Political violence and the emergence of the dispute over Abyei, Sudan, 1950–1983 Luka B. Deng Kuola

Political violence and the emergence of the dispute over Abyei, Sudan, 1950–1983 Luka B. Deng Kuola

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Title: Political violence and the emergence of the dispute over Abyei, Sudan, 1950–1983 Luka B. Deng Kuola
Author: مقالات سودانيزاونلاين
Date: 04-03-2015, 06:10 AM

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a Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, MA, USA
b College of Social and Economic Studies, University of Juba, Buluk, Juba, South Sudan
c Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Gronland, Oslo, Norway Published online: 26 Aug 2014.
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To cite this article: Luka B. Deng Kuol (2014) Political violence and the emergence of the dispute over Abyei, Sudan, 1950–1983, Journal of Eastern African Studies, 8:4, 573-589, DOI: 10.1080/17531055.2014.950077
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17531055.2014.950077http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17531055.2014.950077

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Journal of Eastern African Studies, 2014
Vol. 8, No. 4, 573–589, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17531055.2014.950077http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17531055.2014.950077
Political violence and the emergence of the dispute over Abyei, Sudan, 1950–1983
Luka B. Deng Kuola,b,c*
aCarr Center for Human Rights Policy, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, MA, USA; bCollege of Social and Economic Studies, University of Juba, Buluk, Juba, South Sudan; cPeace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Gronland, Oslo, Norway
(Received 14 April 2014; accepted 28 July 2014)
The question of the future status of Abyei remains a deeply contested issue between Sudan and the independent South Sudan. The connection between the political violence in Abyei and eruption of the two civil wars in Sudan is sparsely documented, but this history reveals the character of the Abyei problem. This article provides an analysis of the role of political violence in the emergence of the dispute around the status of Abyei. It charts the evolution of the problem chronologically, first situating the history of the Ngok Dinka population of Abyei, and then mapping the history of violence through the independence period, the first civil war, the early 1970s and the failure of the Addis Ababa Agreement, and finally the second civil war in the 1980s. Political violence in Abyei became central to the large-scale contestation between the south and the north in Sudan, the struggle of the Abyei people contributing towards shaping a southern Sudanese identity and in defining the character of the independent state of South Sudan.
Keywords: South Sudan; Abyei; Anya-Nya; civil war; political violence
Abyei was once described as the thread that holds the north and south of Sudan together, but it is now a disputed area in limbo between what has recently become two independent countries.1 The unresolved status of Abyei and the recurrent violence have their background in decades of violence.2 To the Ngok Dinka – who are permanently settled in the area – and to the Misseriya, the neighbouring people to the north, this is foremost a conflict over ownership of land and access to seasonal grazing. However, long-lasting hostilities have deepened the enmity and generated new grievances. Violence in Abyei was an integral part of the two civil wars which preceded South Sudan’s secession. Not only is Abyei strategically and symbolically important to leaders in Khartoum and Juba, but the Ngok and the Misseriya can mobilize formidable fighting forces and they continue to be core constituencies to the ruling parties in South Sudan, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), and Sudan, the National Congress Party, respectively. The significance of the Abyei area is reflected in the fact that one of the six protocols of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the Government of Sudan and SPLM deals solely with this conflict. This adds another layer of complexity to the local conflict and makes it more intractable.
*Email: mailto:[email protected]@kushworld.org © 2014 Taylor & Francis
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The area of Abyei currently settled by the Ngok Dinka has an estimated population of around 300,000 people. The delimitation of the area of the Ngok was the result of a long- lasting arbitration process that is binding on the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan.3 This process started with the report of the Abyei Boundaries Commission in 2005 and moved on to the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2009. Moreover, according to a decision incorporated within the CPA, a referendum over the future of Abyei was to be conducted simultaneously with that of South Sudan in January 2011. The Government of Sudan refused to honour this part of the peace accord and rejected the African Union’s subsequent proposal for the Abyei referendum to be conducted in October 2013.4 Frustrated by the stalled process, Abyei leaders and intellectuals organized a unilateral referendum on the future status of Abyei during 27–29 October 2013. The referendum was carried out without any officially recognized assistance. The Ngok Dinka participated in the referendum, while the Misseriya nomads did not as the AU Proposal restricted the eligibility in Abyei Referendum to the Ngok Dinka and other permanent residents. Sixty-three thousand four hundred and thirty-three voted in the referendum: 99.99% in favour being annexed to South Sudan, with only 12 people voting in favour of belonging to Sudan.5 This gave an indication of where the preference of the Ngok Dinka lay, but the referendum was foremost a symbolic gesture aimed at pressuring the two governments and the international community to resolve the impasse. But the process remains stalled: the African Union declared that the referendum was illegal and a threat to the peace; the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan declared beforehand that the outcome would carry no weight.6
It was the tension and frequency of violence in Abyei since 2005 which prompted the Ngok Dinka leaders to try to force the issue of the referendum. Despite the continuous presence of United Nations peacekeeping forces at Abyei, the Sudan Armed Forces twice temporarily occupied the area after large-scale fighting, first in May 2008 and then again in May 2011.7 Moreover, clashes between the Ngok Dinka and Misseriyia militias have caused widespread insecurity and devastation as well as displacement of the Ngok Dinka from their home areas. This violence is partly related to the Misseriya’s demand for access to grazing land in Abyei, but is also rooted in the larger contestation between Sudan and South Sudan, where people from the Misseriya were organized into local militias under the Popular Defence Force umbrella and many from the Ngok Dinka were recruited into the SPLA.8 In May 2013, the Paramount Chief of the Ngok Dinka, Kuol Deng Kuol – who wanted Abyei to be part of South Sudan – was assassinated by Misseryia militias. President Salva Kiir accused the Government of Sudan of being implicated in this murder, and it was cited as one of the reasons why the Abyei referendum of October 2013 was conducted.9 The people of Abyei and their leaders argue that the continuation of violence dictates that the issue of Abyei’s status needs to be resolved sooner rather than later – not only to give the people of Abyei the protection it needs but also to defuse an issue which can escalate into a new war between Sudan and South Sudan.
