By: Malony Tong-Gol
The hard reality that was informing and guiding the mediators in the Kenya two years peace process and negotiation - as it was termed by Dr. Francis Deng, that “no peace settlement between the North and the South is achievable or sustainable without a satisfactory arrangement for the Ngok Dinka” is now on the ground to be materially realized, the hard task – actually not so – of marking the Dinka Ngok boundary from Kordofan was a long waited process not only by the Ngoks whose their suffering from -being administratively run by Kordofan for a century - is of a high celebrity. Though the process is now finalized. The boundary demarcation was then considered bye peoples of Abyei as another intimidating tactics being played the Arabs, maliciously claiming the land of their forefathers. The revelry on the Ngok land has actually came to be seen blatantly and evidently after the discovery of the Oil in the area, the normal atrocities carried out by the Misseria with strong backing and propelling from the successive regimes in Khartoum were purposely made to shove the Ngok out of their area, the tasks.
The Ngoks were wondering on how their land fir which they are so proud of, was under contest - other were dreaming of possessing it at a time. The successive government’s administrations in Kordofan had drudged hard to hide the realities for others, through continuing changes of the name of areas, villages, other natural phenomena as rivers, Disregarding its tautness and obligations towards all citizens, and genuine peaceful settlement, yet the case of Abyei has bared it from the shroud it has been wearing to cheat the entire Sudanese. The tactics it used, the obstacles it placed on the way of the Abyei Boundary Commissions (ABC) are tear facts that a respect figure in the government can not deny.
There is no single description of Kordofan in which Abyei appeared as a part of it before the Anglo-Egyptian administration, even during early stages of the Condominium, the area remind on the curtain of the province, The Encyclopedia Britannica in 1911 described Kordofan to “consists of undulating plains, river less, barren, monotonous, with an average altitude of 1500 ft. Thickets and small acacias dot the steppes, which, green during the kharif or rainy season”
That was the Kordofan many are now trying to deny, Abyei with its many rivers and streams was not seen in that “river less and barren” province.
Abyei was terminally annexed to Kordofan in 1905 together with other two areas from Bahr El Gazal and Upper Nile just to protect (from slave dealers) the dwellers of those areas which was hard to be accessed by the first colonial administrators in Bahr El Gazal.
An agreement was reached between the then Governor of Kordofan Mr. Connelly and the then Acting Governor of Bahr al Ghazal, Mr. Sweeny as fulfillment of a recommendation made in 1903 by Bimbashi Bayldon, the reason for Bayldon to recommended as mentioned was to deter the resumption of slave trade in Abyei area and Northern Gogrial
The exact time at which the Ngoks settled in the area in not known, the oral history passed through time from generation to another, could shows that the Ngoks have been living permanently in the area for at least five centuries, the time in which the scouts of Misseria had not even set their feet at western boarder of the today-Sudan
The victims of slave trade and the slave dealers were both put under the same administration temporary till such time that it would be safe to restore them back to the South, only on this ground Abyei was annexed to Kordofan, though other deeply thinking of tiding the Ngok to their ethnic in Bahr El Gazal was seen as vital by many of Administrators in the area, the boundary of provinces was not then marked. Only in 1924, the British administrator marked the border of Kordofan at 25 – 40 miles south Kiir River, the decision that was rejected by the Ngoks leaders strongly, then a series of boundary marking continuous from the British administration (Kordofan Invaded; edited By: Endre Stiansen & Michael Kevane, Brill: Leiden. Boston. Kolin 1998 – translated)The claims of Abyei being part of Kordofan are vain and unfounded, the maps that were produced showing that imaginary facts as such were baseless and forged they could not be looked by truth seekers and well-intentioned researchers, they were only forged for the purposes of that today.
The government side in ABC tried to forget and forged things to prove the opposite, yet they were easily nullified by the SPLM delegation, still now there are many people who are trying to continue in blackmailing the Sudanese, displaying the ABC resolution on the question as unjust and need reconsideration, though the resolution is “binding and final”, we would like to bring some facts to the public attention
The rivalry on the Ngok territory was only result of the successive so-called National Governments intentions to encroach the land of Dinka, Ngok have heroically defended their land, and as such maintained their territory over centuries, in which they endured the horrendous campaign of slave dealers, the period which extensively known by Ngoks as the time “when world was spoiled”. “Monypiol e ping” – the man with bad reputation used to appear in Ngok land from time to another, old songs in the Ngok literature had recorded dreadful actions of the trade traders. Amazingly, the slavery was the main reason of making Ngok part of Kordofan
It has been frequently repeated - by Ngoks, though they found themselves in Kordofan without their consent, suffered unimaginably for a century, the idea of vengeance which dominant among the Missieria is central in future thinking, they are highly involved in thinking and brain storming of how to rebuild what these the conflict have obliterated, the are mindful of the fact that nobody other than “them” will work to remedy their situation, though anticipating more from new government as others. Abyei is also expected to play a vital role in economic and commercial prosperity, in the region, which is called by many Sudanese as California of Sudan.
The Sudanese, the sons and daughters of Abyei, inside the country or in diaspora are expected to participate in different ways in reshaping the plight of the area. The most urgent battle will be how to maintain the commitment to overcome the conflict and post-conflict impacts in the area, though the reverberation of the dreadful deeds of the Misseria which can be forgiven but not forgotten remain in the backs of many heads, the government is expected to do more for the area that would determined the future of the Sudan.