Anyanya: guerrilla army of southern separatists, 1955-72.
Anyanya II: guerrilla army of southern separatists, 1975-91.
Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A): dominant rebel army in Sudan, 1983-present, composed of southerners and other marginalized peoples such as the Nuba, headed by Col. John Garang de Mabior (Dinka). Program: united, secular Sudan. Headquartered in Rumbek, Bahr El Ghazal, southern Sudan.
South Sudan Liberation Movement (SSLM): a pro-independence southern political movement based in Akobo, Eastern Upper Nile, headed and formed by Michael Wal Duany in late 1999; it signed the Khartoum Peace Agreement with the Sudanese government in 2002.
Rebel forces headed (directly or indirectly) by Cmdr. Riek Machar, 1991-2002:
SPLM/A-Nasir faction: 1991-93, breakaway SPLA faction headed by SPLA Cmdrs. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon (Dok Nuer), Gordon Kong Chuol (Eastern Jikany Nuer), and Lam Akol(Shilluk); although its program called for an independent south, it received government aid. Headquartered in Nasir until 1995 and thereafter in Waat and Ayod, Upper Nile.
SPLM/A-United: 1993-94: the above faction (mostly Nuer) joined by forces from other ethnic groups in southern Sudan, headed by Cmdr. Riek Machar, based in Nasir. Later this name was used by Lam Akol for his mostly Shilluk faction (see below).
South Sudan Independence Movement/Army (SSIM/A): 1994-97: the above faction, reformed and renamed after the Nuer reconciliation meeting at Akobo in 1994, based variously in Waat and Ayod, Upper Nile.
South Sudan Defense Forces (SSDF): 1997-2000, the army formed under the Khartoum Peace Agreement from ex-rebel forces including SSIM/A, based in Khartoum, Juba, and Malakal, and aligned with the political party United Democratic Salvation Front (UDSF). Both were headed by Cmdr. Riek Machar until January 2000, when he left the government. On April 27, 2001 all southern forces allied with the government were unified under this name, SSDF, including the progovernment militia forces listed below.
Sudan People’s Defense Forces/Democratic Front (SPDF): January 2000-January 2002 or when the merger with the SPLM/A was complete, the rebel group formed from most SSDF forces, based in Upper Nile.
Some pro-government militia forces (later known as “armed groups”):
South Sudan Unity Movement/Army (SSUM/A): formed in early 1998 by Maj Gen. Paulino Matiep of the Sudan army, incorporating his formerly Anyanya II and SSDF Bul Nuer forces, supported by the Sudan government, based in Mayom, Western Upper Nile. (Bul Nuer)
Cmdr. Gabriel Tanginya, pro-government Nuer militia based in Fangak, later Poum, Central Upper Nile. (Lak Nuer)
Cmdr. Gordon Kong Chuol, pro-government Nuer militia based in Nasir, Eastern Upper Nile. (eastern Jikany Nuer)
Cmdr. Simon Gatwich Dual, pro-government Nuer militia based in Waat, Central Upper Nile. (Lou Nuer)
SPLM/A-United: Cmdr. Lam Akol’s Shilluk forces formed in 1994, which signed the Khartoum Peace Agreement in 1997. Lam Akol claimed the name after the Riek Machar forces in 1994 took the name South Sudan Independence Movement/Army (SSIM/A). Lam Akol had been part of the original SPLM/A-United. Based in Tonga, the Shilluk capital, in Upper Nile of southern Sudan.
For further details, consult the Glossary, Lists of Key Individuals, and the text. There are several other southern ethnic militias armed by the government, including the Murle, the Mandari, the Toposa, the Didinga, and the Fertit and other ethnic groups not named here.
Most southerners’ names include their “proper” name first, their father’s name second, and their grandfather’s name last. For example, to refer to Cmdr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon as “Machar” is to refer to that commander’s father. Therefore the first and second names are used in this report.
Note: The names are listed alphabetically by second name (underlined), unless the person is known by another name.
