M. and M. Russell
Martin and Margo Russell

1. Diaries
2. Political Papers
3. Norwegian Southern Sudanese Committee
4. Photographs
5. Printed material
Reference code: GB-0033-SAD
Title: M. and M. Russell
Dates of creation: 1950s-1981
Extent: 1 box
Held by: Durham University Library, Archives and Special Collections
Created by: M. and M. Russell
Language: English and Norwegian

Martin and Margo Russell

(Martin Russell: 1929-2008) Martin and Margo Russell worked in the southern Sudan 1977-1980 where Dr Margo Russell was a lecturer in sociology at the new University of Juba and her husband Martin spent his time recording and transcribing oral histories of southerners' experiences of the civil war (up to 1972). Enoch Lobiya, a Kuku, worked as his research assistant and interpreter. The material was intended for a book about the period which was never published. The material in the collection comes from his extensive papers which are still in the possession of his family. The papers relating to the Norwegian Southern Sudanese Committee were given to Martin Russell by Gordon Muortat Mayen Maborjok, former President of the Nile Provisional Government (1969) and President of the African National Front, whom Martin sought out and met several times in London the early eighties after their return to the UK. Gordon Mortat hoped Martin's projected book would further the cause of southern independence.


1. Diaries
2. Political Papers
3. Norwegian Southern Sudanese Committee
4. Photographs
5. Printed Material

Accession details

Presented by Martin and Margo Russell, 2012; and Margo Russell, 2019

1. Diaries
1967 Apr 14-1972 Jan
Typewritten extracts from the diary of Father Constantino Maria Pitya 14 April – 27 May1967; 21 September 1967 – 18 June 1968; 29 November 1968 – 3 March 1969; July – November 1970; August 1971 – January 1972:
1967 Apr 14-Jun 26
“First safari for souls”, visiting the Didinga and Toposa areas, holding masses and baptisms and administering the sacrament, and providing medical care
1967 Sep - 1968 Jun
“Second safari for souls”, holding services and administering medical care; Fr Aleardo and Fr Pitya both afflicted by malaria; moved to Bari country; visit to Fr Pitya's home village of Dumadang-Sindiru (SAD.393/1/16); at Oba both priests were arrested and brought before a court where they were sentenced to a period of imprisonment during which they were in danger from starvation (SAD.393/1/18-22); forced to travel west for further investigations into their case before being set free (SAD.393/1/22-26)
1968 Nov-1969 Mar
“Third safari for souls”, travelling from Patongo station in Uganda back into the Sudan, holding services and tending to the sick and dying in Acholi country; discussions on opposition to Catholic priests operating in southern Sudan (SAD.393/1/32); arbitrating in dispute between groups of freedom fighters (SAD.393/1/34)
1970 Jul-Nov
[Fourth] “safari for souls” among the Bari people and the Kuku, Kakwa and Fajelu people of Yei region in southern Sudan; diseases afflicting the local people (SAD.393/1/39); table of schools visited, showing numbers of pupils and teachers (SAD.393/1/39-40); attacks by Arab soldiers and aircraft in Yei area (SAD.393/1/40-41); bombing campaign in Bari country (SAD.393/1/41); list of villages bombed during October and November 1970 (SAD.393/1/42); lists of schools in the areas of Chiefs Kose Gumbiri and Andrea Gore, with numbers of children attending (SAD.393/1/42); total numbers of children in the southern Bari area and the Kuku, Kakwa and Fajelu areas (SAD/393/1/43); summary of major diseases encountered and medicines required (SAD.393/1/43)
1971 Aug-1972 Jan
“Sixth safari for souls”; general summary of life in southern Sudan (SAD.393/1/44); record of schools and numbers of pupils in villages under Chiefs Kose Gumbiri, Andrea Gore, Mauro Lugor and Onesmo Jalinga (SAD.393/1/44-45); record of holy communions, baptisms, marriages, visits to the sick etc in the same villages (SAD.393/1/45-46); difficulties encountered during the safari (SAD.393/1/46)
1972 Mar-Jun
“Seventh safari for souls in South Sudan” among the Acholi and Lotuko peoples of Torit district; note of baptisms, marriages, first communions, holy communions and sick calls delivered during the safari (SAD.393/1/47); health report for Torit, Lowoi and Palotaka parishes (SAD.393/1/47-48); table showing population by village and numbers of deaths of adults and children (SAD.393/1/49); table showing schools with numbers of teachers and children (SAD.393/1/50)
2. Political Papers
