How the British Colonial Rule Contributed to Contemporary Underdevelopment in South Sudan: A Review of a Ph.D. Dissertation on the “Dinka Responses to the Early British Colonial Rule, 1900-1922,” by Mark Mijak Abiem

The Sudd Institute

Author: Santino Ayuel Longar

Type: Weekly Reviews

Date: 25/12/2018


Publication Summary

In the history of every society, there is always a generation that takes the lead to define and determine that society’s destiny. This could, for example, be (a) a generation that stands and lives up to the promise of greater good or common interest; (b) a generation driven by the sheer power of will, skills, patriotism and determination to fight for liberty and, thus, free their people from the yoke of internal domination or external aggression; or (c) an enlightened generation that produces the most relevant, even consequential, stock of human knowledge from which all subsequent generations tend to draw inspiration


It is against the backdrop of the latest context that we must appreciate the contributions of the South Sudanese generation of intellectuals of the 1960s and 1970s. Among the most notable ones are/were but not limited to Francis Mading Deng, Taban Lo Liyong, late Nyot Kook, late Akolde Ma’an Tier, late Dunstan Wai, late John Garang de Mabior, late Damazo Dut Majak Kocjok, late Lazarus Leek Mawu, and late Mark Mijak Abiem. 


Other prominent scholars of that generation included late Dr. James Dhab, late Dr. Paul Wani, late Ambrose Ahang Beny, and late Dr. Raphael Koba, to mention but a few. These academics braved and brazed the trail of South Sudan’s intellectual history, having not only charted a new way forward but also fleshed out some of the most significant contributions of those who came before them and, therefore, shaped South Sudanese academic landscape in monumental ways. This, in my view, accords them the title of “academic giants” to whom the subsequent generations of South Sudan intellectuals are eternally indebted.


In this review, I examine the work of one of these giants: the late Dr. Mark Mijak Abiem’s 1976 Ph.D. dissertation on the “Dinka Responses to the Early British Colonial Rule, 1900-1922.”


Santino Ayuel Longar's Biography

Santino Ayuel Longar holds a Ph.D. in Law from Queen’s University, Canada. He is a barrister, solicitor, and notary public, being a member of the Law Society of Ontario, in Canada. His research interests include but are not limited to international human rights law, international humanitarian law (the law of armed conflicts), public international law, international investment law, history, administrative law, tort law, public law, contract law, and constitutional law. He can be reached at


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