Articles and Analysies
Abie conflict The Inferno of Nivasha or the Paradise of Peace by Dr. S.M.Eldebailo
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Jun 20, 2007 - 6:03:23 PM

Abie conflict

The Inferno of Nivasha or the Paradise of Peace




The IGAD declaration for the onset of a peaceful settlement to the Sudan southern conflict, followed by the Machakos frame of work protocol, both confirmed that the independent borders (1956) should be the bases for any peace settlement to the conflict. It is rather ambiguous and ill intended to void such frame of reference ( 1956 borders) in the protocol of   Abie which is part and parcel, not only to the overall Sudanese 1956 borders but rather,   Abie district border   is a well defined boarder long before then.

As such no genuine Peace treaty will stand its cause and prevail unless the concerned parties adhere to it in good faith. In our case, at least one of the two parties of the conflict (Messeria) was not part of the peace agreement signed by NCP & SPLM/SPLA. Further to this Abie protocol was so vague, reflecting the conflicting interest of all the negotiating parties in Nivasha peace negotiation including the U.S.A driven by its lust for the abundant oil in the region of Abie, U.K the colonial guardian of region and the Sudanese neighbours with their expansionistic intent not to mention the existing borders disputes.


Historical facts :


History is the foot prints of mankind which can be easily traced for a good cause, however, to reach a fair and just conclusion out of history one needs not to tamper with its facts especially those supported by credible documents. Tampering with historical facts and documents will definitely lead to erroneous conclusions and in turn that could lead to a devastating impact to the cause.  

The historical facts about Abie area have been safely kept in many archives such as the Turkish, the Egyptian and the U.K. of crucial importance the U.K. archives especially Durum University . The importance of the U.K. records about this area lies in the fact the U.K. was the last colonial power that ruled Sudan through which the formation of the existing Sudanese borders was established and that many of the British researchers, governors and historian have documented in writing all aspect of life in this conflict area including the tribal borders substantiated with maps.

Contrary to the ABC report all the documents in the archives reveal clearly the following facts:

        The existence and settlement of Messeria in the disputed area is long before the seventeen century , in fact this is the reason that this area has been tagged as Messeria Dar ( homeland) long before independent (Henderson, Ian Cunneson Tibbs and others Durum Sudan records)

        The arrival of Dinka Ngok to the area south of Bahr Alarab has been well documented by many authors to be as early as the nineteen century. In fact the reason for their arrival to this area, as sited, was tribal dispute between Dinka Ngok and the Newair in the pasture land of the north eastern part of Bahr Algazal district around Lake No area. Due to such hostilities they moved north. Faced by other hostilities from Dinka Malwal of the upper part of Bahr Algazal district they approached Messeria who were already occupying this region seeking their support. In 1903 -1904 such negotiation lead to a brotherhood pack between Messeria and Dinka Ngok eight chiefdom (a major mistake in the Abie Protocol which sited the existence of nine chiefdom in 1905 while the truth is that the 9th chiefdom was created during Nimari regime in the late nineteen sixty) on the bases of this pack Dinka Ngok were allowed to cross over Bahr Alarab northward into Messeria land. The embattled Dinka Ngok, not trusting the ratification of the pack, first they allow one of their chiefdom to cross over into Messeria land to test the ratification of the pack, upon receipt of report confirming the good treatment of chiefdom by Messeria there after the seven chiefdom crossed over the river to what is known now as Abie town area. Given the choice by the British then (1905) to be part of Bahr Algazal province or southern kordofan they chose to stay as part of Dar Almesseria in southern Kordofan province.

        Upon independent 1956 Dinka Ngok were given the chance again to decide on either to follow Bahr Algazal province in the south or stay part of the Messeria Rural council in southern Kordofan province and again their choice is to stay where they are.

        Dinka Ngok and the Messeria have been living in harmony honouring the brother hood pack signed between their chiefs in 1905 and their after. They established tribal rules and tradition that sustained the well being of all. In 1963, derived by Anania movement in the south, some of Dinka part of this movement, attack the villages of Messeria killing and looting. A year later Messeria fighters in revenge stage an attack on Dinka villages killing many and forcing Dinka Ngok to move south of Bahr Alarab leaving their villages established in Dar Almesseria as part of the brotherhood pack. In 1965 a peace conference was held, attend by all the dignitaries of the Sudan with the objective to resolve the conflict and contain its impact. In this conference both parties (Messeria & Dinka Ngok), in realization to their past history, agreed to stop all the hostilities and sustain their tradition life style to their norm. In this conference no claim for land was raised and no tribal border issue was discussed. This is a key fact to be noticed since the ABC expert report depended fundamentally on borders established in this conference and also the U.S. envoy to the peace agreement based his recommendation on such understanding.


