South Sudanese Leaders Advocate Change To Country's Name

"I do propose along these two names a combination of two indigenous names: (IMATONG) and (TOCLAND). The imposing Imatong range is one of our nation's major features. Imatong means elongated feature," he said.

By Ariik Atekdit

JUBA
- The South Sudanese leaders are advocating that the current name, South Sudan be dropped and a new name adopted to reflect meaningfully on the land and the people that inhabit it rather than sticking to name Sudan.

Hon. Dr. Luka Monoja suggested that it was imperative to change the name South Sudan to either (Tochland) or (Savannah). In his article, he presented a number of examples of the nations which have changed their names; adding that previously there were other strategic reasons which bounded South Sudanese to stick to the name (Sudan) during the liberation struggle and that those reasons have achieved their purposes, providing chances of not maintaining the name Sudan for any case.

Recently, Hon. Atem Garang, a lawmaker in Juba, agreed with what Hon Monoja suggested and added that the word Imatong should not be left out in the new name for the country but then there should be a join name therefore, the country should be called: Ima-Toj (Imatoj) and the people be called Imatojians.

Tocland represents the large swampy region of South Sudan with its rivers that are almost found in every part of the country.

"I do propose along these two names a combination of two indigenous names: (IMATONG) and (TOCLAND). The imposing Imatong range is one of our nation's major features. Imatong means elongated feature," he said.

Garang also added that all Arabized names of rivers and places in South Sudan need to be changed to either their original names or suggest new local names for them and agreed upon by all.

Furthermore, Garang said, "I am suggesting that we adopt our indigenous names for our rivers that carry foreign names such as: River Supiri to replace the Arabic name, (Bahr el Jebel), River Phou for (Bahr el Zaraf), River Tulpiu for (Sobat), (Bahr el Arab and (Bahr el Ghazal) to River Kiir as one River. The Mighty Sudd region to take name of TOC (TOJ) and then people move on with new names."

The two legislators, Atem Garang and Monoja, have cited the Bible, Isaiah 18 of remembering the people of South Sudan as a nation of many rivers that will raise their flag on the Mountain, which Garang said to be Mt. Imatong.

Months before the independence of South Sudan from the Sudan in 2011, some people suggested that the new country get its new name as Kush or Nile Republic. The Name Kush or Cush is also a Biblical name said to represent a great Kush Kingdom which was along the Nile, extending its powers up to the current place of Ethiopia.

However, the then Council of Ministers of the autonomous Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) decided to take the name South Sudan for the country. Sudan was thought by some South Sudanese elites to adopt new Arabic name because most of the leaders in that country like to cite with Arabs rather than Africa.

Nevertheless, Khartoum authorities in North Sudan opted to drop the English word (North) but took Sudan as the name of their new country.

Still in South Sudan, a religious politician, Mr. Manyang Parek, has been advocating for a country to be name Sudanile and the people be called (Sudanileans) since the independence of South Sudan from its northern neighbour, the Sudan.

Atem Garang said that a lot need to be changed after the people of South Sudan have got their independence and can now do things the way it suits their interest, not that of the former Sudan administrators.

Other South Sudanese continue to say that the country Sudan was named in consideration of their colour, black; and therefore they cannot drop it. Some still argue that South Sudanese are not the only black people in Africa.

"We are not the only black people in Africa to stick to it. We can change it. What is the problem with that?" said Deng, 25.

Bangladesh was previously known as Eastern Pakistan but when they broke away from the (West) Pakistan the leadership invented a new name from the indigenous people, Garang argued. Also the current Burkina Faso was called Upper Volta, but in 1980's President Sankara changed the country's name to be Burkina Faso and its people being called Burkinabe.

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26/11/2014, 10:18 AM
 - Posted by Daniel Magai
I THINK THIS SHOULD BE A GOOD MOVE BY OUR LEADERS AND I DO APPRECIATE IT SO MUCH AS FAR AS IT WILL BE IMPLEMENTED.
MY BIG ISSUE IS THAT WE KNOW VERY WELL WHAT BIBLE SAID THEN WE WANT TO GO AGAINST IT, NO WAY, IF WE ARE RENAMING THE LET'S TAKE KUSH REPUBLIC.
IT WILL BE GOOD TO HAVE WHAT IS NECESSARY LIKE KUSH OR NILE IF IT PLEASES OUR CIVIL POPULATION.
THANKS
17/05/2019, 4:14 PM
 - Posted by Anonymous User
18/05/2019, 6:38 AM
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