To resolve the Abyei predicament a better understanding of its historical background is required. Why has the issue of Abyei come to gain such a prominent place in the political relations between Sudan and South Sudan? The purpose of this article is to trace the origin of the current contestation over the status of Abyei, and to assess the impact of political violence in Abyei on the history of conflict between the Government of Sudan and the people of the south. This article begins with a section giving background on the Ngok Dinka and their arrival to Abyei, followed by a discussion of how the dispute over Abyei emerged and took shape. Subsequent sections deal with the place of Abyei in the process of Sudan’s independence in the 1950s; political violence in Abyei during the first
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civil war (1963–1972); the resolution and (lack of) implementation of the Abyei issue in the 1972 Addis Ababa Peace Agreement; and finally the eruption of political violence in the early 1980s in Abyei. Through this investigation, this article demonstrates that the Abyei issue gained political significance not only because of repressive violence from the government and its allies but also through the people of Abyei’s shared experience of political struggle against oppression.
The Ngok Dinka and their arrival in Abyei
The Dinka of Abyei are generally known as the western Ngok, forming part of a larger ethnic, linguistic and agro-pastoralist group, the Padang, which, in turn, is one of the main groups of the Dinka people. Oral history relates that the Ngok, together with other groups of the Padang, are descendants of people who ‘began to push westwards’ from the White Nile some 300 years ago, forced to migrate by an increasing population and pressure from Nuer advances.10 Santandrea relates how the first three chiefs of the Ngok, Jok, Bulabek and Dongbek, lived and died east of the White Nile between Malakal and Lake No, and that the first chief to cross the river was Kuoldit, who led his people westward under pressure from the Nuer and in search of grazing for their increasing number of cattle.11 Both Paramount Chief Kwoldit and his son, Monydhang, ‘died and were buried’ in the region of ‘Demboloia’, northeast of Abyei town on the Ngol River. Santandrea further recounts that Monydhang’s son, Alor, invaded the territory of the Begi or Girma, and reached as far as today’s Abyei town.12 Chief Alor’s son, Biong, settled south of Abyei, on the River Kiir, in a place called Wunchuei, where he died and was buried. Sabah concurs that, by the early nineteenth century, Chief Biong had settled in present-day Ngok land.13
By 1810, the nine subsections of Ngok Dinka occupied the Abyei area in two distinct groups: the original settlers (Abyor, Achweng, Anyel, Diil, Mannyuar and Mareng) and the latecomers (Alei, Achak and Bongo).14 It is argued that among the original settlers, the subsection of Abyor led by the Pajok lineage arrived first to the area and took the best places including Abyei town in the highlands, while Mannyuar, led by Dhiendior lineage, arrived later and occupied the next best areas.15 The location of what is today’s Abyei town became the home of the Paramount Chief and the hub of Ngok political and commercial affairs. Since settling in Abyei, the Ngok have shown a remarkable resistance against assimilation into the Arabic and Muslim cultural hemisphere of the northern Sudan.16
The Ngok Dinka of Abyei departed from the characteristic stateless Nilotes leadership and adopted a ‘centralised’ political structure similar to that of Shilluk.17 According to Beswick, the Ngok Dinka by the twentieth century had developed a centralized political structure ruled by a Paramount Chief with powers of imposing taxation, exercising supreme judicial authority and military leadership.18 She explains this unique trait with reference to a combination of an internal struggle for leadership, external pressure from the north, particularly from the Misseriyia, and the distinct ecological environment of the Abyei area. The ecology of Abyei is characterized by harsh climate, with a hot-dry season alternating with a rainy season during which large areas are flooded. Agricultural land is concentrated in one area circumscribed by sandy ridges and this hinders seasonal migration, which, according to Beswick, further facilitated a centralized political structure.19
The Ngok have coexisted with a number of neighbouring groups, including the nomadic Misseriya Arabs, the Malual Dinka, the Awan Dinka, the Twic Dinka and the
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Ruweng Dinka, each of which groups make seasonal use of the Abyei area. The Misseryia Arabs have proven to be the most problematic of these neighbours, and have contributed towards recurrent political violence in the area, engaging in what amounts to a power struggle with the Ngok Dinka.
