March 2, 2016 (SSNA) — This is a response to the press statement of the so-called “Eastern Nile State Political Activists” published on January 28, 2016 carried a statement by a group of Ngok LualYak Dinka laying outrageous and provocative claim to Chollo (Shilluk) lands on the eastern bank of the White Nile River. The purpose of this statement is really not to engage in a tit-for-tat rebuttal with this group of Nyok Dinka regarding their claim, both because everyone knows this claim is completely fabricated and because Chollo people have sufficiently addressed this matter previously on the basis of the histography, geography and demography of South Sudan that has been documented since the colonial times. It is rather to analyse the political circumstances in the country that has led to this claim. In this respect the claims should be discussed in the present context of social, economic and political engineering of South Sudan as a nation-state, and the emergence of Dinka ethnic nationalism as a prominent political force under the leadership of General Salva Kiir Mayardit.
The Padang Dinka, to which belongs the Ngok Lual Yak sub clan, comprise small isolated clans inhabiting isolated territories of land stretching from Abyei through Unity state, northern Jonglei state to Abailang in Renk in northern Upper Nile state. Their other tribesmen and clans, particularly the Rek in Warrap and Awiel, the present Jieng power house, vaguely were aware of their existence until the power shifted from Bor to Bahr el Ghazal. That explains why some of them were murdered in Juba alongside the Nuers in December 2013.
The Jieng is the largest single group in South Sudan, but not the majority. In the war of national liberation, they contributed in terms of human resources proportionate to their demographic weight. This has now become the basis of the claim by the Jieng political elite to monopolize power and wealth of South Sudan. This became apparent immediately following the tragic death of Dr. John Garang de Mabior and ascension to the helm of the SPLM leadership and the Government of Southern Sudan of General Salva Kiir Mayardit.
The conspiracy to dispossess Chollo of the ancestral lands on the eastern bank of the White Nile River started as early as 2006 driven by two powerful Padang ministers in the GOSS in the context of a Padang State encompassing Abyei, Ruweng, Pawiny-Luach, Ngok, Dongjol, Nyiel, Ager and Abailang, when the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in Sudan rejected the Abyei Border Commission (ABC)’s Report, which prompted the sojourn to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. The NCP intransigence to grant recognition to the Abyei case energized the Padang and their pressure on Salva Kiir to decree the Padang imaginary State. The awarding of Obango as the mutual headquarters of the Paweny-Lauch (Khorflus) County in April 2009, the creation, without warrants of establishment, of the so-called Pigi (Jonglei) and Akoka (Upper Nile) Counties were steps in the construction of Padang dream State.
The Padang State would be such a large territory that the combined population of these clans would require augmentation from other populous areas like Gogrial, Awiel, and Bor, where there is a combination of demographic, ecological and security concerns which would prompt mass migration to this vast land after the forceful eviction of the Chollo to west bank. It is therefore a matter of land grabbing. This has been rendered feasible by the kleptocratic regime erected by Salva Kiir dominated by the Warrap-Awiel mafia with its mouny-jiang ideology.
The mouny-jiang ideology postulates Jieng complete domination of South Sudan political and economic power. This had been echoed by Ustaz Bona Malwal Madut, that the Dinka fought for Southern Sudan; therefore it is their right to rule for the next one hundred years. In this context, Salva Kiir rendered the state institutions dysfunctional to enable the JCE to loot the financial and economic resources until the country has become bankrupt. He had to unleash war first against the Nuer and then against all the other ethnicities after first neutralizing or enlisting their support (Chollo). The civil war has colonial occupation characteristics reflected in the EO 36/2015 establishing 28 states that awards the Dinka 42% of the land area of South Sudan.
The alliance between the Dinka political military elite, the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) and their parasitic capitalist class is the driver of the political instability in South Sudan that has rendered our masses pawns in this ethnicized political game. This conspiracy to dispossess the Chollo has connections to the quest for land for large scale capitalist agricultural investment. The presence of the Nile and the Sobat make a good combination for irrigated agricultural production in crop and modern animal husbandry.
This demonstrates that the Ngok Dinka and their Padang clans are completely oblivious of the repercussions of this conspiracy against the Chollo as also a conspiracy against them by their elite. They have been ensnared into conflict with the Chollo with whom they have lived peacefully for more than two hundred years. Only peaceful co-existence could provide a firm basis for the building of the nation-state in South Sudan.
The Establishment Order Number 36/2015 dividing South Sudan into 28 states was the embodiment of President Kiir’s connivance with Ngok Dinka of Upper Nile and other sections of the Dinka to use state authority, military and other resources to annex the lands of Chollo and other tribes to his Dinka tribe. It is a well-coordinated conspiracy planned at the level of the so-called Jieng (Dank) Council of Elders. This ill-advised tribal conspiracy is meant to establish Dinka dictatorship and dominion over other South Sudanese tribes.
The focus and thrust therefore should be to defeat the unconstitutional EO 36/2015 with its 28 states and focus on the implementation of the Agreement for the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan. This is our response to the Ngok group.
Signed by Concerned Chollo: