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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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Growing Discontent in Southern Kordofan State

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1. SUDAN: Growing discontent in Southern Kordofan

KADUGLI, 13 January 2009 (IRIN) – Squabbles between parties to Sudan’s
North-South peace agreement, rival community interests and the slow
pace of development could destabilise Southern Kordofan State,
analysts warned.

“Southern Kordofan is in a state of political turmoil,” Sara
Pantuliano, research fellow with the Humanitarian Policy Group, said.

“Signs of insecurity are widespread in the western area where
grievances about lack of access to services and employment and the
blockage of pastoralist movement towards the South have led a number
of Misseriya youth to resort to armed violence.”

The state lies between North and South Sudan and is mainly occupied
by the Nuba, various central highland communities and pastoralist
Baggara Arabs comprising the Misseriya and Hawazma.

“I don’t think all is well but the tensions and flares of violence
will not necessarily lead to a return to war,” said Nanne op ‘t Ende,
author of http://www.nubamountains.com and Proud to be Nuba (2008).

“Dozens, hundreds may still get killed – that will probably continue
to be acceptable, as it has been for the past three years,” he told
IRIN. “Neither the Nuba nor Arab populations are united.

“You cannot understand Southern Kordofan when you equate NCP [the
ruling National Congress Party] with Baggara Arabs and SPLM [Sudan
People’s Liberation Movement] with Nuba Africans. The NCP and the SPLM
may be rivals [but] they both have vested interests in the CPA
[Comprehensive Peace Agreement].”

Signed in 2005 in Nairobi, the agreement ended years of war between
the NCP government and the SPLM. It provides for elections in July
2009 and a referendum on the status of the South in 2011.

“NCP and SPLM politicians [in Southern Kordofan] have for the last
three years had the chance to act as representatives without being
elected and thus have a lot of personal interests in remaining in
power,” op ‘t Ende said.

“Following the CPA towards the elections demands a certain level of
cooperation between NCP and SPLM and it seems the parties continue to
make some progress – enough to keep the CPA from derailing, too little
to be really convincing as a genuine effort to get the state back on
track,” he added.

Reconstruction plans

State Secretary-General Abdalla Eltom Elimam said development plans
existed. “It is a difficult state with poor roads, a hilly terrain,
seasonal rivers and rains making most of parts inaccessible,” he said.
“Dengue, haemorrhagic and yellow fevers are endemic.”

The five-year strategic development plan emphasises peace, security,
rehabilitation and reconstruction of basic sectors. “If we manage to
construct the main roads and provide water and healthcare, we will
help stabilise peace,” he added.

Local residents expressed mixed feelings. “During the war many people
were killed. Now we are moving freely but are not experiencing the
kind of peace and development that we were expecting,” Ayoub Osman, a
teacher in Kadugli told IRIN. “The CPA means an end to war, changes in
the status of living and reconciliation with former enemies, but some
people want the war to continue.”

Halima Kuku Adam, a tea-seller in Kolba area, said: “We need
education, healthcare and support in agriculture. Roads are still
lacking in the rural areas and water is a big cause of conflict. I do
not know what the CPA is about . but I feel there is no need to
celebrate.”

Land issues

Conflict between farmers and nomads over pasture was another issue.
“The nomads bring their livestock to the farming areas for pasture and
water and this creates problems,” Osman said.

There were also too many firearms in circulation. “I feel insecure
when I see many people moving around with guns – this is definitely
not a sign of peace,” said Amanie Kunda, a resident.

Off-duty soldiers carried weapons even in crowded markets and there
were many frustrated, jobless ex-SPLM fighters.

“The young men are not eager to work the fields and are either
hanging around on a soldier’s fee, studying or looking for a job in
Khartoum,” said op ‘t Ende. “What does Southern Kordofan have to offer
young people?”

About 289,000 people have returned to Southern Kordofan since 2005;
the return of SPLA ex-combatants to the Nuba region from the Lake
al-Abyaed area will exacerbate the pressure on resources.

“Events in Southern Kordofan are likely to have a domino effect,”
said a humanitarian worker in the region. “People will look at events
there and the government’s handling of this will influence them.”