Most scholars recognized that the Muslim Baggara Arabs started moving along the savannah belt from the Kingdom of Wadai in French Equatoria Africa (Chad), passing through Darfur and Kordofan in the eighteenth century. This migration was characterized by bitter fighting among the Baggara, which resulted in their division into four distinct groups: the Misseriyia Humr (red), Misseriyia Zurug (black), Hwazama and Rizaygat.20 The Misseriyia Humur had arrived and settled in Muglad (Deinga) in south-west Kordofan by the late eighteenth century, and they became the immediate neighbours to the north of the Ngok Dinka at Abyei.21 Initial relations between the Ngok Dinka and Misseriyia were peaceful, and it is even argued that some sections of Ngok Dinka assisted the Misseriyia in conquering their current areas of settlement in Muglad from the indigenous Shatt peoples.22
The origin of conflict at Abyei
The arrival of the Turco-Egyptian regime to Sudan in 1821 changed the local balance of power in favour of Misseriyia, and this led the Ngok to adopt new defensive strategies against their northern neighbours.23 During the period of the Turkiyya (1821–1881), the Turco-Egyptian authorities and private traders undertook slave raids on a considerable scale into what is today South Sudan.24 The Misseriyia also raided the Dinka and other peoples of Bahr el-Ghazal for slaves and cattle, becoming part of al-Zubayr Pasha’s slave trading empire in Bahr el-Ghazal.25 As a consequence of ubiquitous slaves trading and increased ownership of slaves in Kordofan, the Turco-Egyptian regime in 1851 allowed Misseriyia to pay their taxes in slaves.26
Under the leadership of Chief Arob Biong, the Ngok resisted these slave raids and fought the Arab traders. Chief Arob Biong adopted various defensive strategies such as using age-sets as a ‘standing-army’ and electing ‘war chiefs’ for each village. In addition, Chief Arob Biong used diplomacy: he initiated relations with the chiefs of Rizaygat and Misseriyia and he succeeded in forging an alliance with the Misseriyia Chief, Ali Massar. Allegedly, Chief Arob and another Misseriyia Chief, Azuza, ritually mixed blood to symbolize their special and brotherly relation.27
As the Turco-Egyptian regime became increasingly oppressive in the final quarter of the nineteenth century, the Misseriyia were among the first groups to convert to the Madhdi’s cause. In a bid to protect their people against slave raids at this time, the chief of Ngok Dinka and other Dinka chiefs in Bahr el-Ghazal accepted the offer of truce by the leaders of the Mahdist uprising and forged a temporary alliance with the Misseriyia to get rid of the Turco-Egyptian regime.28 This caused the collapse of the formal Egyptian administration in Bahr el-Ghazal.29 But with fall of Turco-Egyptian regime in 1881 and the advent of the Mahdiyya, relations between Misseriyia and the Ngok Dinka rapidly deteriorated. To protect his people from slave raids and to win the confidence of the new regime, Chief Arob Biong with other sub-chiefs (including Alor Ajing of Mannyuar and Dhiel Yak of Achak) went to the north to give their allegiance to the Madhdi and to complain about Arabs slave raids and robbery of his people.30 After their return and in order to show their special relations with the Mahdi, Chief Arob Biong named one of his sons Mahdi, Alor Ajing named one of his sons Sobah (Arab names referring to east) and
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Dhiel Yak named one of his daughters Hawa (Arab name for Eve), a traditional Dinka practice of naming children after specific events.31
Although the period of Mahdiyya was characterized by two decades of conflict and accompanying chaos, some scholars have argued that it was a relatively peaceful period for the Ngok.32 But there is evidence to suggest that the Ngok suffered and experienced slave raiding during this period.33 The rise and fall of the Mahdist regime had the indirect effect of enhancing the centralized political structure as well strengthening the Ngok position in their relations with their Misseriyia neighbours.34 The split among the Misseriyia over support of the Madhi resulted in non-Mahdist Misseriyia being thrown out of Dar Misseriyia (home of Misseriyia). These expelled Misseriyia were accom- modated by Chief Arob Biong of the Ngok Dinka until the Anglo-Egyptian invasion in 1898.35 After the defeat of the Mahdiyya, the Misseriyia were then reunited and returned back to Dar Misseriyia.
At this point, Ali Jula, a former marasala (messenger) of the Khalifa, was recognized as nazir (head sheikh) by the new Anglo-Egyptian regime.36 Despite the good relations between the Ngok Dinka and the anti-Mahdist Misseriyia at the beginning of the Anglo- Egyptian condominium, the returning of the Mahdist Misseryian to the Dar Misseriyia and their assumption of leadership generated greater inter-tribal violence. Ali Jula, the new Sheikh of Misseriyia, encouraged and was responsible for conducting further slave raids against the Ngok and Twic Dinka.37 But it should be noted that this raiding was mutual, and that the Ngok enslaved Arabs captured during retaliatory strikes.38
During the Anglo-Egyptian regime, the Ngok Dinka consolidated their centralized political structure and enhanced the economic position of Abyei as a cross-border between the African south and the Arab north.39 A new breed of Ngok leadership emerged. Kuol Arob, who became Paramount Chief after the death of his father Arob Biong in 1905, defended the Ngok Dinka from the continued raids by Misseriyia. As Dinka were generally perceived as opposing the new regime, the British administration initially tolerated the continued Arab Baggara raids into Dinka areas, including Abyei. In the light of such challenges, Mareng, a subsection of Ngok Dinka, found it necessary to defend themselves from such raids by allowing free passage to Misseriyia with their cattle and slaves through their territory after raiding in the south.40
Following a series of complaints from Ngok and Twic Dinka, the Anglo-Egyptian regime decided to place the victims and perpetrators of the slave raids under a single administration that would be better able to prevent and respond to such incidents.41 Thus, Chief Arob Biong and his people were placed under the administration of Kordofan province in March 1905.42 After the Dinka rebellion of 1922, the British administration changed its policy and tried to win the confidence of the Dinka people. Chief Kuol Arob subsequently pledged his allegiance to the Anglo-Egyptian regime and he was recognized, not only as the chief of the Ngok but also of other neighbouring Dinka sections, including Ruweng and Twic.43 Improved relations between the British administration and the Ngok contributed to the gradual consolidation of the Ngok’s centralized political structure. Moreover, the colonial government now ended its previous tacit acceptance of Arab raids against the Ngok, reprimanding Ali Jula, the chief of Misseriyia.44
This centralized political structure of the Ngok Dinka raised concerns among some British administrators in the south that this was a sign of Arabization. Although having no substantive foundation, this perception surely contributed to the imposition of the ‘closed districts’ policy of 1922, the demarcation in 1924 of a new boundary lying 25–40 miles south of the Bahr al-Arab/Kiir in Dinka land, and development of the ‘Southern Policy’
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in 1930. The purpose of these impositions was to divide the Arab Islamic north from the African south, including the Ngok Dinka, and so insulating them from northern Sudanese Islamic and Arab influence.45 This policy did much to give rise to a separate southern Sudanese identity among Ngok Dinka and played a large part in the emergence of Abyei’s particular problems.
