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Archive for January 16th, 2009

Dinka Ideology: Is South Sudan Becoming Another Lawless Somalia?

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BY: Jwothab Othow, USA

JAN. 15/2009, SSN; Since the Dinka took the majority rule in the GoSS,
insecurity has increased and land grabbling of tribal lands by Dinka has
become a widespread phenomenon. The whole trouble started in Madi and
Acholi lands in Eastern Equatoria State, and then spread to Maridi land
in Western Equatoria State, and now it has reached the Shilluk Kingdom
in Upper Nile State which borders Northern Sudan. By no means are tribal
conflicts nothing new in South Sudan. Perhaps what are new are the scale
of the conflict and the involvement of SPLA in it.

The conflicts between the Shilluk and Dinka started before the
Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed. History tells us that
Dinka Ngok migrated from Bahr el Ghazal to Upper Nile during the reign
of Reth Abudok Nya Bwoc around 1660. The land the Dinka Ngok currently
inhabit used to belong to Anuak tribe. They came to the area in search
of good grazing lands that resulted in many fights recently in Nakdiar
and Lul areas between them and the Shilluk.

The current problem between Shilluk and Dinka Ngok started when the
latter wrote letter to late Dr. John Garang in 2004, claiming the
ownership of Malakal town and many Shilluk lands. When Salva Kiir took
over the Presidency of South Sudan after the tragic death of Dr. Garang,
this issue was immediately brought before him.

However, President Salva Kiir made no attempt at resolving the matter.
His argument was that the war is not yet over and, therefore, there is
no way for the Dinka to return to their original birth places. This is
nonsense.

The current feud between Dinka and Shilluk flared-up during the fourth
anniversary of CPA celebration held in Malakal, the capital of upper
Nile State, on Friday 9 January. The Dinka agenda was to seize and
occupy areas that historically belong to the Shilluk on the banks of the
Nile and Sobat River. The attack, which was alleged to have been carried
out by Dinka SPLA soldiers, killed dozens of Shilluk in Nakdiar and Lul.

It is an undeniable that the ethnic conflicts in the post-CPA era are
the most influential destabilizing forces in South Sudan which will
destroy the unity of Southerners and hold back southerners from
achieving their aspiration for an independent state. For the Dinka
politicians, this is the only legitimate source for exercising their
non-democratic rule over other minor tribal groupings.

The act of evil ideology of the Dinka is widely viewed as an expansion
and occupation with catastrophic consequences similar to that of
Somalia, not to mention Rwanda. The Dinka Ngok massacred dozens of
Shilluk in their Villages who have nothing to do about the celebration
of the CPA taking place in Malakal. So many peace-loving people among
the Shilluk like Uncle James Ogilo Agor and Rev. Daniel Amum wrote
several letters to Mr. Salva Kiir before to resolve the issue of land
dispute and claim of ownership of Malakal by Dinka Ngok. However, Mr.
Salva Kiir ignored the matters altogether.

It appears President Salva Kiir and his government is trying to adopt
same methods used by the current brutal regime in Khartoum to
marginalize minority tribes and decimate them as well. Like the rest of
the world, we have to respect our diversity, to establish healthy
coexistence, and to maintain the existing boundaries that separate
different communities in South Sudan.

This is proving that the Dinka have a hidden agenda. Mr. Salva, as a
leader, has a definite hand in all of these. This is evidenced in his
handling of the earlier conflicts between the Dinka and Madi, Acholi
tribes in Eastern Equatoria State. Now, the whole thing is spreading
like wildfire in Shilluk lands of Malakal, Upper Nile State. This seems
to be the same behavior that shocked the world in 1994, when the Hutu
extremists in Rwanda carried out an organized genocide that killed more
than 800,000 Tutsis minority in a matter of weeks.

This kind of brutal act by the Dinka Ngok could set back South Sudanese
aspiration for self-determination in 2011. This fact gives many
Northerners a strong argument that we Southerners cannot govern
ourselves. Four years have now passed since the semi-autonomous South
Sudan was given a chance to prove to the whole world that it can govern
itself democratically without alienating and humiliating other minor
tribes.

In pursuing their control over all units of government, the Dinka have
virtually proved the contrary to the world that left alone we can’t rule
ourselves in a civilized way. Dinka can not rule the South alone and
neither can the other minority tribes rule the South without the Dinka.
We need each other in order to have a viable independent state.

The Dinka are ethnocentric people who promote intolerance and
dehumanization of other minorities in South Sudan as seen by the
massacre of the Shilluk people in Upper Nile State. The ethnic hatred
has not been provoked and channeled by the ordinary Dinka, but by the
Dinka politicians whose aim is to strengthen their hold over power.

The Dinka seemed to have used the article in Semi-Autonomous
constitution of South Sudan, which states that the citizens of South
Sudan can live anywhere in south Sudan, for their own political gains.
The correct interpretation of this article is that the citizens of South
Sudan have the right to live in anywhere in South Sudan provided that
they do not occupy the lands that already belong to others.

The political domination by the Dinka over other minorities in the South
appear to be most obstacle to the realization of Peace in South Sudan
and true enemy of the South Sudanese aspiration for an independent state
in 2011.

Many people from various minority tribes in South Sudan have, because of
what happened in Madi and Acholi lands in Eastern Equatioria State and
Shilluk Kingdom in Upper Nile state, doubts about the honesty and
integrity of the Dinka. If the behaviors of the Dinka go unchecked and
the perpetrators who carried out the massacre of dozens of Shilluk and
land grabbing are not brought to justice, South Sudan will be extremely
very unstable for all of us. It will be impossible for South Sudanese to
achieve the goals for an independent South Sudan from North Sudan in
2011.