Manuscript lyrics to southern Sudanese political and religious songs, with translations (1950s-1970s), collected in 1979. Languages represented include Kuku, Kakwa, Acholi, Latuka, Azande and Juba Arabic. The war songs were transcribed from tape recordings by Enoch Lobiya. Enclosure:
1979 Feb 27
“War biography” of Melesio Odura, recounting events at Torit in 1979
1978 and n.d.
Posters for candidates in elections held in Southern Sudan
1978 Feb
Radia Muhammad Jabir, candidate in the Southern Sudan central elections
Awad Faragala Yuggu, candidate for the seat of village development committee for the National Assembly
Justin Keliopas Luo, Rural Development Committee, Eastern Equatoria Province candidate for the National Assembly
Jackson Dokolo, Juba Town constituency candidate for the National Assembly
Joseph Bol, youth constituency candidate for the National Assembly
Hilary Paul Logali, probably candidate for the National Assembly
John Tonun Wusong, candidate for the Juba West constituency regional seat
Lawrence Mama Said Batty, Book-Keepers, Clerks, Store-Keepers and Cashiers constituency candidate for the People's Regional Assembly
Eli Gita Aminja, Clerks, Store-Keepers and Cashiers constituency candidate for the People's Regional Assembly
Voting sheet for women for the Regional Assembly elections
Bullen Lako Bollo, candidate in unspecified election
Dr Pacifico L. Lolik, candidate in unspecified election
3. Norwegian Southern Sudanese Committee
Papers and correspondence collected by, and relating to, the work of the Norwegian Southern Sudanese Committee. A synopsis of papers in Norwegian has been provided by Unn Målfrid Høgseth Rolandsen:
Comments by Stefano Santandrea on The Southern Sudan: background to conflict, by Muhammad Omer Bashir
1970 Sep 1
Article from The Sudan News on “Nimeri urges revolution in Sudanese laws”
1970 Nov
Translation of a debate in the Norwegian Parliament on the genocide in the southern Sudan, 23-24 November 1970 (incomplete)
Compilation of documents on the civil war in southern Sudan including statements by Joseph Lagu of the Anya Nya South Sudan Freedom Fighters, the Revolutionary Council, Khartoum, delegation of refugees from Mboki, representatives from a number of youth organisations, trade unions and educational institutions, the Ugandan Department of Agriculture and the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs; articles from a selection of newspapers published in Canada, Sudan, the USA, Kenya, Tanzania, the UK and Norway; report by a Catholic priest [Fr Constantino Maria Pitya] on bombings in southern Sudan; Republican order no. 4 (26 apr 1970); extract from a Norwegian parlimentary debate on foreign policy with regard to support for civilians suffering in the southern Sudan.
English, Norwegian
Compilation of documents on the Sudan conflict, including “Report on the new operation by the Arabs on the villages in the Southern Sudan”; “Memorandum of South Sudan problem”, December 1970; statements by the Anya Nya; “An open letter to H.E. U Thant from a commander of the Anya Nya”; article from Time magazine on “Africa: rumblings on a fault line”; articles by Allan Reed; appeal to the Commission on Human Rights to take up the Sudanese problem for examination at its session in Geneva in Feb/Mar 1971; 4 articles by F. Schander; “policy statement on the Southern question”; articles from Uganda Argus and Newsweek; extract from the Bulletin of Sudan Afro-Asian Solidarity Committee, 15 Dec 1970
English, Norwegian
Papers relating to a visit by E.M. (Madeng) de Garang to Oslo in 1971, including a report on the visit by A.W. Ostensen from the South Sudan Committee; records of donations relating to expenses for the visit including letters confirming a donation by the Norwegian Society of Lawyers, with reply; receipts for expenses
English, Norwegian
1971 Apr 24
Press release announcing the setting up of the Southern Sudan Committee in Oslo, aimed at encouraging humanitarian assistance to southern Sudanese both inside and outside the Sudan and promoting peace between North and South
1971 May 21-Aug 25
Letters from E.M. de Garang, Director of the Southern Sudan Association and Fr Angelo Makur in Uganda to the President of the new NSSC, congratulating him on the establishment of the new committee
1971 May 25
Transcript of interview with Joseph Lagu on Norwegian television, answering questions submitted by the NSSC
1971 May
Copy of remarks presented at a meeting with representatives of the World Council of Churches and the All Africa Conference of Churches by the Episcopal Church executive committee, Kampala, 7-8 May 1971 (1st page only)