Abyei and the independence of Sudan
Already by the end of the 1920s, the status of the Ngok Dinka had become a concern for the colonial administration. Over the next decade, the British administration attempted to move the Ngok south, to place them under the administration of Bahr el-Ghazal and abandon the home areas north of Kiir (Bahr al-Arab) River.46 This would have formally separated the Ngok Dinka from the Misseriyia. The other Dinka chiefs urged Kuol Arob to accept this relocation, but Chief Kuol Arob refused.47 The chief explained to them privately that if the Ngok were to join the Bahr el-Ghazal, he feared that the Arabs, whom he described as ‘thieves’, would try to seize their territory.48 Beswick suggests that Chief Kuol Arob might have opted to remain in Kordofan also because he wanted to consolidate his political power and to preserve his position as Paramount Chief of the Ngok Dinka.49
However, after the decision to remain in Kordofan, Chief Kuol Arob became politically isolated, and his leadership was further weakened when Twic Dinka and Ruweng Dinka were placed under the administration of the south. Chief Kuol Arob then failed to secure his son Deng Abot as his successor. Deng Abot was unwilling to ally with the Misseriyia.50 Instead, one of his other sons, Deng Majok, staged a political coup in 1942, and the British administration – supported by the Misseriyia Chief Babo Nimir – elected him as the Paramount Chief of the Ngok. Once imposed, Deng Majok emerged as shrewd and powerful leader. It is during his period that the Ngok were introduced to a cash economy, a modern market system and Western education. Deng Majok even encouraged his own children and those of other sub-chiefs of Ngok Dinka to go to school.51 By marrying some 200 wives, he consolidated his leadership among the Ngok. Chief Deng Majok also maintained close relations with the Misseriyia, the two groups occupying a position of apparent political parity.52 Under his leadership, relations with Misseriyia and British administration improved considerably and the Ngok enjoyed a certain degree of political and economic stability.
The 1930s and 1940s witnessed the rapid growth of the Sudanese nationalist movement and the first steps towards Sudan’s independence. During self-government negotiations in the early 1950s, the unique status of the Ngok Dinka was recognized. In 1951, the colonial administration again offered the Ngok the opportunity to move to Bahr el-Ghazal.53 At this time, the British were concerned that the interests of the Ngok would not be fairly represented within the government structures in northern Sudan. A meeting held in Abyei, on 7 March 1951, resolved that ‘the best future for the Ngok Dinka lay in Bahr el-Ghazal Province’. But according to the official British report on the meeting, the leaders disagreed about the future of their area.54 Some of the Ngok leaders, notably Deng Majok, were against shifting to the administration of Bahr el-Ghazal since they believed that Kordofan – as a province in the northern Sudan – would be better administered and better funded than that of Bahr el-Ghazal.55 The detailed account of the meeting reveals that despite the fact that most of these sub-chiefs were appointees of Chief Deng Majok, almost all of them voted in favour of transfer of the Ngok to the Bahr el-Ghazal. The only exceptions were Chief Deng Majok himself and the chiefs of the two
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subsections of Abyor and Diil.56 When Chief Deng Majok realized he was in a minority, he played for time, arguing for more consultation and further study. The colonial administration gave him time after the meeting in 1951 to visit Wau, Aweil and Gogrial before taking their final decision about the status of Abyei.57
Following the March 1951 meeting, Chief Deng Majok energetically conducted a series of consultations with all chiefs and elders of the nine subsections of the Ngok, chiefs of the Bahr el-Ghazal province, as well as shaykhs and elders of the Misseriya.58 These consultations, however, continued to produce mixed results. Most chiefs of subsections of the Ngok rejected the proposal to move, and only the four chiefs of the Abyor, Anyel, Diil and Mannyuar accepted it.59 It is apparent that the position of Chief Deng Majok and others not to join the south was based, among other factors, on the fact that they did not want to move there without their lands north of Kiir River. Consequently, Chief Deng Majok, like his father, rejected the transfer proposal: ‘should we abandon this land with all its blessings’, he is reported to have said, ‘our descendants will one day blame us’.60
In addition to these administrative concerns, Chief Deng Majok had personal reasons for remaining in Kordofan: in the Bahr el-Ghazal, as one Dinka chief among many, he believed his status would be lowered. Moreover, his younger brother and rival, Deng Abot, was a strong supporter of the transfer proposal. Because of this, some observers suspected that Chief Deng Majok feared that if the transfer took place, Deng Abot would replace him as Paramount Chief. Some educated Ngok supported Deng Majok because, with growing resistance against colonial rule among elites in Sudan, they feared that the transfer proposal was part of a British plan to divide Sudan along racial lines.61 Still, a majority of Ngok leaders, chiefs, sub-chiefs and the elites favoured a return to the south and opposed the decision of Chief Deng Majok not to accept the transfer proposal. They feared the fate of the Ngok under the new administration led by Arab and Muslim rulers.62
Nevertheless, the Ngok, under the influence of their Chief Deng Majok, decided in 1951 to join the Misseriya District Council instead of the Dinka Gogrial Council in the Bahr el-Ghazal, with one reservation:
During the year the Ngok Dinka decided to amalgamate with Misseria district council and not with the Dinka Gogrial Council in Bahr el Ghazal, when it should come into being. They have reserved the right to withdraw from Misseria Council after five (5) years.63
In 1954, as the colonial administration was about to end, other groups among the Ngok at Abyei, representing a younger political constituency, sent representatives to Fulla in Kordofan. They wanted to discuss the exercise of the right to withdraw from the Misseriya Council and to be amalgamated with the Dinka Gogrial Council in the Bahr el- Ghazal, but they were arrested and accused of advocating separatism.64 Dr John Garang recounted this history when he addressed the people of Abyei in 2004, recognizing that the struggle of the people of Abyei had begun in 1954, several months before the Torit mutiny in 1955, which is often cited as the beginning of the first civil war in Sudan.65
Abyei and the first civil war
