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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

Tagged with , , ,

Chollo MPs Letter and Demands on Upper Nile Killings

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The 4th anniversary of the CPA celebrations on 9 January in Malakal Town, the capital city of Sou are targeted by their Dinka neighbors for slaughter and th Sudan’s Upper Nile State, turned out to be  a trigger for carnage and blood shed whereby Chollo community mass displacement. Below is a letter written on the the day of the carnage at AnakDiar village, 15 KM out side the city; the MPs letter contains Chollos perspectives of the sad events and what needs to be done to address it.

Also included is a list of demands of the Collo MPs to the authorities:

Moderator

H.E. The Governor, Upper Nile State

Subject: The Unprovoked Attack on Anakdiar.

We, the representatives of the Collo nation in the National, Southern Sudan and Upper Nile State Assemblies would like to submit to you our concerns on the above subject. Yesterday, when the whole Sudan was celebrating the fourth anniversary of the historic signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, fighting took place in the morning between Collo and Dinka tribes over which traditional procession (Yai) should enter the stadium first. Thanks to God, the fighting was limited only to members of the two tribes in the two processions using spears, lances and sticks. Yet several persons from both sides were injured, some of them seriously. The order of the processions appears to be a trivial issue, but it is a serious matter deep-rooted in the claims over the ownership of Malakal town, the location of the celebration. According to tradition, the procession of the owner of the location where the celebration takes place leads all participating processions. It is common knowledge that some elements of the Baliet Dinkas have been claiming ownership of Malakal town and all the Collo areas east of the White Nile and north of Sobat river.

At about 5:00 pm in the evening of the same day, credible reports were received that some elements of the Dinka were preparing to attack Anakdiar. This information was passed to your Excellency officially by the Commissioner of Panyikang County in the Stadium and you confirmed at 7:00 pm that a military force was sent to Anakdiar and you instructed that this information be passed to His Majesty the Reth of Collo and assure him not to worry as things were under control. Your instructions were communicated to His Majesty accordingly. To our bewilderment and dismay, Anakdiar was attacked at about 2:00 am today by armed Dinka. They found no resistance of any sort. More than fifteen lives were lost, some people burnt in their houses, scores wounded and thousands displaced. The force that your Excellency assured us to have left for Anakdiar in the evening yesterday never left at all. Only a Police force on their own initiative left for Anakdiar at about 9:00 am today!! This callous murder of innocent people must be condemned in the strongest terms possible and the perpetrators apprehended to face the full brunt of the law. The displaced persons who found their way to Malakal town arrived in very miserable conditions and yet received very little attention from the authorities. We are grateful to the foreign NGOs that were on the scene. If these displaced persons were to go back to their areas at all, the Government authorities must provide them with the protection they trust.

This incident is not an isolated one.We are receiving reliable reports of moves by elements of the same tribe to attack Collo areas they claim to be theirs, such as Lul, Obang (Canal Mouth), Atar, etc. In fact in Lul area, Abanim village was burnt to ashes, several people killed and others captured. It is, therefore, clear that there is a well coordinated plan to seize Collo land by the force of arms. We are deeply concerned that the authorities are not taking serious measures to arrest these unprovoked attacks nor resolve the issues at the centre of the dispute. It will be recalled that since the late 1970s, some elements of the Dinka have been disputing the boundary between them and Collo nation claiming some areas to belong to them. The Collo had responded by writing petitions to the Regional Government of Southern Sudan at that time. We thought the matter was laid to rest when the Minister of Administration by then, Mr Hilary Paul Logali, and the Minister of Decentralization later, Mr Charles Kuot Chatim, both ruled in Collo’s favour. These elements of the Dinka brought up the issue once more in 1995 and as usual the Collo responded by addressing the authorities concerned. Again, the Collo won the case. What surprises us now is that when these elements of the Dinka revived their unfounded claims in 2004 and thereafter, nothing was done despite Collo’s legitimate demand that the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) sets up a committee to demarcate the border between the two tribes once and for all. The petitions of the Collo supported by the necessary documents in that respect were delivered to the highest authorities in the GOSS including the President and the Vice President. It is also to be noted that over the same period, the Collo were disarmed while their neighbouring tribes were not. In light of the repeated and continuous provocations in the form of unsigned seditious leaflets and now armed attacks and in view of the clear unwillingness or inability of the authorities in Government of Southern Sudan to settle the dispute peacefully, we find ourselves, as representatives of our people, with no moral authority to restrain any more those who would be forced to pay the aggressors in their own coin. Every person has a legitimate right to self-defence. It is our sincere hope that the authorities in Upper Nile State and the Government of Southern Sudan will act firmly and swiftly at this eleventh hour to address this very serious situation by putting an end to violence, bringing the perpetrators to book and resolving the border dispute for good in accordance with the borders of 1/1/1956. This is the only way to have stability and peaceful coexistence in the area. Thank you.

