OPINION – In my view, the historical mistake the political leaders of the Anyanya Movement made was to go for Southern Sudan Liberation Movement (SSLM/A) instead of Equatoria Liberation Movement (ELM/A).
They had the choice and freedom to do so unchallenged as the first leaders who lit the war of independence. Nothing would have stopped them from anchoring the struggle for independence on Equatoria Federal Republic (EFDR) because Equatoria existed as a country with its own Governor (Samuel Baker and later Charles Gordon) separate to that of Sudan during the Ottoman rule and later under Egyptian British condominium rule.
There would have been no political opposition to bringing all the southern provinces under the realm of Equatoria Republic, as all the territories under the Ottomans were to become independent when the Ottoman Empire ceased to exist in 1923 following the birth of the Turkish Republic.
But the British decided to annex Equatoria to become part of Sudan administration in 1910 without consultation of the population and which amounted to a violation of a treaty with Belgium.
Equatoria as a country lost its separate existence as a country from this point onwards.
The Anyanya leadership had all the reason and justification for liberation of Equatoria State extending it to unite all the people who were in the scope of the closed districts act, with the three provinces included.
In reality the Anyany united and led the people of the three provinces, without challenge of anchoring the struggle for the independence of the Equatoria State that just lost its existence in 1910.
Today we would have been in Equatoria Federal Democratic Republic, not in South Sudan, which is South of another country?!!!
Can this generation of politicians remediate and correct error of judgment and historical injustices against Equatoria existence as a state ?
I think and believe this generation can.
The Anyanya should have without opposition called us Equatorians not Southern Sudanese which adopted the British colonial administration policy of annexing Equatoria to become part of Sudan from which they wanted to separate.
The war and the political struggle should have been one of Equatoria Liberation, which now meant the three provinces together to be Equatorians and Equatoria Republic to be politically correct dispensation. We would not be adopting the South of another country identity today
The author is the chairman of the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM).
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