Growing instability

Discontent, analysts say, has grown. “Southern secession would leave
the Nuba within a Northern Sudan possibly dominated by the NCP, and
some former SPLA soldiers have reportedly set up armed groups
protesting the remarginalisation of the Nuba in the CPA,” the
think-tank Chatham House said in a 9 January report, Against the
Gathering Storm: Securing Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

Pantuliano said differences over power-sharing between the NCP and
SPLM were aggravated in 2008 when an NCP governor dismissed finance
minister Ahmed Saeed, who was from the SPLM.

“In the central and eastern part, the rift between the SPLM and the
NCP [threatens] the delicate power-sharing arrangement between the two
parties,” she said. “If the SPLM demands to reinstate its finance
minister are not met, it is likely that it will withdraw from the
joint government, leading to further political instability and a
possible return to violence over the coming months.”

One observer said war was unlikely, however. “It is unlikely that the
state will return to war at least during the interim period,”
Abdalbasit Saeed noted in a blog article: Kordofan, Making Sense of
Darfur.

“The SPLA/Nuba earned the CPA protocol which ascertains an autonomous
identity for Southern Kordofan vis-à-vis Northern Kordofan,” Saeed
said. “Southern Kordofan won minimum gains that would make futile any
attempts of return to armed violence during the six-year interim
period.”

The protocol provides for public consultations on the CPA, but there
is still no commission to implement it. According to the International
Crisis Group, delays in setting up the commission have fed into Nuba
frustrations and reinforced perceptions that the protocol is unlikely
to produce positive outcomes.

A state land commission has also not been formed. “Land was a major
factor for people going to war, when it was taken from them and given
to big farms,” said a local leader. “The CPA did not clearly state
that land in the state is communally owned yet this is the feeling
among the people. If the land is taken away by force then there will
be problems.”

END1

2. SPLM Accuses SAF of Re-arming Civilians in South Kordofan
Khartoum
6 January 2009 (SRS)

Members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement from South Kordofan state in the National Assembly say the Sudan Armed Forces are re-arming civilians in South Kordofan state.

Addressing journalists during a press conference in Khartoum on Monday, the chairman of the Environment and Tourism committee in the National Assembly,SPLM member Ramadam Ibrahim Shimela, said SAF troops are building up their forces in Kuk, South Kordofan, claiming that the anti-government Justice and Equality Movement is present in the area.

Shimela described the presence of SAF troops in South Kordofan as a
deliberate violation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that forbids
SAF’s presence in the Nuba mountains after the 9th July 2007 relocation
deadline.

[Ramadan Shimela]: “We think that re-arming civilians by giving them
weapons is a time-bomb which will never benefit the people of the state at
all. The presence of these weapons will never help promote the peace and
transformation we are talking about. These weapons will help transform
conflicts into wars and we think this situation is dangerous and we
strongly condemn it and we think that all of us must reveal this fact to
the public”.

Shimela urged the Government of National Unity to form a fact-finding
committee to investigate the issue and immediately disarm all the tribes
that he alleges have been re-armed recently by the SAF in South Kordofan
state.

END2


John Ashworth
ashworth.john@gmail.com

+249 919 744 274 (Sudan)
+254 725 926 297 (Kenya)
+27 82 853 3556 (international roaming)
+88 216 4333 3401 (personal satphone – in the more remote parts of Sudan)
+88 216 6710 4316 (office satphone)

IKV Pax Christi
PO Box 53958 00200 Nairobi Kenya
+254 20 2340888

This is a personal e-mail address and the contents do not necessarily
reflect the views of IKV Pax Christi

Written by torit1955

January 15, 2009 at 8:43 am

Four years on, Sudan partners dance to different tunes

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By FRED OLUOCH
The EastAfrican
Posted Saturday, January 10 2009 at 10:53

Sudan last Friday marked the fourth anniversary of the peace deal that
ended the 21-year civil war, but will the peace deal survive the
remaining two years of the transitional period?

The parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in
Nairobi on January 9, 2005, have been able to implement the larger
parts of the agreement, such as the government of national unity and
the general maintenance of peace.

But sensitive issues such as the Abyei boundary and the oil revenue
threaten the peace deal, raising fears the general election may not be
held on schedule this year.

While both partners — the National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan
Liberation People’s Movement (SPLM)—concur that a return to war would
not be in their best interests, the distrust between them has
contributed to the slowness in implementation of the peace deal.

The ongoing stockpiling of arms by both partners is not helping matters
either.

The South sees Khartoum’s actions as a calculated move to have the
peace deal renegotiated whereas it feels the CPA contains both the
foundation and the mechanisms for lasting peace and does not need to
be renegotiated.

Khartoum, on the other hand, maintains that the resources required for
rehabilitation and reconstruction are beyond the capabilities of the
central government and that of the south, and is blaming the donors
for failing to honour pledges made at the 2005 Oslo Donor Conference.

According to the Sudanese ambassador to Kenya, Majok Guandong, the two
partners have made major achievements in the past four years,
including the establishment of the governments of national unity and
that of the south, and the prevailing peace in the country.

“You don’t expect the effects of the war to be overcome in a short
time. However, the obstacles are being tackled by both partners and we
are confident the agreement will hold,” said Mr Guandong.

Still, the obstacles are greater than the two partners are willing to
accept.

Evidence that the implementation of CPA is not going smoothly, came in
October 2007, when the SPLM suspended its participation in the
government of national unity for two months because the NCP was not
implementing key aspects of the agreement, like disclosing what is due
to the South from the country’s oil revenues.

Although the dispute was later resolved, the underlying difficulties
remain, with the Abyei boundary and the disarmament of armed groups
topping the list.

According to a government statement sent to the The EastAfrican from
Khartoum, peace in Sudan cannot be fully achieved if some actors in
the international community continue to hinder any move towards peace
in Darfur.

“The road to peace and development needs concerted effort by all those
who are concerned. Anybody can trigger war but peace needs true
leadership that minds the interests of the whole country,” the Foreign
Ministry said in a statement.

However, some allies of both sides, who are still armed, feel that
they have not seen any dividend of the peace deal and feel abandoned.

Among the yet to be fulfilled phases of the peace deal are the return
and resettlement of those who were displaced by the civil war,
development projects and creation of an integrated state government
administration.

The CPA was meant to end years of high-handed governance and
marginalisation of certain sections of the country and transform
Sudan’s governance system into an open, transparent, inclusive and
democratic one. Its failure could mean Sudan returning to full-scale
war, with devastating consequences for the entire region.

Still, both parties have contributed in some ways to the slow
implementation of the peace deal.

While the NCP views democratic transformation as contained in the
agreement as a threat to its survival and dominance, the SPLM is
focused on Southern issues leaving Khartoum to deal with the national
agenda.

As with the Somali peace deal, international focus on the
implementation of the peace deal has been lacking, with attention
shifting to Darfur, and of late, the threat by International Criminal
Court to indict President Omar al-Bashir. For instance, power and
wealth sharing have to be spearheaded by Khartoum and pushed forward
by the international guarantors.

According to experts in Sudan, the NCP still wants a partnership but
one that downgrades the SPLM from a national challenger to a purely
South-based junior partner.

Rather than heap the blame on Khartoum, the SPLM needs to reconcile
competing interests within its ranks and insist on transparent
decision-making processes, especially when it comes to procurement.

Secondly, the SPLM rank and file remain divided between those who
favour outright secession come the 2011 referendum and those who
believe in the New Sudan where the SPLM’s Salva Kiir can challenge
President al-Bashir for the national leadership.

Still, Sudan watchers are doubtful whether the election scheduled for
this year will be held, especially with the ICC issue hanging over
president al-Bashir and the fact that the results of the census held
last April — which were to form the basis for redrawing constituencies
for the 2009 elections — are yet to be released.

So far, the government of national unity has appointed the electoral
commission after consultations with all political forces in the
country.

The commission is headed by respected lawyer Abel Alier, a former
vice-president and former head of the High Executive Council for
Southern Sudan. But the voter registration will only start after
President al-Bashir dissolves parliament.

Observers argue that a successful democratic election in Sudan will
not be possible if the international guarantors and the UN remain
disengaged from the CPA, due in part to preoccupation with Darfur and
in part to a lack of consensus on the way forward.

In the meantime, there are suspicions that SPLM — having realised that
it cannot rely on guarantors to force Khartoum to implement the peace
deal in full — is busy building up its military capacity and forging
alliance with marginalised movements and rebel factions within Darfur,
Kordofan, the east and the far north, as a deterrent to the NCP.

Written by torit1955

January 12, 2009 at 3:09 pm