Open Letter To UN By Shilluk Community in Diaspora

"We are deeply saddened by the continued devastation, killings gang-rape, and torture of untold proportion in the Shilluk Kingdom carried out by none other than their own Government of South Sudan (GoSS)."

                                                                                                     Date: July 19, 2010
 
 
From: Shilluk Community in Diaspora 
To: H.E. UN Secretary-General
UN Headquarters
First Avenue at 46th Street New York, NY 10017
USA      

Subject: Atrocities Committed by SPLA in the Shilluk Kingdom

Your Excellency Ban Ki-Moon,

We the undersigned members of the Shilluk community in Diaspora take this opportunity to write this open letter to you regarding the atrocities which are committed by SPLA in Shilluk Kingdom against civilian population. We are deeply saddened by the continued devastation, killings gang-rape, and torture of untold proportion in the Shilluk Kingdom carried out by none other than their own Government of South Sudan (GoSS).

Background of Conflict:
The GOSS was established in South Sudan in 2005, as stipulated in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed between the Government of Sudan (GOS) and the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM) on 9th January, 2005 in Nairobi, Kenya. That agreement stopped the longest civil war in Africa.                                              
 

Unfortunately, an unprovoked situation had suddenly risen in Malakal town, the capital of Upper Nile State on 9th January, 2009 during the celebration of the 5th Anniversary of the CPA. The Dinka of Upper Nile State claimed that the town belongs to them and, therefore, they should lead the procession. As a result, they attacked the Shilluk who were put before them in the procession. This incident happened in the presence of President of the  Republic of Sudan and his 1st Deputy Vice President and President of GOSS. The same night the Dinka attacked two Shilluk villages of Abaniim and Anakdiar with modern sophisticated weapons, killing scores of innocent citizens. 

The Dinka and the Shilluk had been living as good, peaceful and friendly neighbors for time immemorial. They mingled up in cattle camps, fishing pools, and folklore dances. They inter-married freely. The only known enemies of the Southern people were the northern Arabs who invaded the South, enslaved, exploited and marginalized people for over two hundred years.                                                  

In 1975/6, the Upper Nile Province was now subdivided into Upper Nile, Jonglei and Unity States.  The boundary between Upper Nile and Jonglei states was fixed at a point 8 miles south of where the KhorFulus pours into the Sobat River, and stretched westward pass Jebel El zeraf and touch on the White Nile at Wathkec and to Lake No. The Padang Dinka of Fangak District in Jonglei Province petitioned the High Executive Council (HEC) of the former Autonomous Southern Region.  They contended that the boundary should have been fixed at Sobat River to the north of Jonglei and the
White Nile River to the west of it.

Hon Abel Alier who was the President of the High Executive Council (PHEC), together HE Late Hilary Paul Logali who was the Regional Minister of Regional Administration, Police and Prisons rejected the petition. They again petitioned President Joseph James Tumbura, but once more their petition as denied in a letter signed by the relevant Minister. The issue was further raised with Late Dr John Garang who also confirmed the previous decisions of his predecessors.                                                                 
 

With the coming into force of the CPA, a county was created for the first time for the Padang Dinka of Fangak in Jonglei State and named Khor Fulus County. This brought a tag-of -war between those of Luac, Rut and Thoi on the Khor Fulus side and Paweny ofAtar Ardeba on the other, which resulted in a lot of death because of use of modern weapons that were passed to them by their sons after the war with the north. In order to bring these tribes together, HE Salva Kiir created for them a county which Mr. Kiir thought would solve the problem once and for all. Unfortunately, despite being the residents of Jonglei State, Mr. Kiir gave them a site called Pigi in the Shilluk land of Upper Nile State. Thus approving their claim which was rejected by the previous governments of Abel, Tumbura and JohnGarang. This continued and persistent   petitioning by the Dinka shows clearly their interest is to occupy Shilluk land east of White Nile from Zeraf mouth in South to Jodo in the north. 

The location of a Jonglei State Dinka County in the Shilluk land of Upper Nile State, coupled with the fatal attacks on two Shilluk villages gravely angered Shilluk youth. Some of them organized themselves into a civil society defense force for the protection of the Shilluk land. They launched counter attacks on several Dinka villages which were built on Shilluk land, killing a handful of people.

Using the general disarmament and collection of unlicensed fire-arms as a pretext, GoSS ordered the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) to search the entire Shilluk land. They applied various inhuman methods of tortures, like gang-rape of minors and wives, and burning down of villages including Holy Shrines where they suspected the presence of the civil society forces. We suspected that burning down of the Holy Shrines are attempts to eradicate or destroy the Shilluk monarchy. They barricaded the river banks so as to keep these armed groups from gaining access to water. The innocent ordinary citizens, caught up in the area of these operations got scattered in the forests, with no food, drinking water, medical supplies and, above all, with no safety. There are also numerous reports of deaths from gunshots, hunger and thirst especially among children and the elderly.

The situation has been worsening by the assassination of a paramount chief and eight of his companions. The government suspects the civil society forces for this senseless murder. But up to now there seems to be no one convicted for these heinous murders. The government also accused a rival political party SPLM-DC whose chairman contested against the GOSS president in the last general elections to be responsible for the establishment of the civil society force in the Shilluk land. But SPLM-DC denied the claim.                 

