HE Engineer Joseph James Tombura. Copyright National Archives of South Sudan.
HE Engineer Joseph James Tombura. Copyright National Archives of South Sudan.

South Sudan National Archives

HE Engineer Joseph James Tombura. Copyright National Archives of South Sudan.
Rift Valley Institute

The Rift Valley Institute (RVI) is an independent, non-profit organization, founded in Sudan in 2001, currently working in eastern and central Africa. The aim of the Institute is to advance useful knowledge of the region and its diverse communities, bringing a better understanding of local realities to bear on social and political action. The RVI works with institutions in the region to develop and implement long-term programmes that combine action-oriented research with education and public information.

Since 2010, the RVI has been working with the Ministry of Culture, Museums and National Heritage (formerly the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports) in Juba on the conservation, digitisation and outreach of the National Archives of South Sudan. The South Sudan National Archive Project is a multiphase project for the conservation, reordering, cataloguing and digitisation of the historical government records of South Sudan. Many of these records have undergone serious damage and are at ongoing risk of decay. These records number tens of thousands, dating from the colonial era up to the 1980s. They cover political, social and administrative issues at local and regional level over a period of eighty years, and are often the only detailed records of previous local Southern administrations in existence. Currently, almost 50 per cent of the South Sudan National Archive documentary holdings have been digitised. Support for this work has so far been provided from the Government of Norway through UNESCO, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, USAID and the US Ambassador’s Cultural Fund.

Since 2021 Sudan Memory has collaborated with the RVI Juba Office to further fund the digitisation of existing archive content, and to implement a mobile digitisation unit to capture materials from personal collections. This focuses in particular on some well-known figures in South Sudan who hold meaning for South Sudanese citizens because of their contribution to the country’s political and cultural life; their papers help to tell parts of South Sudan’s story, and without this scanning process would likely soon be lost. These figures are:

1)     Lubari Ramba Lokolo (1936-2020), a teacher and political activist and an active participant in the political struggle of the Southern Sudanese. He is the author of: The Kakua: Origin and History, Naming System; Likikirio ku Keke ku Kutu na Kakua (Kakwa stories); Nena Kakua na and others. His collections include photos and books about his native Kakua

2)     Joseph Abuk, born in 1943 in Tali, Terekeka county, Republic of South Sudan. Abuk is an important figure within the community of playwrights and artists in South Sudan. His collection includes books, film and photographs.

3)      Monani Alison Magaya  (1947-2015) was born in Maridi County, Western Equatoria State. A politician and soldier, he was trained in Israel, Sudan, USA, and Egypt, and held a number of constitutional positions.  General Alison Monani Magaya is the author of The Anyanya Movement in South Sudan. His collection includes a book, a biography and photographs.

4)     Ezbon Mundiri (1920-1991) was born in Kendi’ba County, Western Equatoria State, and was a political activist and after a period of imprisonment served as a minister in the Southern Sudan Regional Government.

5)     Abdulrahman Sule Ladu Swaka (1898 – 1986) hailed from the Bekat Manabur clan of Juba County,Central Equatoria State. In addition to having hunting and trading licenses, Sule was a political activist which made him travel through South Sudan. He was one of the founding members of the Southern Party, the first political party to be formed in South Sudan.

The data for this collection is currently only available in English.

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