22 Sep 2020

Sudan African National Union

(Ittihad Al Sudan Al Ghaoumi Al Afrighi)

SANU is one of the oldest parties in Sudan. It was founded in exile in 1962 as the Sudan African Closed Districts National Union by William Deng Nhial, Joseph Oduho and Father Saturnino Lohure. In 1963 the party petitioned the UN seeking autonomy for the South. In the same year it changed its name to SANU. After the downfall of General Abboud’s regime in 1964 Deng returned to Sudan to promote federalism in a united Sudan while other leaders formed the Azania Liberation Front that supported the armed struggle from exile. At the Round Table Conference of 1965, that was supposed to solve the conflict in the South, SANU called for the right of self-determination for the South. In the elections of 1967 SANU won ten parliamentary seats, mainly in Bahr El Ghazal. However, during elections in the following year Deng was assassinated. It has been said that he was a mentor of Dr. John Garang, who later founded the SPLM/A. Deng was succeeded by Dr. Andrew Wieu Riak who briefly held a cabinet post. SANU supported the peace agreement of Addis Ababa, which ended the first civil war in 1972 and granted autonomy to the South. Politicians of SANU – which was officially dissolved under the one-party rule set up in 1969 – entered into various government positions.

After the end of the Nimeri regime in 1985 SANU, under Wieu’s leadership, called for the repeal of the draconic “September Laws”, which Nimeri had imposed under the label of Sharia , and for the reunification of the South, which Nimeri had split into three regions thus violating the Addis Agreement. During the democratic period (1986-1989) SANU promoted negotiations with the SPLM/A, joining the umbrella USAP. In 1988 Samuel Aru Bol, another veteran politician, succeeded Wieu as leader of SANU. After the military takeover of 1989 SANU politicians stayed in Khartoum. In 1997 SANU was party to the Sudan Peace Agreement signed by Southern groups and the government in Khartoum but it continued its opposition to the government and was officially dissolved. In 1998 Dr. Toby Maduot Parek, a medical doctor and former minister, succeeded Aru as party chairman. He also acted as co-chairman of the Sudanese Human Rights Group (SHRG).

In 2005 SANU along with other Southern parties endorsed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which ended the second civil war. SANU is represented in the Southern Legislative Assembly by four members. In November 2008 it signed the resolutions of the “Dialogue between SPLM and Southern Political Parties” that aims at closer cooperation between the SPLM-dominated Government of South Sudan (GOSS) and its opposition. SANU has supported the SPLM on various issues, especially regarding the implementation of the CPA. However, it is a more outspoken promoter of Unity in Diversity and of Federalism.

In April 2009 the party held its Second National Convention in Juba under the theme: “Good Implementation of the CPA and decentralized system of government are Key factors for making unity attractive.” Dr. Toby was unanimously re-elected as the party’s president for a five-year-term. Engineer Teresa Ciricio was elected as first and Rev. William Ruwyi as second deputy. In his acceptance speech Dr. Toby vowed to fight tribalism and nepotism that had divided marginalized Sudanese and stressed the aim of “unity in diversity”.

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Information Source: www.electionnaire.org

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