After more than a century since the death of its last monarch, one of South Sudan’s oldest kingdoms has been resurrected.
In 1905, British officers on patrol assassinated King Gbudue, but his great-grandson was installed as the Azande’s monarch on Wednesday.
Hundreds of people attended Wilson Peni Rikito Gbudue’s coronation, according to his brother, who spoke to the Bazzup from the palace in Yambiyo, Western Equatoria State.
“There will be celebrations throughout the night and throughout this week,” Prince Daniel Badagbue Rimbasa said.
He described it as a pivotal milestone in the Azande people’s history.
“We must rebuild our culture and foster peaceful coexistence among our people,” says the author.
The prince disputed that the Azande lobbied for the kingdom’s re-establishment in order to gain political clout in Western Equatoria.
“It’s solely for the promotion of our culture, preservation, and heritage, not for political reasons.”
The history of South Sudan comprises the history of the territory of present-day South Sudan and the peoples inhabiting the region.
South Sudan seceded from the Republic of Sudan in 2011. Geographically, South Sudan is not part of the Sudan region at all (the Sahel), forming as it does part of Sub-Saharan Africa. In modern terminology, it does, however, include parts of the East Sudanian Savanna. Its inclusion in “Sudan” is due to the southward expansion of the Ottoman Khedivate of Egypt in the 19th century, and its consequent inclusion in Mahdist Sudan, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan and the Republic of Sudan during 1885 to 2011.
South Sudan is mostly inhabited by Nilo-Saharan speaking peoples, with Niger-Congo speaking minorities. Historically, what is now South Sudan was dominated by Central Sudanic speaking peoples, but the presence of Nilotic peoples can be assumed from prehistoric times as well. Since about the 14th century, following the collapse of the Christian Nubian kingdoms of Makuria and Alodia, the Nilotic peoples gradually came to dominate the region.