In December 1955, Sudan’s last British Governor General, Sir Alexander Knox Helm, departed, and on 1 January 1956, Sudan became independent. But even before that the southern Sudanese, including the Ngok, were subjected to discriminatory government policies.66 Well-established religious, cultural and educational norms were eroded during
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the years of Sudanization (1954–1955) prior to independence. Then, from January 1956, according to Alier, a number of further steps were taken to Islamize and Arabize cultural life in the entire country, angering southerners everywhere, including those in the Abyei area.67
In Abyei, primary schools that were run as part of the education system of Bahr el- Ghazal changed in this period to follow the Northern education system. All teachers were transferred to Bahr el-Ghazal and were replaced by teachers from the North. The new northern teachers insisted on replacing pupils’ Ngok Dinka names with Arabic names. According to Johnson, pro-south chiefs sent their sons to the Bahr el-Ghazal for schooling, while those who were against the transfer of Abyei to the south, such as Chief Deng Majok, took their children to Kordofan; even those studying in the south, such as Francis Deng and Zacharia Bol, were taken out of Rumbek Secondary School and sent to Kordofan.68
Civil servants and teachers working in Abyei, such as Lino Wuor Abyei and Louis Nyok Kwol Arop, were all transferred to the Bahr el-Ghazal. These developments bred dissatisfaction in the south, and soon gave rise to the mutiny of the Torit garrison in Equatoria province in 1955. The Commission of Inquiry’s Report revealed that among the causes of the 1955 disturbances were injustices perpetrated against the south.69 Some Ngok of Abyei, such as Dau Deng Kueth, took part Torit Mutiny in 1955. Shortly after Torit, in 1957, the youth and students of Abyei organized themselves into a political movement.70 This was headed by Bona Bulabek Kwol and, Angelo Ajing Jipuur. They, and others, became the first generation of Abyei to join the southern political movement.71
The centralized political structure of the Ngok Dinka was weakened with the departure in 1956 of the British administration that had supported the leadership of Chief Deng Majok. In the absence of British administration, clan rivalries quickly emerged within and among different subsections of the Ngok. The subsection of Mannywar (Dhiendior), whose population was greater than the ruling subsection of Abyor (Pajok), forged an alliance within the northern government to change the balance of power and to end the old system of tribal rule.72
With the end of the colonial administration, the conflict between the Misseriya and the Ngok intensified. A number of raids by the Misseriya took place, these being condoned by the new Government of Sudan. Hostilities between the Ngok and Misseriya reached a climax in 1965, when the Ngok attacked the Misseriya during their dry season migration southward. This was in retaliation for a brutal insult to a fellow Dinka in Awiel who was killed, and his arms amputated and used by Arab nomads to beat their drums. The cycle of violence continued later in 1965, when more than 200 southern Sudanese, including Ngok Dinka, were burnt alive in the presence of government officials and the nazir of the Misseriya in the towns of Muglad and Babanusa. These atrocities escalated the level of local conflict, merging into the larger north–south war.73
As his strategy had been to defend his people by forging good relations with Misseriyia and by refusing to move to the administration in the south, Chief Deng Majok felt betrayed by the Misseriyia raids of these years. He now regretted his decision to remain in the North, becoming openly hostile towards his northern neighbours.74 Rather than winning the confidence of the Ngok people as the only non-Muslim and Dinka who were under the administration in northern Sudan, the new government therefore instead pushed the Ngok people away from Sudanese nationalism and towards the cause of southern Sudan and separatism. The tension between the Ngok Dinka and their Misseriyia neighbours was of course exacerbated by the intensifying north–south civil
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war, in which the Ngok Dinka eventually joined their kith and kin in the southern liberation struggle.75 Chief Deng Majok died in 1969, to be succeeded by his son Monyyak Deng. This marked the end of any centralized political structure among the Ngok Dinka.76
When the Sudan African National Union (SANU) and its military wing, the Anya- Nya, organized themselves for rebellion in 1963, the youth of Abyei followed suit in 1964 under the Anya-Nya umbrella to wage an insurgency in the Abyei area.77 The political leadership of Abyei’s Anya-Nya unit included Arop Deng, Justin Deng Biong and John Maluil, and the military wing was under the command of Dodol Nyang and Ireneo Biong Bol as political commissar.78 These local units posed a real threat to the authorities in Abyei, managing to recruit a large number of youths who were sent to the Anya-Nya headquarters in Congo for further training.79
These activists from Abyei then played a prominent role in the evolution of the Anya- Nya rebellion. Dominic Kuol Arop was among the first policemen from Abyei who defected from Raja, in March 1963, joined the Anya-Nya in Congo and subsequently became a military trainer.80 He was one of three officers who accompanied Captain Bernardino Mau Juol, when SANU sent him to launch military operations in the Bahr el- Ghazal. They attacked Wau in January 1964. This sent a clear signal of the rebellion throughout southern Sudan, and marked the beginning of the serious military campaign in Bahr el-Ghazal province.81 After the attack on Wau, Dominic Kuol became deputy commander of Division 5 of the Anya-Nya Army in Abyei and Gogrial. He went on to become commander of the same division during 1965–1967.82 Besides Dominic Kuol, two students at Rumbek Secondary School, Akonon Mathian and Ceasar Ayok Deng- Abot, joined the Anya-Nya in 1964, thus becoming the first educated youth from Abyei to join the southern rebellion.83 Akonon Mathiang, having excelled as a cadet, became among the first trainers of the Anya-Nya in Congo. He later joined the six-man command council of the military wing of the Bahr el-Ghazal Anya-Nya Movement formed in 1966. Akonon became a commander of Gogrial and Tonj, Lakes and Northern Bahr el-Ghazal, where he famously succeeded in cutting the rail link between north and south.84 Caeser Ayok Deng-Abot was among the first three officers selected for training in France.85 He and Akonon Mathiang were the most senior officers of the Anya-Nya from Abyei killed in action during the first civil war.