Your Excellency, as we mentioned earlier the Shilluk and the Dinka have always lived peacefully and friendly.  The giving of Shilluk land to the Dinka by President Salva Kiir has caused chaos and anarchy in the area at a time when peace and stability are greatly needed for a successful run-off referendum for the self-determination scheduled for January 9, 2011.
Objective:
 

Your Excellency, your intervention into this security matter is necessary and urgently needed so that the southern people can cast their votes in the referendum without fear.  Thank you very much. With our highest compliments please.  

Yours' Sincerely,  
Signed by
  Shilluk Community in:

USA
Uncle James Ogilo Agor
Mr. Michael Aban Kalkon
Mr. Othow Kur Awang
Mr. Jwothab Wanh Othow
Mr. Aban Pagan Othow
Mr. Otom Oluak Nyawello
Mr. Yusuf Apara Nawi
Mr. Chol Ocam Allan
Mrs. Lucia Peter  Tugo
Mrs.Teresa Nyaum  Nawi
Mr. Oyot Samuel Ador
Mr. Bolis Agal
Mr. Charles  Bartholomew Anyang
Mr. Ywomo Arop Byenyo
 Mr. Augustine Afamet Ochoung
Mr. Okoth  Omai Awak
Mr. Fabio Mathew Deng
Mr. Ongien  Ojwok Ding
Mr. Omai Othow Ajak
Mr. Obwony Odhong Yowin
 
Britain
Dr. Joseph Kucburo Ajang
Mr. Obdiah Obenyi Aywok
Mr. Karlo Kwol Akol
Mr. Akic Adwok Lwaldeng
Mr. Okuc Peter Awol
Mr. Julius Hakim Deng
Mr. Peter Fashodo Ageng
Mr. Gabriel Gwang Ajang
Mr. Lam Arop Yor
Mr. Ojiango Abar Dingmejok
 
Canada
Mr. William Amum
 Mr. Samuel Otong
Mr. Sabino Diok
Mr. Emmanuel Jimmy
Mr. Philip  Oyath
    
CC:
Mr. Barrack Obama- President of the United States
Mr. David Cameron- Prime Minister of Britain
Mrs. Julia Gillard – Prime Minister of Australia
Mr. Stephen Harper- Prime Minister of Canada
Mrs. Jens Stoltenberg- Prime Minister of Norway
United Nation Human Rights- Geneva
Human Rights African Watch-Washington
Mr. Omar Bashir- President of Sudan
Mr. Meles Zenawi- Prime Minister of Ethiopia & IGAD Chairman
Mr. Salva Kiir- Vice President of Sudan & President of GoSS
Mr. Simon Kun- Governor of Upper Nile Sate

Please note that the following support documents are enclosed:  Scroll down for further information.
 

1. Open Letter by The Representatives of Collo Nation in The National, Southern Sudan and Upper Nile State Assemblies to The Governor of Upper Nile State, South Sudan, 10 Jan.2009
2. An Open Letter on Insecurity and Land Grabbing to H.E Salva Kiir President of GoSS.
By Clement Mbugoniwia, Leader of USSP,   24 January, 2009
3. USSP Press Release: GoSS"s Impartiality in Addressing Upper Nile State Insecurity?
27 June, 2010
4. An Open Letter from Collo Community in USA to H.E Salva Kiir President of GoSS,
29 January, 2009
5. An Article by Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba Dimensions of Current Political Discourse over Malakal, 19 October, 2009
6. The Shilluk Kingdom Today: Challenging Dinka invaders
By Ustaz/ James Ogilo Agor, 10 July, 2010
 

1.  Written reactions to the unprovoked attack on Anakdiar
 
10 January 2009
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 you’re 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 neighboring 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-defense.

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).
The National Assembly:
Mr Ezekiel Mojwok Aba
Dr Lam Akol Ajawin
Dr Mario Arenk Awet
Mr Onyoti Adigo Nyikwac
Dr William Othwonh Awer
Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly
Mr Angelo Gwang
Dr Charles Yor Odhok
Mr Joseph Bol Chan
Mr Samson Oyay Awin
Upper Nile State Legislative Assembly
Mr Acwany Arop Denyong
Mr Gabriel Oyo Aba
Mr Juliano Nyawelo Dak
Mr Kosti Amuj
Mr Mahdi Khalifa Shambali
Mrs Martha Angar
Mr Mustafa Gai Lwal
Mr Nyilek Chol
Mr Peter Awol Alijok
Mrs Rita John
Mr Samuel Aban Acien
Mr Santino Ajang Aban
Mr Santino Ocai Opun

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.
The arrest of the attackers and subjecting them to trial.
Formation of investigation committees on the incidents and the circumstances
surrounding them. Such committees must include Collo as members.
The protection of Collo areas with forces they trust.
The naming of the counties according to the message of the Chairman of the
SPLM dated October 2004.
Demarcation of the borders of counties within the State in accordance with the
borders of 1/1/1956.
Taking firm measures against those who incite tribal hatred and sedition.
Stopping the misuse of power and refraining from exploiting state organs to the
service of tribal ends.
Disciplining the authorities of Radio Malakal for allowing the transmission through
it of provocative and seditious material.
Disciplining the officer that the Governor ordered to move a force to Anakdiar
on the 9th instant for failing to execute the order.
The State authorities must take serious steps so as to return the areas of the State
occupied by the Jonglei State.
Taking care of the displaced persons and rendering the necessary services to
them. Compensation of all the persons affected by the recent incidents.
 