1971 Jun 17
Transcript of interview between Per Oyvind Heradstveit and Colonel Joseph Lagu, recorded for broadcast by NRK, Norwegian Television, with related letter from E.M. de Garang, Director of the Southern Sudan Association Limited, also referring to prospective peace talks brokered by the World Council of Churches
1971 Jun 28
Copy letter from E.M. de Garang, for the SSLM Europe, to Dr Leopoldo J. Niilus, Director Commissioner of the Churches on International Affairs concerning representation for Southerners in proposed talks with the government, the need for relief for the south and the need to defer the mission of the general secretary of the Sudan Council of Churches to Ethiopia to make contact with refugees
1971 Jun 9
Copy letter from Joseph Lagu, Leader of the Anya Nya, to the President of the Norwegian Southern Sudanese Committee, explaining the organisation and aims of the Anya Nya movement
1971 Jul 21
Photocopy of press release No 7 from Grass Curtain on the reactions of the Southern Sudan Liberation Movement to the coup of Major al-Atta against President Nimeiri
1971 Jul 21-Sep 7
Applications to the NSCC from Southern Sudanese students for financial assistance towards their studies. Enclosed in one letter is the constitution of the Southern Sudanese Student Union in Liberia (SAD.393/5/43-47)
1971 Aug 23
Letter from the Chairman of the Danish Anti-Slavery Society to President Nimeiri urging him to abandon the policy of forced Islamisation in southern Sudan
1971 Nov 23
Paper by Elia Duang, Manager Rehabilitation Project, South Sudan on “Education for Southern Sudanese children in the Zaire Republic: estimates of expenditure of self-help primary school for Southern Sudanese refugees at Niangara camp, Republic of Zaire”
1971 Nov 24
Background paper by E.M. de Garang, Director of the Southern Sudan Association Limited, London, on “Sudan - the mirror of Africa?”, delivered as a lecture in Oslo
1971 Nov 26
Letter to E.M. de Garang from Hatchett Jones & Co, setting out their charges for legal counsel, with copy letter from the NSSC to the Norwegian chapter of the Anti-Slavery Society, requesting financial support for the Southern Sudan Association's (de Garang) legal costs in relation to the drafting of a constitution and list of members of the Norwegian Society of Lawyers
English, Norwegian
1971 Nov 30-Dec 14
Letter to the NSSC concerning sick leave of their employee Dr Halvor D. Nordskog, from the Norwegian office of social services for sailors, enclosing official regulations concerning sick leave; reply from the NSSC
1971 Dec 13
Letter from the NSSC to the Norwegian postal service requesting the opening of a bank account, with short description of the committee and names of the principle members
Background paper by Theresa Scherf on “The Sudan conflict: its history and development” for the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, with covering memorandum by Leopoldo J. Niilus, Director of the Commission
Statement by the Anti-Slavery Society to the 27th session of the UN Commission on Human rights in Geneva concerning the Commission's failure to address the issue of human rights in southern Sudan
Report by Dr Halvor Nordskog on medical conditions in southern Sudan, as observed during an inspection tour at the behest of Joseph Lagu
[ca. 1971]
Recommendations for a new constitution for the Republic of the Sudan, with copy of revised recommendations
1972 Feb 15
Copy letter from Alf W. Ostensen to E.M. de Garang, Director of the Southern Sudan Association Ltd in London commenting on a draft constitution for the southern Sudan
1972 Mar 16
Letter from Alf W. Ostensen of the NSSC to E.M. de Garang, Director of the Southern Sudan Association Ltd concerning the impact of the Addis Ababa agreement on NSSC work in southern Sudan
1972 Mar 29-1973 Dec
Translations of articles, author unknown, from Norwegian newspapers on “How can we help the Southern Sudan?”, Arbeiderbladet (29 Mar 1972), “The Southern Sudan and the help from the outside world”, Arbeiderbladet (April 1972) and “Peace and unity in the Sudan - an African achievement”, (December 1973). Includes copy of the third article in Norwegian.
1972 Apr
Photocopy of article from Africa on the signing of the Addis Ababa agreement
1972 May 14
Letter from E.M. de Garang of the South Sudan Liberation Movement to Professor Gjessing requesting the setting up of a regional Red Cross office in southern Sudan
1972 Jun 12
