Hon. Angelo Beda, Co-Chair

Angelo Beda

Angelo Beda was born in 1939 at Akpa in Tambura State. He is a South Sudanese veteran politician and statesmana and serves the National Dialogue as its co-chair and head of delegation. He hails from the Azande Tribe/ ethnic Community of Western Equatoria Region, the second largest tribe in South Sudan (1956 Census). He has served in the regional and national governments in various capacities at high-level positions for over 40 years. Rt. Hon. Beda is committed with his fellow Co-Chair, and with the participation of all stakeholders to deliver a sustainable peace to the people of South Sudan. Angelo Beda is commonly known among the Azande as “Bakumba” (i.e Elder).

He completed his First Degree (Bachelor) in Economics in June 1971 from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and subsequently in 1971, he was appointed by the Nigerian Government as an Education Officer at the Government College of Sokoto in Nigeria. In the period following the 1972 Addis Ababa Agreement, he returned to Juba and was appointed as a Rural Development Officer in the Ministry of Cooperative and Rural Development. In 1974, he went to Postgraduate Study in Rural Development at the Kenya Cooperative College, Langata (Nairobi) which he completed in 1975 with a Postgraduate Diploma in Rural Development. In 1976, after completing his study, he was promoted to the position of Senior Cooperative Officer in the then Regional Government of Southern Sudan. Hon. Beda began his political career in 1977 when he was appointed as Assistant Secretary for the Sudan Socialist Union (SSU) in Yambio, a position he held for only one year. In the following year (1978), he stood in the election and was successfully elected as a Member of Parliament in the People’s Regional Assembly, Juba.

In 1979, after his re-election, Angelo Beda’s charisma and political abilities helped him to be elected as the Speaker of the People’s Regional Assembly, Juba. His picture can still be seen today displayed at the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA), as the Fifth Speaker among the political leadership in South Sudan. Hon Beda held this position till 1981. In 1982 election, the Campaign for the re-division of the South into three regions (Kokora), was a factor for the lost in the election and hence he returned to Tambura to undertake farming. However, in 1985, Beda stood again in the election and he was successfully elected to the Sudan National Assembly (SNA) in Khartoum. In 1988, Beda garnered significant support and was elected as the President of the Council for the Southern Sudan where he served until 1989 when it was dissolved following the Al Bashir Military Coup. Following the Coup, he returned to his popular hobby of farming, this time in Khartoum. Then, in 1992, he was appointed by H.E. President Omar Al-Bashir as a Deputy Governor of Equatoria Region and subsequently in 1994 he was promoted to the position of the Governor of Equatoria Region before the regions were divided into 26 States in the then Sudan.

Angelo Beda holding forth in South Sudan's Parliament
Angelo Beda holding forth in South Sudan’s Parliament

In 1991, Beda was appointed as the Chairman for Juba University Council. A position he held for over 10 years (1991-2002) and subsequently he was replaced by the late Gen. Ambassador Alison Monani Magaya (2001-2010). In 1995, and with the Government of Sudan looking to gain popular support from Southern Sudanese, Beda was nominated as the Deputy Speaker of the Sudan National Assembly and he was successfully elected. In 1996, he was appointed by President Omar Al Bashir as the Minister of Labour and Public Service, a position he served for two years. Initially, he was to be appointed as an Ambassador to Nigeria. In 1998, Hon Beda was appointed as the Deputy President for the Coordination Council for Southern Sudan with Dr. Riek Machar serving as Assistant President of the Republic and the President of the Coordination Council, during the Khartoum Peace Agreement. In 2001, Dr. Riek Machar left Khartoum and after his departure, Beda became the Acting President of the Southern Sudan Coordination Council.

Mr. Beda continued to enjoy popular support and by 2002, he was elected once again with the overwhelming majority to the position of the Deputy Speaker of the Sudan National Assembly. A position he served until the CPA agreement when he relinquished the post to SPLM Candidate, Rt. Hon Atem Garang. However, he continued to serve as a Member of Parliament till 2010, when he moved to South Sudan to establish his Farm both in Juba and Tambura.

Mr. Beda led numerous high-level international meetings and conferences during his long-serving parliamentary career:

  • He chaired the Sudan delegation to the African, Caribbean, and Pacific- EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (ACP-EU, 2002-10).
  • He served as a member of the Pan African Parliament where he was a finalist candidate for Speaker.
  • In 2004, he led the Sudanese Parliamentary Delegation to the USA.
  • When South Sudan got its independence (2011), H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit, the first President of the Republic of South Sudan appointed Hon. Beda as Member of the Council of States, National Legislature, Juba.

Recently, he was honoured again to be appointed by H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit as the Co-Chairman of the National Dialogue Steering Committee (NDSC) alongside Hon. Abel Alier who is also a veteran Southern politician and Statesman (Former Vice-President of Sudan and President of the High Executive Council of Southern Sudan, 1972-77 & 1980-81).