2.USSP leader writes to South Sudan President over insecurity and land grabbing.
Sunday 22 February 2009 
An Open Letter to
H.E Salver Kiir Mayardit First Vice President of the Republic of Sudan and President of Southern Sudan Government and Commander-in-Chief of SPLA Armed Forces, Juba, South Sudan
24/01/09
Your Excellency,
Subject: The alleged Wanton Attack on Anakdiar, Abanim, Obang, Atar (Collo areas), the land grabbing in Madi and Acholi land and the continued LRA’s attacks and brutal killings of civilians in Western Equatoria State.

Please allow me first and foremost to extend on my own behalf and on behalf of my party, United South Sudan Party (USSP), our deep sympathy and condolences to the families of Collo (Shilluk) who lost their loved ones in Collo land in the hands of certain alleged Dinka elements following the alleged wanton attack on villages of Anakdiar, Abanim, Obang, Atar on 10 January 2009, in which 16 people were reported murdered according to a letter written by some local Members of Parliaments addressed to the Governor of Malakal on 15th January 2009 . We also extend our condolences to the families and relatives of the civilians killed by LRA’s sustained attacks in Western Equatoria State recently. For those who were injured on the 9th January, 2009, during the fourth anniversary of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that took place in Malakal, we extend our sympathy to them and their loved ones.

Your  Excellency,
It is high time that the government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) took serious measures to bring the murderers to justice. It has to be noted here that, unlike the events that followed the conclusion of the Addis Ababa Peace Agreement in 1972 where every refugee or displaced person went back to their original village and settled back to reconstruct their place, the signing of the CPA on 9 January 2005, has been marked by a series of fatal incidents in Western Equatoria State, Madi Land and Acholi Land in Eastern Equatoria and most recently, in Malakal, Anakdiar, Abanim, Obang and Atar involving land grabbing by some alleged Dinka elements. Surprisingly enough, the government of Southern Sudan has done too little to address these profoundly sad episodes. Unless the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) takes swift and stern measures against these perpetrators, GOSS will be accused of deliberately turning a ‘blind eye’ and condoning these deplorable atrocities. Such an irresponsible behaviour from a government will only encourage different communities to take the law into their own hands to protect themselves. That will plunge our country into chaos which we are totally against. In this connection, we have to be mindful of what happened in other African countries like Rwanda, Kenya, and so on, which we must learn a lesson from and take decisive actions to avoid at all cost. Any government has the obligation to protect all citizens regardless of their tribe; otherwise, the government will be failing in its duties and responsibilities. So, it would be wise to resolve this problem of land grabbing before it spins out of control.

Your Excellency
In light of the aforementioned problems, we recommend the following measures:
1- The mindless murderers have to be brought to justice promptly.
2- Formation of an independent committee to probe the incidents in Malakal, Anakdiar, Abanim, Obang and Atar and their findings and recommendations to be made public.
3- The borders issue of the counties within Upper Nile State as well as neighbouring states has to be settled without further ado.
4- The displaced persons should be returned safely to their homes or villages and given compensation they deserve for all what they have lost as a result of the attack. Likewise the government has to give them protection in their villages.
5- As for the land disputes in Madi and Acholi land, we advise that an independent committee be formed to probe the alleged land disputes in Madi and Acholi land to help the government resolve the matter amicably and speedily.
6- The LRA attacks on civilians in WES must be taken more seriously than has so far been taken and be considered a declaration of war by the LRA (a foreign force) against the people of South Sudan. Therefore, we urge GOSS to invoke article 12(2), and 12 (3) of the permanent ceasefire and security arrangements implementation modalities and appendices so as to protect innocent civilians and the territorial integrity of Sudan without delay.
7- Emergency relief aid, resettlement and rehabilitation programme need to be initiated through the state government with the help of GOSS to help those affected by the LRA attacks. Your Excellency, we write this letter out of genuine concern for the common good of our people, the South Sudanese people, who have lost more than several million lives in the course of their struggle for freedom, independence and human dignity.

Thank you very much.
Clement Mbugoniwia Leader of United South Sudan Party (USSP)
 
3.USSP Press Release: GoSS’s Impartiality in Addressing Upper Nile State Insecurity
Sunday, 27 June 2010
USSP
It is indeed a matter of great concern that south Sudan is currently passing through a worrying state of insecurity. But sad still is the fact that most of the procedures taken by the GoSS or even the local authorities in addressing these serious developments have been massively sub-standard and marred by ethnic prejudices.

Now as I write this release, the whole of the Upper Nile State lives in a huge state of terror and insecurity. It must be remembered that, since the tribal confrontations that happened between the Chollo and Dinka Padang Communities during the CPA celebrations one and a half years ago has led to a terrible fall out in relationship between the communities and made worse by issues of controversial and disputable land rights. However, it was the government intervention from the GOSS, a move much marred by tribal favouritism that eventually promoted the current degree of enmity and antagonism that leaves too little room for any sensible reconciliation.

Sadly enough the situation in Malakal the capital of the Upper Nile state, has deteriorated drastically in the last few weeks following the unaccounted for killing of the Chollo Para-mount chief, Oyath Odhok.

However, the procedures taken thereafter by the GoSS ministers of Interior Brigadier Gier Chuang Aloung and his counterpart the former Minister of Legal Affairs that led the South Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) to unanimously strip all the SPLM-DC's MPs, Hon. Samuel Aban AchIen, Hon. Andrew Okony Ayom, Hon. Martha Angar Kur, and Hon. Onyoti Adigo Nyikwec from their immunities, then followed immediately by what in fact amounted to arbitrary arrests, contradicts the spirit of democracy, human rights and even the basic legal procedures.