The misjudgement of the conflict :


Abie conflict, though a rather well defined and fully documented, yet its treatment in the Nifasha peace process has under mined the concerned people. As previously said, many interested groups have contributed substantially to the creation of the problem. In dealing with the problem the intellectual and fighters of Abie area in the SPLM portray the problem to the global community that Dinka Ngok is the true owner of the region and the Messeria the Muslim Arab of the north as the invader. At a time the whole global community and the Christian Machined is active in the move against such ideals. Such move was strongly supported by Francis Deng, the son of the late Ding Majok, the international scholar and the U.N. advisor and the member of many Washingtonian institutes that hatch and harbour the American policies and direct the public opinion. The American on the other hand forced by the oil cartel, knowing that chevron oil company is the pioneer explorer of the Sudan oil, and not to forget   the involvement of the Chinese in the oil business in Sudan found Abie conflict an opportune chance to regain it stand in the region under the humanitarian ideals.

With this in mind Abie protocol was drafted, in fact the American paper submitted to the peace negotiation about this conflict caries the full views advocated by Francis Deng if not his drafting, ignoring completely the history of the area its tradition and the international borders set at the independent of the Sudan and undermining Machakos frame of reference protocol.

Many mistakes have been committed in Abie protocol intentionally such as:

        The protocol is between SPLM and NCP no role for the people of the area of the conflict.

        It does not recognize the independent 1956 borders in contradiction to the international law.

        It has been severely modified both in the composition of the ABC, its mandate as well as the duration of its work, before the final declaration of the peace protocol. Such modifications have, contributed negatively to both the proper research of the conflict and to the elaborate explanation of the magnitude and impact of the problem on the people of the conflict area. Further to this, it rather regretful that the expert did capitalize on these amendments to void the role of the ABC and took over its whole role.

        The ABC expert in their final report admitted that they fail to establish what they were mandated for (to demark the border of the nine chiefdom of Dinka Ngok in 1905) as per Abie protocol. Instead, they deliberately under mine and modify their mandate to declare and demark a new boarder that was never disputed. Not to hide their ill intentions they claim that their decision is based on 1965 boarder agreement between Messeria and Dinka Ngok. As previously explained no boarder agreement was signed in 1965.


The way out :


In view of the above the two parties (NCP/SPLM) in their last joint meeting and in realization of Abie dilemma have reached an understanding composed of three alternatives forwarded to the presidency office for action, about the ABC report and the resolution of Abie conflict as bellow:


        The two parties (NCP/SPLM) is to address the conflict via a peaceful political means.


        The whole case is to be submitted to the court


        To recall the expert to verify their findings.


The positive thing about this meeting is the fact that the two parties (NCP/SPLM) conceived the impossibility of adopting the ABC expert report and findings and that the resolution of the conflict must follow  different passes that will not undermine the people of the disputed area. Unfortunately, to this moment nothing has been seriously done except for the dog fight between some of the ABC members namely ambassador Aldirdiri and the minister Deng Alor.

Lately a group of Dinka Ngok took over Abie city rural governing office and declare that they are the governing body of Abie and that they are as per Abie protocol to report to the Presidency. In response to such move the Messeria wisely took the stand that such move by Dinka Ngok is not acceptable, however, they chose to avoid confrontation and resolve to peaceful means. At the same time they demanded the government to secure the area and reinstitute the government employee to their offices and govern the region. To this moment nothing has been done.

In view of all this, we in SHAMAM strongly demand the following:

        The unity government must establish itself in this area and deliver the highly needed services to all the people of the area.

        The presidency must act quickly and take the issue of Abie conflict seriously in order to avoid a very devastating potential outbreak in this area.

        Since the ABC declared its failure to meet its mandate, new genuine ABC2 must be established. The new committee must include representative of the people of the conflict area (both sides), its neighbour, knowledgeable Sudanese experts in the area's history & tradition. The committee must bear in mind all the impact and consequences of its resolution to the problem on the people of the area. Such committee must have access to all available archives in the globe and it must exhaust all possible means to be fair and just.

        The mandate of such committee must be clear :


        To seek solution to the conflict under united Sudan , in which case the demarcation of boarder will be to establish tribal rural borders within a united Sudan , this can be easily established with the local people of the area.


        To seek solution to the conflict under divided Sudan , in which case the demarcation of boarder will be to establish international boarders between two countries which is a totally different process legally. In such case the demarked borders must be 1956 boarders between southern Kordofan and Bahr Algazal.


We strongly believe that the lack of clarity of the ABC mandate contributed substantially to its unjust finding, efforts must be excreted between the two parties to reach such clear mandate which will assist the new ABC2 in its findings.

        Since the protocol calls for the finding of the area transferred from Bahr Algazal to Kordofan in 1905, an impartial researcher must find this area by the through search in the archives in Egypt , Turkey , UK and the congress library in order for Abie protocol to be implemented


        Knowing that the people of the conflict area are very keen to reach a peaceful resolution of this problem, we strongly belief that a well prepared regional conference between Messeria and Denka Ngok  witnessed by all their neighbours sponsored by the unity government and supervised by all political parties will lead to an acceptable resolution to the conflict.



Dr. S.M.Eldebailo


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