Abel Alier Kwai Respected southern politician living in Khartoum, former vice president of Sudan and head of the Southern Region during part of the autonomy period. Author of Southern Sudan: Too Many Promises Dishonored (1990). (Bor Dinka)
Tito Biel Chuol Western Upper Nile zonal commander in SSDF in May 1999 in charge of the attack on the oil company rig at Ryer/Thar Jath, Western Upper Nile. Instrumental in securing field alliance with Cmdr. Salva Kiir Mayandit of the SPLA. Originally in the SPLA, joined the Riek Machar breakaway faction in 1991 and followed him into the government in 1997, becoming part of the SSDF, and then in 2000 part of Machar’s SPDF. In late 2002 he realigned himself with the SSDF (pro-government). (Dok Nuer)
Kuong Danhier Gatluak Head of security of the SPDF in 1999. Joined the SPLA and defected with Riek Machar in 1991. When Riek Machar was in the government, Kuong Danhier was chief security officer for the SSDF, based in Nairobi. Joined Riek Machar when Machar defected from the government in early 2000. (Nyuong Nuer)
Taban Deng Gai Spokesman for Machar’s SPDF forces in Nairobi, Kenya from December 2000 until June 2001, when he rejoined the SPLA. Originally joined the SPLA in the 1980s and left to join his relative by marriage, Riek Machar, when he split from the SPLA in 1991. In 1996 he joined the government with Riek Machar and became a leader of the political party they formed, the UDSF. He won an election for governor of Unity State/Western Upper Nile in December 1997 and was expelled from the governorship and the state in May 1999 by Maj. Gen. Paulino Matiep. He fled to Khartoum. He was appointed state minister for roads and communications in January 2000 by President Bashir and defected from the government in December 2000, and joined Machar’s new faction, the SPDF, until he decided to rejoin the SPLA. (Leek/Western Jikany Nuer)
Michael Wal Duany Head of the SSLM as of late 1999 to the current time. Dr. Duany represented the Nuer intellectuals in the diaspora at the Wunlit Nuer-Dinka West Bank peace and reconciliation meeting of March 1999; formerly with the Workshop on Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, U.S. Based in Akobo, Upper Nile. (Lou Nuer)
John Garang de Mabior Commander-in-chief of the SPLA and head of the SPLM. Member of Anyanya briefly at the end of the first civil war in 1972, and was incorporated into the Sudan army, earned a PhD in the U.S. in agricultural/environmental studies, and having attained the rank of colonel in the Sudan army, was a founder of the SPLM/A in Ethiopia in 1983. He supported a united secular Sudan against internal SPLA rivals (separatist Anyanya II) in 1983 and won out, with backing from Ethiopia’s president Haile Mengistu Meriam, continuing in control of the SPLM/A today. A Twic Dinka from Aborom in Kongor County (near Bor; he is frequently referred to as Bor Dinka).
Peter Gatdet Yaka Former Sudanese army officer sent to Iraq to fight against the Iranians in the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. He joined the SPLA and left it in 1991 with Riek Machar. He was assigned to Cmdr. Paulino Matiep’s Bul Nuer forces as an officer, and when they split off from the SSDF he became a key commander in Commander Matiep’s SSUM/A pro-government militia. He fought on the behalf of the government against the SSDF forces under Cmdr. Tito Biel in Block 5A in 1999 for control of Block 5A. He and his forces mutinied against Maj. Gen. Paulino Matiep in September 1999 and fought against the government. For several months he coordinated his activities with the SSDF (under Cmdr. Tito Biel/Peter Paar) against the government, and attacked various oil targets in Western Upper Nile/Unity State. In early 2000 he joined the SPLA. He began fighting Cmdr. Riek Machar’s SPDF forces (under Cmdr. Peter Paar, formerly his SSDF adversary in 1999) in July 2000. During this round, he was anti-government and the Machar forces were pro-government. After disagreements reportedly about military discipline with the SPLA, he rejoined the government’s militia forces in late 2002. (Bul Nuer)
Elijah Hon Top (deceased 2000) SSDF chief of staff under the Khartoum Peace Agreement. After Riek Machar resigned unexpectedly from the government in January 2000, Cmdr. Elijah Hon Top, a Lou Nuer from Ayod, became the spokesman for the SSDF and the UDSF in Khartoum. Formerly with the SPLA and Machar’s breakaway faction in 1991, he joined the government with Machar in 1997. (Gaawar Nuer)
Kerubino Kuanyin Bol (deceased September 1999) Anyanya officer, then incorporated into the Sudan army after 1972, he was leader of the Bor mutineers whose rebellion lead to the formation of the SPLA in Ethiopia in 1983. Jailed by Garang for conspiracy in 1987, he escaped in 1992 and in 1993 joined Riek Machar’s breakaway rebel group. By 1994 his Dinka militia was directly supplied by the Sudanese army from his home, the garrison town of Gogrial, Bahr El Ghazal. Defected to the SPLA in January 1998, and split with the SPLA later in that year and received protection from his in-law, Maj. Gen. Paulino Matiep, in Mankien. Killed by forces of Cmdr. Peter Gatdet after they mutinied from Paulino Matiep and captured the Mankien base in September 1999. (Tuic Dinka)
Salva Kiir Mayardit A native of Bahr El Ghazal, assigned chief of staff of the SPLA in late 1999. He was commander of Bahr El Ghazal in 1999 when he strongly backed the Dinka-Nuer Peace and Reconciliation Conference at Wunlit. (Rek Dinka)
Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon Rebel leader with the SPLA from 1984 until the 1991 split, which he helped lead. As SPLA Zonal Commander of Western Upper Nile, entered into agreement with Baggara chiefs in 1986. Led breakaway faction from SPLM/A in 1991, forming a separate southern rebel movement initially known as the SPLA-Nasir (from 1993 the SPLA-United, and from 1994-97 the SSIM/A). Despite espousing independence for the south, his faction received covert support from the government as it fought for years (1991-99) against the SPLA, resorting to increasingly bloody and ethnically motivated attacks against civilians. His SSIA rebel forces claimed all the rural land of Western Upper Nile/Unity State, except the few garrison towns and the Bul Nuer area where Paulino Matiep and Anyanya II prevailed. Signed 1996 Political Charter and 1997 Khartoum Peace Agreement with government, which in 1997 appointed him president of the Southern States Coordinating Council (SSCC) and assistant to President of Sudan Omar el Bashir. Also formed and became head of the political party United Democratic Salvation Front (UDSF) and commander-in-chief of the military arm created under the Khartoum Peace Agreement, the South Sudan Defense Force (SSDF), comprising most of the ex-rebels who had signed that agreement. His failure to stem the government’s forced displacement of civilians from Western Upper Nile/Unity State ended up turning the Nuer against his leadership and eventually led to his belated resignation from government and attempt to recreate his army in the south in 2000 as the Sudan People’s Democratic Forces (2000-02). In January 2002 signed an agreement with Dr. John Garang to merge the SPDF and the SPLA, receiving a leadership position in the SPLA. (Dok Nuer)
Benjamin Majak In the late 1990s, head of the relief arm of the SPLA, the SRRA, based in his Dinka area of Ruweng County, Western Upper Nile, and an SPLA commander in that area. With the Khartoum government since 2000. (Panaru/Ruweng Dinka)
Paulino Matiep Nhial Bul Nuer ally of the Sudan government. He was in Anyanya but was not incorporated into the Sudan army after the 1972 peace agreement. He became a rebel again in 1975 in Bilpam, went to Ethiopia, and returned to Western Upper Nile in 1985-86 as Anyanya II. He never joined the SPLA, in part because of its 1983 attacks on Anyanya II. He remained in Anyanya II, armed and supported by the government. With then army officer Omar El Bashir (who led the 1989 coup and became Sudan’s president), he successfully recaptured Mayom garrison in Western Upper Nile in early 1989 from the SPLA. He joined Machar’s breakaway faction in 1991. His forces were incorporated into the SSDF forces after the 1997 Khartoum Peace Agreement, but he fought the SSDF forces for control of the governorship of Unity State in September 1997, and lost. In March 1998 his South Sudan Unity Movement/Army (SSUM/A) was recognized by the government, which continued to directly provide him with arms and ammunition. He was named a major general in Sudan’s army in or before 1998. In 1998-present, he fought on behalf of the government, forcibly displacing civilians from Block 5A. For a longer period he helped the government conduct displacements from Blocks 1, 2, and 4. In 2003 he was again engaged in fighting against Nuer pro-government rivals for control of the governorship of Unity State, and lost. (Bul Nuer)
Peter Paar Jiek, SPDF commander of Western Upper Nile in 2000-01. Formerly SSDF commander under Cmdr. Tito Biel in the fighting in 1998-99 in Western Upper Nile/Unity State. He was with Machar’s forces since the split from the SPLA in 1991. He coordinated anti-government attacks with Gatdet’s forces until June 2000, when he and Gatdet began to fight each other. He and Gatdet settled the “war of the Peters” in late 2000, and with Riek Machar he rejoined the SPLA in 2001. (Dok Nuer)
Nuer pro-government militia leaders:
Simon Gatwich Dual Pro-government Nuer militia leader based in Akobo, Upper Nile. With the SPLA, he followed Machar in 1991, becoming an SSDF commander in 1997. In 1999 he began receiving direct government funding. He followed Riek Machar out of the government in 2000 and Riek Machar named him governor of Leich State (Western Upper Nile/Unity State). He went with Riek Machar into the SPLA in 2002 but may have remained in some relationship with the Sudanese government and militias. (Lou Nuer)
Gordon Kong Chuol Pro-government Nuer militia leader based in Eastern Upper Nile. An Anyanya veteran and founder of the SPLM/A, he joined the separatist Anyanya II and fought against the SPLA from 1983-88, when he led the reconciliation of most Anyanya II with the SPLA. With Riek Machar and Lam Akol, he led the breakaway faction that split from the SPLA in 1991. The faction received military assistance from the government and in 1997 signed the Khartoum Peace Agreement with the government. He was made an SSDF (pro-government) commander in 1997 under Riek Machar, and he began to accept direct supplies from the government in 1998. From that time a government militia leader operating out of Nasir with his local Jikany Nuer troops. (Eastern Jikany Nuer)
Gabriel Tanginya (nom de guerre) Commander of government Nuer militia based in Fangak then Pom, Upper Nile, he was associated with Cmdr. Paulino Matiep in the early Anyanya II and with him joined Cmdr. Riek Machar’s breakaway rebel forces in 1991. He became a government militia leader by accepting direct government backing in 1998-99. In early 2000 he hijacked a U.N. plane in protest of the U.N.’s alleged transport of commanders to Riek Machar’s then location in Koch, Western Upper Nile. (Lak Nuer)
Awad al-Jaz Sudanese minister of energy and mining.
Lloyd Axworthy Canadian minister of foreign affairs (1997-late 2000) who in 1999 threatened sanctions for Talisman Energy if it was implicated in human rights abuses.
Omar el Bashir President of Sudan who initially took power through a military coup on June 30, 1989, when he held the rank of brigadier general in the Sudan army. Elected later to president when the opposition refused to participate in elections.
James W. Buckee Chief executive officer and president of Talisman Energy, Inc., formerly with British Petroleum before it spun off Talisman as an independent oil company.
Leonardo Franco U.N. special rapporteur for human rights in Sudan mandated by the U.N. Commission on Human Rights from 1998-2000; professor of law in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
John Harker Canadian specialist in African issues and advisor to the government of Canada. He headed the human rights team specially appointed in October 1999 by the Canadian foreign ministry to investigate whether oil development was exacerbating the war in Sudan, and wrote its report in January 2000.
Adolph Lundin Geneva-based oil and minerals investor whose family owns Lundin Oil AB and its subsidiary, the International Petroleum Corporation, part owner and lead partner of the consortium on Block 5A in Western Upper Nile (Unity State) until 2003, and part owner (24.5 percent) of the consortium on Block 5B.
Sadiq al Mahdi Sudanese prime minister (1965-67 and 1986-89), the head of the Umma Party and the Mahdi family, decendants of the holy man who led the Islamic national fight against the Egyptians and British and liberated Sudan from their control in 1881. The Mahdi family also heads the Sudanese Muslim religious sect, the Ansar, which is the base of the Umma Party. In 1995 the Umma Party joined the National Democratic Alliance (NDA, a coalition of opposition armed and political groups) in Asmara, Eritrea, and on its own fielded a small army against the Sudan government in eastern Sudan under overall command of the NDA. In 2000, the Umma Party left the NDA and returned to Sudan to operate as a political party, but refuses to take part in elections and insists on a constitutional conference.
Jafa’ar Numeiri Former general and president of Sudan (1969-85), through a military coup; he created a socialist one-party state. After the Sudanese Communist Party tried to overthrow him in 1971 (and he thereafter executed a number of its major leaders) and Ethiopia joined the USSR camp in the mid-1970s, Sudan under President Numeiri became a U.S. ally and received large amounts of western aid and loans. At various times formed alliances with the Sudan Communist Party, southerners, and Islamists (enacting shari’a in 1983) before he was overthrown by military coup in support of a popular uprising in 1985. He stayed in exile in Egypt until 1999, when he returned to Sudan and was amnestied. Presided over inauguration of the GNPOC pipeline in 1999.
Ali Osman Mohamed Taha Sudanese first vice president since 1998, an active leader in the National Islamic Front in the 1980s, who became the head of the National Congress (NC) until 2000. He joined the side of Pres. Omar El Bashir in an internal NC split between Pres. Bashir and al Turabi.
Hassan Al Turabi Intellectual and political leader of Sudan’s Islamist movement since the 1960s, he was named Attorney General under President Numeiri. He advocated the enactment of shari’a; his Muslim Brotherhood was suppressed by Numeiri and Turabi was jailed by Numeiri in early 1985. After Numeiri’s overthrow and the reorganization of political parties for elections, he and his followers fielded Islamist candidates under the National Islamic Front (NIF), which took 20 percent of the vote. He was jailed in the immediate aftermath of the 1989 Islamist military coup that overthrew Prime Minister Sadiq al Mahdi. Although he did not hold government or party office until the late 1990s, he was believed to be de facto the most powerful man in Sudan until late 1999, when his former protégé President Bashir curbed his power and dismissed him from the NIF (by then known as the National Congress) in early 2000. He formed a rival Islamist party, the Popular National Congress (PNC) party, and was held in prolonged arbitrary detention by the government in 2001 (after the PNC signed a compact with the SPLA) although the courts ordered him released. As of late 2003, he remains in detention.