In Malakal it was a different scenario where  Hon. Mustafa (Mayak) Gai of the Upper Nile State Legislative Assembly, and citizens, Dr. Odol (George) a pharmacist, Ayul Liebo, Oluny Ackiek Oluny and others were kidnapped at night and taken to unknown destinations. There are reports they were badly tortured and that their tormented families could not have access to them. UNMIS Human Rights and Red Cross were not even allowed to see them. And based on local reports from Malakal Town that since SPLA are killing arrested civilians on daily bases at former SAF HQs, then probably these detainees are not alive as of dated.

At this stage, we would want to state this in the most unequivocal terms that we regret and condemn the killings of the deceased paramount chief and those who were with him, and extend our condolences to their families, friends and relatives. However we must say that it is also extremely important that the right procedures are followed in such cases if the culprits are ever to be brought to justice.

Again, it must be crystal clear to everyone that USSP as a political party has no particular interest to speak on behalf of the SPLM-DC of Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin; however, as a south Sudanese political party we have every obligation to protect any disadvantaged group in South Sudan.  As we address the Chollo community's concerns, we are also keen enough to see that justice is done for all.

Should it be suspected that the murder of the late chief was political motivated, it should be remembered that similar political attacks on citizens'  lives with resultant sad deaths  have already happened in many parts of south Sudan and still continue to happen, yet no such mindless reactions were seen from the side of the SPLM led authorities. Yambio is one such a town where senior police officers lost their lives while on duty. Again a senior lady politician was also savagely murdered and her body left for display in the town's street. Still in Yambio town, not too long, school children were showered with live-bullets by none but the official SPLA soldiers.  Again of recent, an intelligence officer was murdered in Jonglei. All these are dreadful deaths that the same authorities remain reluctant to tackle head-on, and continue to drag their feet on them.

At this time the citizens of Upper Nile state, and especially so the Chollo community feel intensely victimised on purpose and they attribute the current insecurity in the state to SPLM's failures to secure enough parliamentary seats from the state. Obviously, what is largely seen by many in the Chollo community as an act of revenge has been even made worse by the ill-timed disarmament campaigns being carried out by what they resent as predominantly Dinka SPLA soldiers? This last campaign has even targeted the Chollo Kingdom headquarters in Fachoda with premeditated determination even to disarm the Kings body-guards - are issues better revised as they are too volatile for this stage of our history.

There are already countless reports of unexplained disappearances, arbitrary arrests, tortures, mistreatment, harassment, gang rapes,,  etc....within the town of Malakal and its rural communities. Besides, the latest reports talk of Chollo (Shilluk) villages being looted and burned down by the SPLA.

Under all circumstances the politically motivated and maliciously planned arrest of the members of the SSLA and the Upper Nile state assemblies remains condemned in its strongest terms. As the issue at hand doesn't real stand isolated as such, a purely tribal and political vengeance can be clearly seen in display. Otherwise, how on earth can the SPLM-led GoSS allow itself to treat this particular case as if the Chollo Kingdom and Community are all but inseparable from SPLM-DC, and deserve to be punished for the latter's political victories in the state?

Above all it is worth clarifying that even the blood relatives of the deceased Chollo paramount chief have come out openly saying that they don't press charges against the arrested SPLM-DC MPs nor the SPLM-DC political party, and are distancing themselves from what they see as a malignant anti-Chollo campaign being championed by the GoSS Interior Minister, Brigadier Gier Chuang Aloung. 
We call upon the international community and all those commissioned to observe Human Rights abuses, to use their positions to immediately exert pressure on the GoSS. The leadership in the semi-autonomous south Sudan must never be given the wrong signal that they can be allowed to cut corners in addressing issues which are central to human rights and the rule of law, and get away with impunity. Random arrest of political opponents to cover-up what is otherwise a purely criminal act is one thing that should not be tolerated.

The GoSS should immediately revise its approach in this case and cases to come if it is to avert possible tribal antagonism. Senior government officials must observe proper procedures, and the exclusively SPLM dominated SSLA must stop being a mere rubber stamp to everything that the executive presents,  especially pertaining to the kangaroo style and  unjustifiable lifting of  immunities.
The deceased paramount chief and those who died with him deserve justice, as do the SPLM-DC MPs, and the countless members of the Chollo community who found themselves helpless victims of a set up where anyone who choose not to say "Oyeeee", is supposed not to say anything.
DR. Justin Ambago Ramba, MD.
Secretary General
United South Sudan Party (USSP).
 
4. An Open Letter to the President of GoSS
Thursday, 29 January, 2009
H.E. the President of the Government of Southern Sudan and Chairman of SPLM party Juba, Sudan
CC: The Governor of Upper Nile State
CC: Human Rights Organizations
FROM: Collo Community in USA
SUBJECT: Urgent Request to Halt the Padang Jieng Armed Encroachment into the Collo East White Nile and South Sobat River land.
Your Excellency,

Please accept our sincere heartfelt strong condemnation of the treacherous act of violence and death caused by the Padang Jieng to innocent peace loving Collo citizens in Malakal, Anagdiar, and Abanim during the ninth January 2008 (4th CPA Anniversary in Malakal) a few days ago.