The Dinka should recall history: Whether militarily or politically the
Dinka stand no chance against the other minorities in South Sudan.
History had shown this: When Mr. Abel Alier of Dinka tribe was ousted
from power as the President of the High Executive Council when the
minority tribes in the Regional Assembly united and elected General
Joseph Lagu. In cohort, the minorities in the assembly selected Mr.
Joseph Tombura from the Zande tribe to lead instead of a Dinka. I’m of
the strong belief the Dinka domination will be a short-lived one because
of backlash from the very people they want to dominate.

Dinka should get it right that Shilluk will never allow anyone to occupy
their land. The Shilluk will do anything within their power, including
the use of military means to defend themselves and their existence.

God forbid, I hope the current conflict between Shilluk and Dinka will
not escalate into full scale war that will impact negatively the outcome
of the 2011 referendum for self-determination for the South. It is
therefore important for the South Sudanese to have peace, harmony, and
coexistence among the diverse ethnic groups prior to attaining
independence from North Sudan. These are both necessary and sufficient
conditions for the attainment of an independent state for the South.

Let us be vigilant and not be sidetracked by issues among us as Southern
Sudanese because the Arab North is working hard day and night to defocus
us from our main goal of getting our own independent state by exploiting
any differences among us for its own benefit

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Written by torit1955

January 16, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Posted in Opinions

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Sudan fears US military intervention over Darfur

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The Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir

The Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir. Photograph: Ashraf Shazly/AFP/Getty Images

Sudan‘s government is increasingly fearful that the incoming US administration will resort to military intervention to end the six-year-old crisis in Darfur that has killed up to 200,000 people and left 2.7 million homeless, diplomatic sources in Khartoum say.

“There is a great need for us to sound the alarm again about Darfur,” Hillary Clinton, who was endorsed as secretary of state yesterday, told the US Senate this week. “It is a terrible humanitarian crisis compounded by a corrupt and very cruel regime in Khartoum.”

Clinton said the Obama administration, which takes office on Tuesday, was examining a wide range of options, including direct intervention in support of a joint UN-African Union peacekeeping force, known as Unamid, which has struggled to make an impact after beginning operations last year.

“We have spoken about other options, no-fly zones, other sanctions and sanctuaries, looking to deploy the Unamid force to try to protect the refugees but also to repel the militias,” Clinton said. “There is a lot under consideration.” Clinton has previously asserted that the US has a “moral duty” to help Darfurian civilians.

The US accuses Khartoum’s leadership of committing genocide in Darfur. Washington has eschewed direct military involvement since the crisis erupted in 2003, despite growing pressure to act from Sudanese insurgents, exiles, and evangelical Christian groups.

But in a surprise move last week, President George Bush ordered the Pentagon to begin an immediate airlift of vehicles and equipment for the peacekeeping force.

Alain LeRoy, head of UN peacekeeping operations, told the Security Council last month that violence in Darfur was intensifying and stepped-up international involvement was urgently required to avoid a descent into “mayhem”.

Influential US-based pressure groups such as the Save Darfur Coalition and Enough are meanwhile demanding that US president-elect Barack Obama act swiftly to fulfil campaign pledges to take more robust action.

“I will make ending the genocide in Darfur a priority from day one,” Obama said in April. He has also previously backed a toughening of sanctions and said the US might help enforce a no-fly zone.

“Obama is the [ruling] National Congress party’s worst nightmare,” said a diplomat in Khartoum. “They wanted [John] McCain and the Republicans to win. They thought they were pragmatists. They think the Democrats are ideologues. They haven’t forgotten it was the Democrats who bombed them.”

That was a reference to a retaliatory US cruise missile attack on a suspect pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum in 1998, ordered by President Bill Clinton after al-Qaida attacked US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Sudan provided a base for the al-Qaida leader, Osama bin Laden, from 1991 until he moved to Afghanistan in 1996.

A source in Khartoum said Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, was especially alarmed by Obama’s selection of Susan Rice, a former Clinton national security council adviser on Africa, as a cabinet member and US ambassador to the UN.

Rice has spoken passionately in the past of the need for US or Nato air strikes, or a naval blockade of Sudan’s oil exports, to halt the violence in Darfur.

Referring to the 1994 Rwanda genocide, she said: “I swore to myself that if I ever faced such a crisis again, I would come down on the side of dramatic action, going down in flames if that was required.”

Bashir felt only “fear and loathing” for Rice and had told aides: “I don’t want to see her face here,” the source said.

Khartoum’s concerns about American intervention extend to southern Sudan, fuelled by reports, denied by the US, that Washington is arming the separatist Sudan People’s Liberation Army.

The SPLA is the military wing of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement with which the north fought a 30-year civil war. Salva Kiir, the SPLM leader and Bashir’s likely rival in elections due later this year, received red carpet treatment by Bush at the White House last week.

“The government knows the US does not arm the SPLA. They’re already heavily armed,” a Khartoum-based diplomat said. “But the US does train them. It helps with logistics, planning, and so on. And they (the SPLA) do need air defence. Whether to provide air defence to the south will be a key question for the Obama administration.”

Fears of direct confrontation with Washington are being fuelled by expectations that the International Criminal Court, backed in this instance by the US, will issue an arrest warrant for Bashir within the coming weeks. The ICC chief prosecutor charged Bashir last year with genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity relating to Darfur.

A call this week by a leading Sudanese opposition figure, Hassan al-Turabi, for Bashir to surrender himself to the ICC to avoid further confrontation with the US and the west has added to tensions in Khartoum. According to family members, Turabi was subsequently arreste

Written by torit1955

January 16, 2009 at 8:56 am

Posted in Global

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