Unintelligible notes, presumably about a meeting of the NSSC
1972 Sep 11
Article from Newsweek entitled “Sudan: the spoils of war”
1972 Oct 20
Copy letter from Richard D. Schneider, President of the Southern Sudanese Fund, to Mr Ostensen urging a donation to help with humanitarian work in southern Sudan and support for southern Sudanese to be trained in the USA
1972 Dec 15
Translation of speeches in a debate in the Norwegian Parliament on the situation in southern Sudan 8 months after the signing of the peace treaty
1973 Sep 3
Confidential report to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the Norwegian Embassy, Nairobi, expressing concern for the implementation of the peace agreement, based on sources inside southern Sudan, and concerning possible successors to Joseph Lagu, conditions in Upper Nile and the Bahr al-Ghazal and Israeli support for Anya Nya; with manuscript notes to A.W. Ostensen from Nyheim at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
1973 Nov 2
Seminar paper (No. DSP:8/73-74) by Horace Campbell, Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Makerere University, Kampala, on “A view of the conflict in the Southern Sudan: uneven development and imperialist penetration”
1973 Nov 22
Note to A.W. Ostensen from Oyen, forwarding the address of the Sudanese Ambassador and urging him to set up a meeting with him
1974 Feb 13
Letter from A.W. Ostensen of the NSSC to Guro ? , with update on the Foreign Minister's visit
1974 Mar 12
Briefing notes prepared for a visit by the Foreign Minister of the Sudan, Mansur Khalid, to Oslo, 27-28 March 1974, wirtten by the political office, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The notes contain general information on the Sudan and its historical background and national politics; the problem of the southern Sudan, foreign policy and Norway's relationship with the Sudan
Typescript copies of articles on “Conflict and harmony in Dinka society” and a review of Francis Deng's Dynamics of Identification: a basis for national integration in the Sudan Khartoum University Press (1973)
[ca. 1978]
Policy statement of the first Students' Union of the University of Juba, delivered by the President of the Union, Gordon Sworo Yisaya before the Students' Union council
Series of articles for a school magazine, including Lumago Lumago Simba on a dispute between members of staff at Loka Senior Secondary School and threats from Toposa outlaws around Loka; by Ruben Wani Latio on “The arrival of education in my village”; and by Ghoro Lo-Gitang Yombek on “The 20th January 1980 school strike”
[ca. 1970s]
Lecture by unknown author summarising the history of the Southern Sudan under British rule and during the 1960s (lacking page 1)
[ca. 1970s]
Press release by Dominic A. Muhammad, Southern Sudanese Liberation Movement representative on discussions with the leadership of the Southern Sudan Movement on coordination of publicity activities and ways and means of seeking international assistance
1980 Dec 27
Copy letter from Rev John Malou Ater, Pastor in charge Dinka congregation, Khartoum, to the Inspector of Police, Khartoum complaining about the treatment of Christians who were beaten and arrested for marching through the street en route to church on Christmasn Eve
1981 Apr 28
Letter to President Nimeiri from southern students at the University of Khartoum, under the auspices of the African Nationalists' Front, protesting against the proposed site of the new oil refinery at Kosti
Appeal letter entitled “Twelve years of oppression in Sudan”, urging support for the campaign for the freedom of political preisoners, the abolition of the state Security Law and reinstatement of those dismissed for political reasons
4. Photographs
Public events with traditional dancing by Southern Sudanese ethnic groups; and school parade.
Group of seated Shilluk men with headdresses, spears, shields and bugles; crowd in background, at Malakal.
Group of Acholi perfoming the Bwala dance.
Group of young Acholi Bwala dancers.
Dingi Dingi dancers, young Acholi boys with instruments and girls standing behind.
Otole dance, the oldest dance of the Acholi people.
Zande traditional dancers at Yambio, with masked musician playing a rango (marimba / xylophone).
Taposa girls and boys dancing at Kapoeta.
Boya women at Kapoeta.
Traditional dancers of the Lokoro people at Torit.
[1970s x 1980]
English Primary School, [Juba] parade commemorating May 1969 Nimeiry coup, with banners.
5. Printed material
Printed material deposited with collection; now integrated into library and catalogued on OPAC