The CPA signed between The NCP and the SPLM on 9th Jan, 2005 in Kenya, charged the two negotiating parties with, “Making Unity of the Sudan Attractive to Southerners” during the interim period. Having been agreed that NCP shall pick one State as model in which it would experiment the phenomenon of making unity attractive to southern people, chose Upper Nile State to exercise its skills in public affairs. It is worth noticing that Upper Nile State has a large number of Arabicied and Islamized southern citizens most of them educated early on in Mahad El Helmy at Kodok during Ibrahim Aboud Islamic inspired military regime. It is no wonder that they “NCP” chose it for easy campaign. The SPLM on the other hand having been entitled to have a larger share in ministerial positions in the Upper Nile State Administration, but being mindful that most of the would be as aspirants for leadership among the Arabicized people would be those with uncontrollable thirst for power, which thirst usually eat like cancer in their hearts, accorded 4 ministerial positions to the Padang Jieng, ignoring the larger groups like the Collo nation. It’s to be noted that early on, the candidates chosen for ministerial positions by the SPLM, actually had held positions in the Upper Nile State representing the NCP, but had swiftly jumped over to SPLM as soon as CPA was insight.
It is with these preparations and high hopes that your government went to Malakal in order to test whether or not unity of the country has been made attractive and therefore, permanent peace, development, and progress was imminent and inevitable .
Mr. President,

We in the Diaspora were just anxious to hear joyous news and rejoice of the celebration in Malakal, when these expectations turned tears in our eyes. The Padang had profaned the tranquility of the friendly neighborhood of the Nilotic cradle land. Prospect of the successful peace in a united Sudan or successful separation of the South had now to end in anarchy and chaos. The Padang thirst for power which we had thought had been quenched when you oiled their mouth with 4 ministerial positions is uncontrollable. They are bent on occupying Collo land by Iron and Blood and nothing short of that.

Mr. President,
As an illustration, the tribal fight between the Shilluk and Nuer in Malakal in 1973 over the meat of hippotomus had no relation with hatred or enmity or rivalry between the two tribes. It was only a conflict of cultures. The Nuer believing in the culture of “The Survival of Fitters”, contended that elders had had their birth rights in the share of food during their youthful days and therefore, didn’t deserve any attention in the distribution of meat. The result was the flow of the blood and death. Now history has repeated it self. The greed for power and land which acts like cancer in the heart of some of the profaners of the celebration of January, 9 has found its level “.The Survival of Fitters” by Iron and Blood.

Mr. President,
The continued false claim by the Padang Jieng for the ownership of Malakal town and the entire eastern bank of the White Nile and the lower Sobat River up to its confluence with the White Nile are as follows:

During the Anglo Egyptian administration in Sudan, the area in question was ruled with Malakal Town Council as a full District headed by a District Commissioner; Kodok District Council headed by Assistant District Commissioner; and Sobat Rural Council headed by a local government executive officer. Since then the Sobat Rural Council didn’t have an office building in its area of activities, that at Ngok and Dingol villages which border Kodok District Council. Malakal Town Council offered them an office for their executive officer within the Town Council building. It’s absurd, for a person accorded kind accommodation to claim ownership of property of the host. It’s also naïve, and erroneous to think that central government institutions could be subservient to local government institutions.

2. The citizens of the Sobat Rural Council seem to confuse administrative council and the parliamentary election constituencies. In fact  there was time when Sobat Rural Council, Malakal Town Council, and lower Sobat areas of Kodak District

3. Councils “Anagdiar and Panydway Omoudiya,” were grouped together as one territorial constituency. And there was also time when Malakal Town Council, Kodok District Council, and Nasir District Council were one territorial constituency, while Sobat Rural Council, Malut Rural Council, Renk District Council, and Maban Rural Council were one territorial constituency. In short electoral constituencies did not mean the same thing as an administrative zone.

Mr. President,
For our Present day concern, your are on Records to have empathetically stated that your esteemed government didn’t come to interfere with previous arrangements by your predecessors, like the Anglo-Egyptian administration or the Sudanese successive governments or the southern’s regional governments. That your government recognizes the boundary of the old Pangak District Council and old Kodok District Council is the boundary between Jonglei and Upper Nile State. And the boundary of old Sobat Rural Council and old Kodok District Council to be the boundary between Bialiet County and Panyikang, Makal and Pachodo Counties. If that statement is true we strongly demand that you proclaim its implementation by an Executive Order.

Mr. President,
Given the preparations your government and national unity government have been making for four years, now destroyed by the barbaric, uncivilized, and treacherous attack on peaceful loving Collo people, what’s the way forward?
H.E President, Omer El-Bashir and his National Congress Party whatever their feelings about the incident may have the right to shade crocodile tears for the dead, while at the same time they are hiding smiling faces suggesting that the Southern Sudanese people will make anarchy and chaos of the south if left to govern themselves. Is your option to stand aloft and watch the peace so strenuously earned by the south cast over board by some Blood Thirsty Elements?
It’s our well considered opinion that your government has been slow, lenient, unforcefull and irresolute in handling the many cases of violence, corruption, accountability, land grabbing, tribal and public affairs.

Late Dr. John De Mabior was on records saying that the SPLM government policy was to take towns to the people. The situation now seems reversed. Despite the fact that, unlike the situation from 1972 to 1982 when there was no money in the hands of the government of the day, now we have the oil money and international donations, but your government does not have a program for rehabilitation and resettlement of the internally displaced persons of the south and the returnees refugees from abroad. Your government seems to have left the people to randomly fend for acres of land of others instead of directing each group to return to its previous place of domicile.

“Survival of the Fitters” is the order of the day, for instance we find husbands and spouses getting appointed to ministerial positions, relatives and tribesmen being appointed as directors for administration and finance.

It’s to be recalled and reiterated that in the past there was a strong, efficient and dedicated civil services in the south. In those days for instance a Collo, Moro, or a Feritit could be appointed in a ministerial or very senior civil service position, but now power seekers seem to be keeping your eyes away from some of the most efficient southerners. In another development, the government of the south used to officially engage the Collo Reth “King” in tribal conflict resolution activities. We have now observed that the present Reth hasn’t been invited to Juba since the CPA indicating that his services are not needed.

In conclusion
Mr. President
We would like to recommend the followings:
We strongly urge you to speedily implement the demands of “Collo nation members of parliaments, National, Southern Sudan and Upper Nile State assemblies” in their letter to His Excellency the governor of Upper Nile State, specially those parts which deal with criminal justice, law enforcement, and resettlement of people in their places of domicile.

We earnestly request you to appoint Collo Persons in the government of Southern Sudan.
We strongly recommend the involvement the Reth in your government public relation activities.
Complete investigation into the use of the heavy guns “RPG, Grenade, Forty Six, etc” in attacking Collo villages in Anagdiar, Abanim etc and the involvement of SPLA personnel in the attack.
We blame the Upper Nile State authorities “Governor, Ministers, and Commissioners” as they appear not to know the geographical boundaries of their State with the neighbor States, like Jonglei and also the geographical boundaries of the neighboring Counties within their State.
With complement
Singed by:
Uncle James Ogilo Agor
Mr. Ojamo Tor
Mr. Lwanyo Padiet
Mr. Simon Aban Deng
Mr. Bol Nyikang
Mr. Jwothab Wanh Othow
Mr. Yomo B. Arop
Ms Victoria Dennis
Mr. William Ator
Mr. Aban Ajawin
Mr. Jalpan O Nyawello
Mr. Olwak C Ayawak
Mr. Jameson C Nyapal
Mr. Kuol D Farag
Mr. Jermico D Amon
Mr. Okuc O Lwangmianga
Ms. Banythuro A. Padiet
Mr. Emmanuel Ajak
Mr. Jibeen J. Agor
Mr. Francis Chan
Mr. Joseph Adeng
Mr. Alnoor Nywillo
Mr. Peter Opach
Mr. Sabino Ator
Mr. Gabriel Owac
Mr. Johnson Owac
Mr. Banino Y. Aban
Mr. Michael Aban
Mr. Sabit Okach
Dr Tino S Nyawello
Mr. Akim kur
Mr. Augustine Ochoung
Mr. Michael Tip
Mr. Samuel Ochem
Mr. Chan Aba Akol
Mr. Obac Deer
 
5.   Dimensions of current political discourse over Malakal
Monday 19 October 2009.
By Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba
October 18, 2009 — A joke made rounds in 1983 following the imposition, by Field Jaafar Nimeri Marshall, of the September Islamic Sharia Laws. Two Southern Sudanese traveling in opposition directions met in Kosti. “Where are you going?” asked the one traveling to the South. “I am going to Khartoum.” Replied the other one: “It is better that you returned to the South. In Khartoum you will have your hands cut off if your collected somebody’s possession on the ground; or you will be stoned to death if were found with a woman or lashed if you were caught drinking anything alcoholic.” “Why?” He shouted in disbelief, “is there no government in Khartoum?” The truth is; it was the government itself at work.

There is a poignant parallel to this story in what is going on today in parts of Southern Sudan. The attack on Warnyol, Duk Fadiet; the ethnic and sectional armed conflicts in Central Equatoria, Jonglei, Lakes and Warrap; the recent fighting between the SPLA forces in Bentiu; the Mundari – Bor Dinka conflict; and by the way it is just a matter of hours before the smouldering dispute over Malakal might finally erupt into Padang Dinka – Shilluk mayhem; you may name the rest I have forgotten. A common feature of these conflicts reflecting a dire state of widespread insecurity is the absence of prompt state intervention: no culprits have been arrested or charged confirming the suspicion that some highly placed people are involved while nearly all these security breaches have been blamed on the National Congress Party in a manner that disables the search for truth.

Why are our people fighting themselves? This multi-million dollar question in every mouth in Southern Sudan and even in the Diaspora begs answers which are not forthcoming. It is mind boggling that a people who have struggled to liberate themselves, and are only waiting to exercise the right of self-determination for which they have sacrificed millions of kith and kin, have turned against one another in a manner unprecedented and which seem to re-echo back the question: what for was all the sacrifice? In another way one may even be tempted to ask the innocent question above: is there no government in Southern Sudan? Or is it perhaps our government itself at work?

Of course it’s any government’s top responsibility and raison dè êtré to protect lives and property of its citizens. Short of shooting oneself in the foot the responsibility for the state of affairs in Southern Sudan lies squarely on the SPLM leadership and its entire membership. No one in this political institution will escape unscathed by the verdict history will hand down sooner than later. We take responsibility for commission or omission. However, those with power and authority take the most responsibility should there be hanging or the ICC.

