘Discovering the South’: Sudanese Dilemmas for Islam in Africa,” African Affairs 89:356 (July 1990) 373-374.

[47] E.N. Wakoson “The Anya-Nya,” Ed. M. Omer Beshir, Post-Independence Sudan (Edinburgh, 1981) 89.

[48] Wakoson 89-96.

[49] Affendi.

[50] Affendi 376 and Wakoson 101.  In fact southern politicians and Islamists proposed a federal system and an Islamic constitution as early as 1957, but the political elite rejected the proposal (Afffendi 373).

[51] quoted in Sandell 78-9

[52] Sandell 96-97.

[53] Wakoson 102-7.

[54] Yusuf al-Khalifa Abu Bakr, “Language and Education in the Southern Sudan,” Directions in Sudanese Linguistics and Folklore, Eds. Sayyid Hurreiz & Herman Bell (Khartoum: U of Khartoum P, 1970) ff. 14.

[55] Interview with Khalid Ahmed on his recent field trip to South Sudan in December and January, 2006 (University of Toronto, 2006).

[56] Oystein H. Rolandson, Guerrilla Government, Political Changes in the Southern Sudan during the 1990s (Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, 2005) 160-165, 120-121, 115-8.

[57] The educational polices of the SPLA/M are assessed in a report presented to UNESCO by Luka Biong, Deng Education in Southern Sudan, War, Status and Challenges in Achieving Education for All Goals (Brighton: U of Sussex, 2003).

[58] Rapid Assessment of Learning Spaces Draft Report,” (Ministry of Education, Government of South Sudan & United Nations Children’s Fund, November 2006).

[59] “Improving Literacy and Numeracy in Southern Sudan,” International Education Systems August 2006. <http://ies.edc.org/news/articles.php?id=215>

[60] William Eagle, “Southern Sudan: Education,” VOAnews.com 21 July 2006.


[61]“Starting from Scratch, and a few other problems,” Care International 1 February 2004.

< http://www.careinternational.org.uk/Starting+from+scratch%2C+and+a+few


[62] Silas Joyo, “Visit to Juba” Together for Sudan December 2005. 3 December 2006.  <http://www.togetherforsudan.com/Documents/Documents/Visit%20to%20


[63] 196.

[64] Open air schools constitute the largest category” of learning spaces in South Sudan, according to the RALS draft report (Section V).

[65] Crawford Young, “Revisiting Nationalism and Ethnicity in Africa,” James S. Coleman Memorial Lecture Series, 2004. <http://repositories/cdlib.org/international/asc/jscmls

/Nationalism> 16.

[66] Young (2004) 16.


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