Signed by: Members of the Collo nation in the National, Southern Sudan and Upper Nile State Assemblies as per the attached list.

c.c. The President of the Republic of Sudan;

c.c. The President of the Government of Southern Sudan; c.c. The Vice President of the Government of Southern Sudan. Members of the Collo nation in the National, Southern Sudan and Upper Nile State Assemblies who signed the petition (in alphabetical order).

1. The National Assembly:

1. Mr Ezekiel Mojwok Aba

2. Dr Lam Akol Ajawin

3. Dr Mario Arenk Awet

4. Mr Onyoti Adigo Nyikwac

5. Dr William Othwonh Awer

2. Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly

1. Mr Angelo Gwang

2. Dr Charles Yor Odhok

3. Mr Joseph Bol Chan

4. Mr Samson Oyay Awin

3. Upper Nile State Legislative Assembly

1. Mr Acwany Arop Denyong

2. Mr Gabriel Oyo Aba

3. Mr Juliano Nyawelo Dak

4. Mr Kosti Amuj

5. Mr Mahdi Khalifa Shambali

6. Mrs Martha Angar

7. Mr Mustafa Gai Lwal 8. Mr Nyilek Chol

9. Mr Peter Awol Alijok 10. Mrs Rita John

11. Mr Samuel Aban Acien

12. Mr Santino Ajang Aban

13. Mr Santino Ocai Opun

End.

DEMANDS PRESENTED BY THE COLLO REPRESENTATIVES IN THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, SOUTHERN SUDAN LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY AND UPPER NILE STATE ASSEMBLY TO H.E. THE GOVERNOR ON 12/1/2009.

1.      The arrest of the attackers and subjecting them to trial.

2.      Formation of investigation committees on the incidents and the circumstances
surrounding them.  Such committees must include Collo as members.

3.      The protection of Collo areas with forces they trust.

4.      The naming of the counties according to the message of the Chairman of the
SPLM dated October 2004.

5.      Demarcation of the borders of counties within the State in accordance with the
borders of 1/1/1956.

6.      Taking firm measures against those who incite tribal hatred and sedition.

7.      Stopping the misuse of power and refraining from exploiting state organs to the
service of tribal ends.

8.      Disciplining the authorities of Radio Malakal for allowing the transmission through
it of provocative and seditious material.

9.      Disciplining the officer that the Governor ordered to move a force to Anakdiar
on the 9th instant for failing to execute the order.

10.      The State authorities must take serious steps so as to return the areas of the State
occupied by the Jonglei State.

11.      Taking care of the displaced persons and rendering the necessary services to
them.

12.       Compensation of all the persons affected by the recent incidents.

End

Photos:

Galwak Deng (Governor of Upper Nile, recieve Salva and Riek

Galwak Deng (Governor of Upper Nile, recieve Salva and Riek

Omar al Bashir being entertained as fighting over procession order goes on

Omar al Bashir being entertained as fighting over procession order goes on

Written by torit1955

January 15, 2009 at 8:26 am