• Short Summary

    It has been reported recently that the strength of the South Sudan's african "Anya Nya" fighters involved in their guerrilla war against the country's Arab government troops is showing signs of increasing.

  • Description

    It has been reported recently that the strength of the South Sudan's african "Anya Nya" fighters involved in their guerrilla war against the country's Arab government troops is showing signs of increasing.

    Certainly over the past year, they have built up their weapon strength by procuring varieties of arms across the borders of other African countries. They are now equipped with weapons of, among others, British, Russian, American and Chinese manufacture.

    This film, which came to Visnews thought a free-lance cameraman who crossed into the South Sudan and filmed the Anya Nya during February, March and April this year, shows these African bush fighters learning how to use their equipment.

    Hopes that this 14 years old war would soon come to an end have reportedly disappeared. There is no indication that the Anya Nya, despite the Sudanese Arab army's use of Soviet, Egyptian and Libyan advisors in combat, are going to be quickly defeated. Declarations from the country's two year old Socialist Government in the Muslim North that they will recognise the claims of the largely Christian South to a certain degree of autonomy have been disregarded by the Anya Nya. And neither side can agree on a formula for peace talks.

    SYNOPSIS: Bushland in the southern Sudan, where for years the African fighters of the Anya Nya have been engaged in their guerrilla was for autonomy against troops sent by their Arab Government in the north.

    It is reported that there are no signs of any lessening in the pace of this war. Hopes that the two year old Sudanese Government in Khartoum could inflict a quick defeat on the Anya Nya are fading as the month pass by. And declaration from the Muslim north that a certain degree of autonomy might be granted to the largely Christian southern region have been disbelieved and disregarded by the Anya Nya.

    Reportedly, the fighters have boil up their weapon strength over the past year. Certainly, they are better equipped now than ever they were before. Varieties of arms have been procured from across the borders of other African countries, and now the Anya Nya can go into action against the Arab-manned government forces with weapons, of, among others, British, American, Russia and Chinese manufacture. Some press reports have hinted that Israel has been supplying them with arms and ammunition captured from the Egyptians in the Six Day War, but Anya Nya leaders refuse to comment on this. The fact remains that they are better armed now than they were at the start of their conflict.

    Radio and transmitting equipment too, has found its way into the hands of these bush fighters during the past year, making a novel contribution to the coordination of tactics and movement between the three southern provinces. Captured or bought? They would not say.

    The Anya Nya are a fast-moving force, and the nature of the bus land they are operating in gives them, it is said, something of an advantage in the kind of war they are fighting. This is a vast region, on observers have noted how the guerrillas have, on several occasion been able to keep large military units involved in protracted and fruitless operations. But the Government forces have not been rendered impotent. It is claimed that Russian MIG-17s and helicopters are used against the Anya Nya, and it is said that pilots from the United Arab Republic are flying combat missions in support of the Khartoum Government's ground forces. Soviet, Egyptian and Libyan advisers, too, are reports to be involved in combat.

    It is difficult for Government forces to break the Anya Nya's hold on areas deep in the bush, where they can pursue their training in secret camps and get on with the business of learning to handle the weapons and explosives they have acquired. What the government forces can do, however with their superior numbers, is to keep a grip on townships and road systems, thus preventing any major concentration of guerrilla units.

    The South Sudanese have been fighting the North for fourteen years now, but only since the accession to power of General Numeiri's revolutionary Socialist Government after a coup two years ago has this civil war raised any international implications. General Numeiri has linked his country with Egypt and Libya. And there's also reportedly a small Soviet force in the country as well.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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    Available on request
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