I am writing this piece, recuperating from an ailment in a Hospital bed, at least to vent my frustration and anger with the deliberate inaction to curb the nightmare of uncertainty we as a people are going through but more with the fact that some of these could, and indeed would have been prevented. We seem not to remember the saying ‘a stitch in time save nine’. It can point to one thing that the crop of leaders we today have in the SPLM were only made for war not for governing leave alone the important tasks of state- as well as nation-building in Southern Sudan. It is this phenomenal failure of historical dimension that explodes in our faces daily in the form of ethnic conflicts, high-level corruption and abuse of power with impunity, and you can go on naming it.

My reference point in this context is the formation in July 1983 of the SPLM/A to spearhead the revolutionary armed struggle. Liberation undertaken by the SPLM/A was presumed to be a process of social and political conscientisation of our people to enable them transform the oppressive reality of political exclusion, economic marginalisation, exploitation and neglect as well as social discrimination based on ethnicity, religion, language and culture by which they have been submerged for centuries. This presupposes that liberation is an irreversible transforming process that under no circumstances political, social or economic would this oppressive reality be recreated. Thus both the oppressor and the oppressed would be transformed to create a new reality of peace, unity, equality, social justice, democracy and prosperity.

The truth however was different for in 1983 the war erupted against a background of contradictions in the defunct Southern Region. The May regime in its terminal years generated serious political contradictions which erupted as wars in its weakest link in the Southern Region. This explains the spontaneous manner people from the marginalised regions joined the SPLM/A in their tens of thousands. However, it must be honestly admitted that not all the combatants who swelled the ranks and file of the SPLM/A were inspired by liberation ideals or socialist ideology aired out over radio SPLA. Most of them did so in response to their immediate local disputes and conflicts and the idea was to get firearms to settle these disputes. Some of them were fugitives of the Sudanese justice system.

Thus for instance the people of Abyei, northern Bahr el Ghazal responded and joined the SPLM/A to acquire firearms to resolved the nagging problem with their neighbours the Messeriya and Rezeighat [Murahileen]; the Bor Dinka had traditional conflict with the Murle; the Lauch and Paweny Dinka of Khor Falus and Atar respectively had old scores to settle; while on the other hand they had not settled their dispute with the Shilluk over land. So all and sunder arrived in Bilpam with a hidden local agenda.

The SPLM/A, essentially a military movement, absorbed all these contradictions in what was termed ‘revolutionary armed struggle’ but failed to transform them into nation-building instruments. The revolutionary armed struggle incubated instead of resolving these contradictions. This may explain why some of them have ferociously resurfaced. And although new conflict lines have sprouted in the last four years they may be attributed to the competition for wealth and power among the political and military elite and the failure of the state to curb them. How can we explain the sudden and recent violent eruption between the Mundari and the Bari in the suburbs of Juba, the Southern Sudan capital and seat of its government?

I want to concern myself primarily with the genesis of the smouldering conflict in and about Malakal? A conflict is quietly evolving between the Shilluk and Padang Dinka which has the prospects and capacity to evolve into a major conflagration if our leaders chose to turn a deaf ear or blind eye to the glaring realities. This is primarily because it is a question of demarcation of borders of the two states of Upper Nile and Jonglei. This is the prerogative and sole responsibility of the Government and that is precisely what I mean when I said it will be the responsibility of the two state governments should the impending conflict between the Padang Dinka and the Shilluk erupt into violence.

When the Paramount chief of Atar Dinka made a fictitious claim to the area between the Sobat –Nile confluence and the Nile – Zeraf confluence in 1980 in the wake of Nimeri’s mischievous administrative decentralisation policy, a survey team commissioned by the Regional Government established that at no point did the boundary of Fangak (Jonglei Province) and Tonga (Upper Nile Province) districts touched the Nile or Sobat Rivers. In spite of this ruling a violent eruption ensued in 1981 in which lives were lost. It is one of the resolved security breaches.

As if this was not enough the Atar Dinka did not relinquish their claim and even continued to fester the SPLM Leadership with petitions claiming that the Shilluk resided only on the west bank of the Nile. This is a falsehood that bears no historical records (refer to Upper Nile Hand Book 1931) but it is now the source of deadly tension between the two communities which also has been joined by the other Padang Dinka groups of Ngok Lual Yak and the Dongjol in the context of a master plan in the style of Balfour (1917) to create a homeland for the Jews.

So the simple dispute between two SPLA giants over the name and where to place their mutual county H/Qs, which rekindled the old feuds between Luach and Paweny sections leading to loss of life in 2006 and 2007 has been transformed into a major inter-ethnic conflagration with serious political implications for the CPA implementation, state and nation building in Southern Sudan. The Luach political and military elite wanted the county H/Qs in Khor Falus and have gone ahead to build a military port in Changi/ Wic Nyilwal on the Sobat River to the chagrin of the people of Pajur, while the Paweny elite wanted the H/Qs in Atar Ardeib on Khor Atar. The compromise decision brokered by a Padang Dinka politician in the presence of the President of GOSS, to position the county H/Qs in Pijo at the confluence of the Nile and Sobat Rivers, exacerbates the tension with the Shilluk who see the hands of two Ministers in GOSS behind a sinister and treacherous scheme to displace them from their ancestral lands to pave the way for the establishment of a Padang Dinka State adjoining together from the west to the east: the Abyei, Pariang, Paweny, Luach, Ngok, Dongjol, Ager, Nyiel and Abailang clans of the Padang Dinka.