In 1970, the Government of Sudan killed, amongst others, Moyak Deng, chief of the Ngok, who was accused of collaborating with the Anya-Nya. Out of a feeling of guilt, the chief’s brothers, Arop Deng and Justin Deng, surrendered to government authorities in Abyei.86 Despite this, the flow of new recruits from Abyei to the headquarters of Anya- Nya Liberation Army continued.87 It was during 1969 and 1970 that the different Anya- Nya groups of southern Sudan became more coordinated and increasingly under a central political leadership under the umbrella of South Sudan Liberation Movement (SSLM). With the assassination of Ngok Paramount Chief, the national government expedited the process of dismantling the centralized political structure of the Ngok Dinka. The implementation of the People’s Local Government Act of 1971 then removed almost all influence of the Ngok within Kordofan.88
Abyei and the Addis Ababa Agreement (1972)
In May 1969, Colonel Jaafar Nimeiri seized power in Sudan through a coup d’état. Ironically, the coup opened the way for resolution of the conflict in Sudan by political rather than military means. On 9 June 1969, the new regime issued a ‘Declaration of
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Regional Autonomy for the southern Provinces’, outlining plans for regional self- governance. This paved the way for the SSLM to negotiate. Over the course of two weeks of talks between Nimeiri’s government and the SSLM, the Addis Ababa Agreement was concluded and signed on 27 February 1972. The issue of Abyei was discussed at length in Addis Ababa. The SSLM maintained that Abyei should be incorporated into the southern region.89 On the other hand, the Sudanese Government’s delegation wanted the current status of Abyei and other border areas to be maintained, on the grounds that the SSLM was not entitled to speak on behalf of all the people of Abyei. The deadlock was broken and a compromise was enshrined in the definition of the ‘Southern Provinces of Sudan’ as:
the Provinces of Bahr El Ghazal, Equatoria and Upper Nile in accordance with their boundaries as they stood on January 1, 1956, and any other areas that were culturally and geographically a part of Southern Complex as may be decided by a referendum.90
In this context, the Addis Ababa Agreement thus made special provision for the people of Abyei, and other border areas, with the right to choose through referendum whether to remain in the north or to join the south. However, the Addis Ababa Accord did not specify which areas were ‘culturally and geographically’ part of the ‘Southern complex’ nor did it provide a mechanism for identifying such areas. Nonetheless, the clear intention was to encompass Abyei and other border areas as affiliated to the ‘Southern Region’.
After the Addis Ababa Agreement, Arab nomads found themselves dealing with southern administrators, southern police and even southern soldiers. The effects of this were compounded by the abolition of native administration in the north in 1971, but its continuation in the southern region. In response to this new reality in the south, President Nimeiri announced the formation of the murahalin (mobile forces) which later became the popular defence force (al-difa’ al-shabi). These were paramilitary cattle guards who travelled with Arab nomads during the dry season to prevent fighting between them and the Dinka. The idea of murahalin was a response to the emergence of southern Sudanese law enforcement forces in areas accessed by Arab pastoralists. In December 1972, immediately after the Addis Ababa Agreement, Nimeiri visited Abyei. During this visit, the Ngok demanded the holding of a referendum in Abyei as outlined in the Agreement, the formation of local administration, and the right to have their own armed guards. Despite the fact that President Nimeiri was unhappy with the way he was received by the angry Ngok, he promised as a symbol of the unity of Sudan to declare a special administrative status for Abyei, directly under the presidency. But he ignored the demand for a referendum and the request for armed guards.91
After his visit to Abyei, Nimeiri fulfilled his promise and issued a presidential order granting Abyei special status under direct supervision of the presidency. But this, in fact, proved to indicate a backtracking on the Addis Ababa commitment to hold a referendum on Abyei’s future status. Dr Francis Deng, the son of Chief Deng Majok and Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at that time, helped to set up a US-funded development project in Abyei. This was meant to provide the Ngok Dinka with ‘peace dividends’ comparable to those of the south, and to support Abyei’s special status as a microcosm of Sudan. The Misseriya resented both the Ngok’s winning of the right to administer their sub-district and the US-funded development project. In 1977, the murahalin began attacking the Ngok. Trucks travelling with Ngok passengers from Muglad, the main Misseriya town, to Abyei were intercepted and looted, and people were murdered. In 1977, Mark Majak Abiem, a Ph.D. student of the University of London,
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who was going to Abyei for fieldwork, was among some 80 Ngok killed in a single incident.92 In 1980, Misseriya tribesmen and murahalin forces jointly staged a massive attack on Ngok villages, burning houses, destroying crops, #####ng livestock, killing at random and forcing large numbers of people to flee.93
After the 1977 incidents, President Nimeiri sent first Vice President Al-Baqr Ahmed to Abyei. Upon his arrival, he promised that the referendum stipulated in the Addis Ababa Agreement would be held. But this declaration, combined with other issues, lead to the dismissal of the vice-president. His successor, Abdel Gassim Mohamed Ibrahim, met the same fate, again in part because of the position he took on Abyei. It seemed that President Nimeiri was adamantly opposed to the holding of a referendum. He argued that even if Article 3(iii) of the Addis Ababa Agreement was intended to include Abyei, the word ‘may’ in its language gave the government the liberty to conduct or not to conduct a referendum.
