REVISITING THE MEANING OF THE ANYA-NYA MOVEMENT

Posted: December 18, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Mangar Amerdid, Juba, South Sudan

anyanya1

The Anyanya One freedom fighters

December 18, 2017 (SSB) — One of the first manifestos issued by the Anya-Nya in 1963 read as follows: “Our patience has now come to an end and we are convinced that only the use of force will bring a decision…From today onwards, we shall take action…for better, for worse…we do not want mercy and we are not prepared to give it.”

In order to fully understand the movement, it is pertinent to know how and what the connotation, Anya-Nya stands for; according to Joseph Oduho, the name Anya-Nya was adopted at a meeting he convened in September 1963. Fr. Saturnino had earlier suggested ‘Pan-African Freedom Fighters’, but endorsed the new name when it was conveyed to him in the bush. The origin of the name is as follows.

In the 1930’s, there occurred in Madi County a very serious outbreak of poisoning by Madi witches. The poison was made from snakes and rotten beans, and was given the Madi name ‘Inya-Nya’, which was corrupted to Anya-Nya in the Lotuko language.

This poison was so deadly and lethal that even the mere mention of the name Anya-Nya in the Madi, Acholi and Lotuko lands did not only stir panic, terror and horror, but caused people to flee. Such was the fear engendered by this poison.

The attacks from the Anya-Nya had originally been planned to start on August 18th, the anniversary of the outbreak of the mutiny in 1955. Delays occurred and the date was changed to September 19th. On that day, several parties of men each with a few arms entered the Sudan and launched attacks on police and army outposts near the border. These expeditions met with varying success.

The most westerly of them under Paul Ali Gbatala, which was aiming for the area between Maridi and Yambio was intercepted by Congolese authorities before it could enter Sudan.

Except for Paul Ali and one or two others who managed to escape, all 35 members of this group were captured and imprisoned in Congo for two months. In Central Equatoria in the areas around Yei, attacks were made at Kajo-keji again, and in Lasu and Kaya.

Not many details of these attacks are available, except that at Kajo-keji were 5 Northern policemen were killed and 3 rifles captured. The freedom fighters in Central Equatoria started with 25 rifles at the most.

In Eastern Equatoria, they started with only 6 – 8 rifles. In Eastern Equatoria, there were attacks at Nimule, Pajok, Katire, Ikotos and Chukudum. The first major attack in Bahr el Ghazal came later when a force of 99 men attacked Wau in January 1964.

By far, the biggest engagement involving forces which numbered in the thousands took place in Upper Nile at Pacalla at the Ethiopian frontier.

Let us continue to learn more about our history….

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from, plus a concise biography of yourself.

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