The idea of Padang Dinka State, as a means of building a sense of unity and solidarity among the Padang Dinka has been prompted by a feeling of powerlessness and alienation from the Dinka power centre (currently in Bahr el Ghazal under the leadership of Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit) due to their dispersion over a wide territory separated by the Nuer and the Shilluk. To gain recognition and hence inclusion into this Dinka power house, the Padang Dinka political and military elite must demonstrate unity and strength. And this unity can only be stimulated by initiating a conflict with the neighbouring Shilluk over their ancestral land. The scheme to dislodge the Shilluk from their land on the east bank of the Nile from Nyijwado in the South to Detwok in the north is the underlying hidden agenda of the Padang Dinka political elite fronted by an influential Abyei Minister in GOSS. The idea is to unify all these Padang Dinka sections into one Padang Dinka State which extends from Abyei to Renk to compensate for the loss of their dream home in Southern Kordofan. The take over the Shilluk land therefore is the source of conflict which could turn out to be the very unmaking of Southern Sudan.

The project to dislodge the Shilluk from the east bank to the west bank with the Nile as the boundary could have been planned way back during the war of liberation but its implementation could only be undertaken once the peace agreement has been signed. In the Upper Nile Peace and Reconciliation Conference held in Panyagor in June 2003 there were Padang Dinka voices calling on the Shilluk to vacate the east bank. The influential Abyei Minister in Goss has been instigating the people of Pariang to relocate to Arach (Shilluk land) to avoid domination and eclipse by Western Nuer. But this indeed is to create easy stretch of uninterrupted Padang Dinka territory.

When in 2006 the then commander of SPLA Division One, ordered the felling of trees and bamboos in the gardens belonging to the Shilluk of Adhidhang, Pajur and Ogot on the Sobat banks little did the Shilluk people suspect that this was part of a wider scheme to dislodge them from their homes. The scheme became clearer only in January 2009. The attacks and killings in Anakdiar and Abanimo and the subsequent Shilluk revenge murder of Paramount Chief Thon wai of Dongjol were manifestation of, and a reaction elicited by this scheme of the Padang Dinka Political and Military elite. That the Padang Dinka harbours such plans against their Shilluk neighbours goes to prove the fact mentioned above that the revolutionary armed struggle only incubated the local contradictions. That it is also being spearheaded by people high in the SPLM hierarchy proves that war, particular guerrilla war, does unite those who fight it.

The Shilluk will definitely not take this Padang Dinka scheme lying on their stomachs. The defection of Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin (a Shilluk) and his establishment of SPLM Democratic Change are now being peddled falsely to be Shilluk-based simple to create the impression and portray the Shilluk people as being anti-GOSS and therefore hasten or accelerate a military occupation of their land and impose the Padang Dinka scheme.

The recent standoff over the change of name from Malakal to Makal County is an eye opener for many Shilluks. The questions that impose themselves here therefore are: Would the Shilluk accept or allow the Dinka to take their ancestral land without a fight? What would be the wider implication of a Shilluk-Dinka Padang war in Upper Nile? Linked to the widespread insecurity and ethnic conflicts in Southern Sudan would the Shilluk-Dinka Padang war not only prove what the NCP and many in the international community have been peddling that Southern Sudan is a failed state and that Southerners can’t govern themselves.

Makal is the county that surrounds Malakal Town which is the capital of Upper Nile State and therefore no one ethnic community except individuals with title deeds can rightfully claim to be theirs if that is necessary at all. In this context and to prevent the pointless claims and counter claims it is significant, indeed imperative to educate ourselves. It true many people who are positions of authority and leadership today had no opportunity to know history either from the books or from their community elders, the custodian of our history.

First, Malakal as a town and capital of Upper Nile Province derives its name from Makal, which is the Shilluk village north of it. Having been transferred from Taufikiya a few kilometres south Malakal was established in 1920(s), thus curbed out of Kodok District with its northern limit at the Airport and southern limit at Goni. Until 1966 when Kodok District ceded the area to Malakal Town Council, Dangershopi and Jonglei rice scheme were part of, and the land rates paid by the squatters who settled therein used to be collected by Kodok District authorities proving the obvious.
Secondly, the boundary between Kodok and Bailiet (formerly Abuong) Districts lies 27 KM east of Malakal at Banglai, and follows a small seasonal stream (wuol) that drains from the Sobat northwards pass Akoka and into the river Nile just opposite Kodok town. This means that all Dinka Ngok and Dongjol settlements lie east of Wuol and the Shilluk settlements of Koman are west of it.

Comments
RSS comment feed
28/07/2010, 8:39 AM
 - Posted by Meen Gor
I do equally share the same concern as people from Shilluk kingdom, that a government must not no matter whatever justifications gang-rape and sexually harass the civilian population in the name of quelling insurgency. However, what is not clear in the Shilluk community open letter of compliant to UN Secretary-General is the body of evidents that constitute the basis of their petition to the UN. Additionally, their letter seem to suggest that the allege incidences were endoresd by GoSS, and that the issue is beyond it. You can deduce this from the way the letter was solely addressed to UN without a mere copy to the GoSS. Furthermore, there equally seem be a tragic absent of creditable evidents from other independent sources to back up these claims and as such it leaves room to nothing, but doubt about intent of this letter. I therefore, as a citizen, do like to comment that I'm of opinion that this letter is a work of tribalists desperate to discredit what South has so far sacrificed for and achieved.

Thanks
Thonchamkelei
Add Comment

Name (required)

Email (required)

Website

CAPTCHA image
Enter the code shown above in the box below
Designed and built by Brand X