In many countries around the world, the suppression of infectious disease has dominated life in 2020. Living through the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been impossible to ignore the fact that diseases, and human efforts to control them, are deeply shaped by social and political factors, as much as they are by biological ones.

The South Sudan National Archives contains thousands of files, a rich historical record documenting the colonial period, and the early period of Sudan’s independence. One such file, numbered ‘EP 11 B 2’ is a collection of compensation claims, which were made by individuals whose homes were destroyed by the Sudan Armed Forces on 8 July 1965 in Juba.

This blog reflects on archival research into the construction of the grave of King Gbudwe in Yambio, carried out in the South Sudan National Archives. This is supplemented with recent photographs of the grave in Yambio, shared with me by Atem el-Fatih. Also included is some more recent (but very limited) information about the role of grave in local politics in Yambio.