Supermodel with claims
Born on 16th in Wau, Western Bahr-al-Ghazal, into a Dinka family („Blackspottet Cow“) fled 1983 at the onset of the second civil war thereto with her family. Alek Wek lives since 1991 in Great Britain, where she began to work as a model in the mid-1990s whilst being a fashion model. Standing 1.80 m tall she became „Model Of The Year“ in 1997 and was the first woman born on the African continent heading the fashion magazine „Elle“. Living now in the United States, where she works mainly as a fashion designer, she has represented numerous charitable causes for her birth home.
Amum, Pagan s. Pagan Amum Okech
Bok, Francis s. Francis Bok
Bol, Manute s. Manute Bol
Deng, Francis Mading s. Francis Mading Deng
Francis Bok (1979- ) (original name (Francis Piol Bol Buk)
former Dinka slave, now U.S. Based author and abolitionist
In 1986, when Francis Bok, who is the son of a farmer, was only seven years old, he was kidnapped near his home village Gurion in Northern Bahr al Ghazal by a group of Islamist marauders. One of these forced Bok to serve as a slave in his home in Kordufan in North Sudan for years, where he experienced violence and exploitation. Only at the age of 17 years, was he able to escape and eventually reached the USA. Bok highlighted the existence of slavery under the government of Khartoum, a claim it always denied, when he spoke in front of the US-Senate about his story. Since 2000 Bok works for the American Anti-Slavery Group AASG and was received in White House in 2002 by the then U.S. President George W. Bush.
Francis Mading Deng (1938- )
University Lecturer, Politician, Diplomat and Author
Mading Deng, born in 1938, is regarded as the first person from South Sudan with an academic doctoral degree. Mading Deng, a Ngok Dinka, is the grandson of the late paramount chief Deng Majoj, (d. 1969) and was born in 1938 inside the currently disputed region of Abyei, which lies between Sudan and South Sudan. Following his school education in the South and North of Sudan, he went on to study law in Khartoum, Great Britain and the United States, and earned his PhD at Yale Law School in 1969. He also wrote several books about South Sudan, including two novels. In 1972 he became a Human Rights officer for the United Nations in New York. At the end of the first Sudanese civil war, which lasted 17 years and the establishment of an autonomous South Sudan, he became Sudanese ambassador and foreign secretary. Following the eruption of the second civil war in 1983 he returned to the USA, where he taught law, politics and sociology at the Washington based Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. In1992 Francis Mading Deng was elected as the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Internally Displaced Persons. Between the years 2007 and 2012 he served as U.N. under-secretary as a special adviser for the Prevention of Genocide. In September 2012 he became the U.N. Ambassador for South Sudan.
Igga, James Wani s. James Wani Igga
James Wani Igga (1949- )
Vice President of the Republic of Sudan since 2013
The SPLM politician Wani Igga was born in 1949 in the village Krillo near Juba, He is ethnically a member of the Bari-people, who are based in Equatoria. He was elected to the post of vice-president by President Salva Kiir Mayardit in 2013. His predecessor was Riek Machar ((SPLM 2005 -2011 Vice-President of Autonomous Region of Southern Sudan, and then in the same position until 2013 for the Republic of South Sudan.
He is amongst the first South Sudanese who were able to study after the first civil war, by attending the Cairo University of Economics. During his study years he became president of the Juwama Africa Patriotic Organization (JAPO), which was formed due to the fall down of the 1972 Addis Ababa Agreement. Following his completed studies, Igga joined the SPLM in 1985. During the second civil war, he led the Shakus-Battalion, becoming regional Commander in Central Equatoria in 1987 and advancing as a member of the high command of the strategical and political leadership of the SPLA. When the SPLA split into a Torit and Nasir faction, he was amongst others engaged in the 1991 Nairobi Peace Talks in 1991 as a delegate of the Torit-Faction, attempting to deliver an end of the inner Sudanese conflict. From 2000 he led SPLM-groups that conceptualised administrative structures in liberated areas.
Following the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005, he became the interim-Governor of the Upper Nile region, but later that year the speaker of the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly. Igga, who also published books, became the speaker of the „National Legislative Assembly“ of the Republic of South Sudan, at the beginning of South Sudanese independence in 2011 ,which he seized to be, when he became vice president.