The people of Abyei nonetheless sent numerous petitions between 1973 and 1982 requesting that the referendum be conducted.94 All these overtures were ignored. No referendum was ever conducted in Abyei. Instead, the Government of Sudan focused on establishing self-rule. Justin Deng Aguer, a son of Abyei, was brought from Juba and appointed as assistant commissioner under the direct supervision of national minister of local government. Deng Aguer advocated reinstatement of the native administration system and managed to recruit police and teachers mainly from among the Ngok. Teachers who had left Abyei area after ‘Sudanisation’, such as Lino Wuor, the former headmaster of Abyei Primary School, were brought back from the Bahr el-Ghazal, and ex-Anya-Nya from Abyei were incorporated into the local police.
Abyei and the eruption of the second civil war
The issue of Abyei played a critical role not only in the deteriorating relations between the south and north but also contributed significantly to the internal political dynamics of the south. Dissatisfaction with Abel Alier, the first president of the Southern Regional Government, over his handling of the Abyei issue led Ngok intellectuals in Juba to join the ‘wind of change’ movement in 1977. This targeted the Abel Alier faction and endorsed for the presidency the former Anya-Nya leader, Joseph Lagu, in the hope that he would challenge President Nimeiri on the issue of Abyei. In the elections of 1978, Dr Zacharia Bol Deng, a son of Chief Deng Majok and past chairman of the Abyei Liberation Front (ALF), won a seat in the southern Sudan Regional Assembly and was then appointed its Deputy Speaker.95 The assembly passed a resolution to annex Abyei to the territory of southern region, but Joseph Lagu, the newly elected president, failed to submit the resolution to President Nimeiri.
In the midst of a power struggle in the south, President Lagu was subjected to impeachment in 1980. In return, the Speaker of the Assembly, Clement Mboro, Deputy Speaker, Dr Zacharia, and Controller of the Assembly, Philip Akot, as well as some ministers, were all dismissed. This political infighting gave Nimeiri a pretext in February 1980 to dissolve the Regional Assembly, dismiss the government of Joseph Lagu, and form a High Technical Committee chaired by Abel Alier to supervise regional elections. In the elections in April 1980, the intellectuals of Abyei, headed by Dr Zacharia Bol, who had again secured a seat in the Regional Assembly, supported Abel Alier for the presidency of the regional government. They understandably felt betrayed by Joseph Lagu, who had failed to raise the issue of Abyei with the central government as he promised when standing for the regional presidency in 1978. Abel Alier was
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overwhelmingly elected, and he formed a government that included Dr Zacharia Bol as minister of health, the first Ngok Dinka of Abyei to become a minister in the regional government.
The newly elected Regional Assembly, clearly influenced by Dr Zacharia Bol, again passed a resolution to annex Abyei to the territory of the south and asked the new regional president to forward this resolution to the central government for implementa- tion. Abel Alier was firmer this time. But President Nimeiri again responded by dismissing the regional government and regional assembly in October 1981, appointing Gissmallah Abdalla Rassas to oversee the process of dismantling the Addis Ababa Agreement altogether and ‘re-dividing’ the south into three ‘regions’.
Despite the fact that the Addis Ababa Agreement produced a decade of relative peace, its provisions were eventually largely abrogated by president Nimeiri on 5 June 1983.96 Among the factors that contributed to the failure of the agreement were a lack of funding from the central government, the central government’s actions upon the discovery of oil in the south, the re-division of the southern region, and the failure of the government to honour the provision that Abyei and other border areas were entitled to referenda.97 The imposition of the Sharia law on all of Sudan, including the southern region, in September 1983, angered the southerners further.
The ALF was founded in 1978 by Deng Alor, James Ajing, Arop Madut, Edward Lino and Col Deng Alak and under the chairmanship of Dr Zacharia Bol Deng.98 Its main objectives included building a united leadership for Abyei, working towards the holding of a referendum, mobilizing funds and resources to buy guns for Abyei’s self-defence and influencing the leadership of the south to support the cause of Abyei.99 The formation of the ALF proceeded from a meeting of Abyei intellectuals in Juba with Abel Alier, then president of the south, after the devastation of the Abyei area in 1977. At this meeting, he had made it clear that (in his opinion) the issue of Abyei was insoluble and that, if they were not careful, the people of Abyei would end up like the Palestinians; joining Kordofan was preferable to annihilation.100 According to Arop Madut, this was why the intellectuals formed the ALF and worked with the ‘wind of change’ movement to bring down Abel Alier. The ALF set about acquiring arms for the people of Abyei and training them to defend themselves from the Misseriya and murahalin.