He is a member of the Roman Catholic church and is married with two children.
Knoblecher, Ignaz (1822-1858)
Catholic Missionary in Equatoria
Born as „Ignacij Knoblehar“, son of a peasant in contemporary Slovenia, then as the region Unterrain, part of the Austrian Empire, Knoblecher was ordained a Catholic priest in 1845. From 1848 until is death in 1858 Monsignore Ignaz Knoblecher acted as a missionary in Khartoum. His is understood to be the “first” modern European, who undertook several travels into the South of the region. Through these he also reached Bari, where he set up at the shores of the Wite Nile the missionary station Gondokoro (in todays Central Equatoria).
Manute Bol (1962 – 2010)
Manute („Special Blessing“) Bol was born on the 16th of October 1962 in Gogrial oder Turalei, Warrap and was a member of the Dinka. With a height of 2,31 m Manute was even for a member of Dinka people exceptionally tall. He came to fame as an American NBA center-position basketball player between 1985-1995, until retiring from professional sports in 1998.
He invested a considerable part of his fortunes in a variety of good causes in his former home country. Amongst others, he established the Ring True Foundation, which supports refugees, whilst in 2006 he participated in the “Sudan Freedom Walk,” a one-week long march between the American cities of New York and Washington, in order to protest against genocide and slavery in Darfur. He was further intensely engaged in reconciliation efforts for the organisation Sudan Sunrise and the setting up of educational institutions his home country.
Bol was offered the post of sports minister by the Sudanese government in 2001, however as that position would have requested him to convert to Islam, he declined it at the the time, which resulted in the government denying him permission to leave the country. He was was only allowed to leave via Egypt following lengthy negotiations.
In 2002 Bol was granted political asylum by the USA but later suffered a terrible traffic accident which ruined him financially. He died due to kidney failure caused by the skin disease Stevens-Johnson-Syndrome on the 19th of June 2010 in Charlottesville, Virginia, .
Pagan Amum Okiech (1959 – )
Pagan Amum held key positions inside the SPLM/A as well as in the Sudanese and South-Sudanese top government.
Pagan Amum is a member of the Shilluk-People of the Malakal County, Upper Nile. When he was a student he went underground in the bush in 1982 in order to fight the Numeiri-Regime. In 1983 he joined the SPLA and was able to progress speedily in the SPLM/A ranks, amongst others through the support of his mentor John Garang. He became commander of a unit entitled the “red army,” which in part featured underage SPLA soldiers. This unit was meant to grow into an elite of the „New Sudan.“ After Amum was sent to Fidel Castro’s Cuba, where he underwent several years of training, he became a supporter of Cuban-style Leninist Marxism.
On his return, he soon became one of the leading persons of the SPLM/A. In the transition period (2005 – 2011) he carried, amongst others, the ministerial office for the translation of the peace agreement between the SPLM/A and the Sudanese government (Comprehensive Peace Agreement, CPA). He also served as federal minister for governmental concerns in Khartoum.
At the onset of independence he was a member of the South Sudanese Cabinet let by president Salva Kir, and soon became the general secretary of the SPLM, one of the most important positions in the political scene of South Sudan.
But on 23rd July 2013 he was put under house arrest by the SPLM president Salva Kiir as well as suspended from all his official duties, under the accusation of having used his offices for financial gains. He was further accused to have sacked two former ministers from office on charges of corruption charges against the wishes of Kiir. Amun was later arrested together with ten other SPLM leading politicians (SPLM-G11), when in December 2013 the political Situation in South Sudan became dominated by the armed conflict between the president and the parties let by the former vice-president Riek Machar. They became accused of having attempted to overthrow Machar. Whilst a trial against Amum and three other accused began in March 2014, accusations were dropped in April of the same year..
An agreement between the civil war factions of Salva Kiir (president, government SPLM), Rriek Machar -(former vice president, opposition) and the Pagan Amum (SPLM-G11) was signed on 21st of January 2015 in Arusha. As a direct consequence of this agreement („Arusha Agreement on the Reunification of the SPLM“) Pagan Amun was reinstated as the SPLM general secretary on 23rd. June 2015.