In 1981, a group of Ngok Dinka intellectuals and chiefs, who were having an evening social gathering in Abyei town, were attacked by government forces. Alor Arop, a primary school teacher, was killed. A number of intellectuals, senior officials and the Ngok Paramount Chief Kuol Deng, fled to the Bahr el-Ghazal. After this incident, the Abyei Anya-Nya II was organized by Miokol Deng, with support from the ALF. He led a force out of Abyei to the Twic area and, together with the Malual Dinka, Anya-Nya II began intensive local training. The forces of Abyei Anya-Nya II were involved in the attack on Ariath, a station along the railway linking north and south, in early 1983, in an incident that shocked Khartoum. Miokol was assisted in his work by many students, including Pieng Deng, an engineering student at the University of Khartoum, and by Bagat Agwek, a soldier stationed in Juba who managed to smuggle guns into Abyei. In early 1983, Miokol and Bagat played a significant role in uniting various Anya-Nya II groups in the Bahr el-Ghazal. It has been estimated that Miokol Deng brought some 10,000 fighters to the nascent SPLM/Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) at its headquarters at Bilpam; many young people from Abyei died on the way. Dr John Garang, in his address to the people of Abyei in 2004, recognized the important role played by Miokol Deng.101
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Besides the Anya-Nya II organized by Miokol in Abyei and the Bahr el-Ghazal, groups of students and intellectuals from the Abyei area went to Bilpam in early 1982. Kuol Anyel, the son of Anyel Kuol, who had been assassinated by government forces in 1969 in Abyei town, was among the first group to go. The arrests of Abyei leaders in early 1983 induced even more Abyei students and intellectuals to join the Anya-Nya II. After the Bor mutiny in May 1983, students from the University of Khartoum and University of Juba, and some leading Abyei intellectuals in the south and Khartoum went to Ethiopia and joined the SPLA. Among those Abyei intellectuals were Deng Alor, a diplomat in the national ministry of foreign affairs in Khartoum, Chol Deng, a senior official in the southern regional government, and Mading Deng-Abot, a new graduate of Juba University.
Following these developments in the Abyei area and formation of Abyei Anya-Nya II, the Government of Sudan arrested a number of Abyei intellectuals and senior Ngok officials in the Southern Regional Government in early 1983.102 About 50 Abyei intellectuals, chiefs and leaders, including Dr Zacharia, their leader, were rounded up, in Malakal, Wau, Juba, Khartoum and Abyei. A second wave of arrests of Ngok Dinka intellectuals took place in 1984, which encouraged another wave of Abyei citizens to join the SPLA. According to Mawson, these and other developments ultimately led to substantial Ngok Dinka participation in the membership of the SPLA.103
The transfer of the Ngok Dinka and their lands to the administration of Kordofan in 1905 marked the genesis of the official debates concerning Abyei’s status. As a political unit, Abyei has been shaped by power struggles among the Ngok Dinka, by their relations with Misseriyia, and by the larger dynamics of the conflict between Khartoum and southern Sudan. The decision of the leaders of Ngok Dinka in the twentieth century to refuse re- transfer to the south indirectly helped to protect their area until the delimitation by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2009, which included their areas north of Kiir River.
As this article has demonstrated, the Abyei issue gained political significance not only because of repressive violence from the government or agents acting on behalf of the government, but also through the people of Abyei’s shared experience of struggle against oppression. The relations between Ngok Dinka and Misseriyia provided opportunities as well as challenges, which shaped the course of political violence in the Abyei area. Although the Misseriyia has perpetrated violence in Abyei area at the behest of various regimes that have ruled Sudan, relationships between the two have been more complex than this suggests: the leaders of the Ngok Dinka adopted defensive strategies as well as forging good relations with Misseriyia. Having good relations with Misseriyia helped the Ngok Dinka to survive the turmoil of the Turkiyya slave raids, the Mahdiyya’s chaos, the Anglo-Egyptian’s early tolerance of slave raids and subsequent decades of misruled by the post-independence northern elite regimes. The violent and acrimonious process of changing powers between different regimes in Sudan affected the relations of Ngok Dinka and their Misseriyia neighbours, often in favour of the Misseriyia. But the Ngok Dinka and their leaders managed also to maintain good relations with the succession of regimes that governed Sudan, at least until the first civil war reached Abyei in the 1960s.
As the new Republic of South Sudan and Republic of Sudan have struggled to normalize their relations, the history of the Abyei dispute suggests that peaceful relations between the two countries may depend in part on a resolution of the Abyei issue. The active participation of the people of Abyei in the first civil war contributed towards
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shaping the definition of the territory of the south. The eruption of political violence in Abyei in the early 1980s contributed also to the initial outbreak of the second civil war that resulted in the south’s achieving its ultimate political goal of independence, while the people of Abyei obtained clearer terms for the conduct of a referendum to decide its final status.
Through international arbitration process the land of the people of Abyei has been secured, but the final political status of Abyei is not yet resolved. The outcome of the Abyei referendum in October 2013 leaves South Sudan, Sudan, the African Union and the international community with only two options: either to accept the outcome of people’s referendum that overwhelmingly favoured inclusion of Abyei to the territory of South Sudan or to conduct a new, but redundant, referendum on the basis of the African Union’s proposal. Until this can be resolved, Abyei will continue to be the scene of bitter disputation.
An earlier version of this article was presented at the conference on ‘Struggles over Emerging States in Africa’, at the University of Durham, 9–11 May 2013. The author would like to thank Douglas H. Johnson, Øystein H. Rolandsen, the staff of the Rift Valley Institute, and Francis Deng, the permanent representative of South Sudan to the United Nations, for their constructive comments on earlier drafts. The author acknowledges support from The Research Council of Norway, under the project 214349/F10 ‘The Dynamics of State Failure and Violence’, administered by the Peace Research Institute, Oslo.
1. Deng, The Man Called Deng.
2. Johnson, “Why Abyei Matters”; Johnson, “New Sudan”; Deng, “Social capital”; and
Mawson, “Murahaleen raids.”
3. Johnson, “New Sudan.”
4. Sudan Tribune, “African Union Supports Abyei Referendum in 2013 but Gives Six Weeks for
a Deal,” October 25, 2012. http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article44335http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article44335.
5. BBC, “Abyei Residents Choose South Sudan,” October 31, 2013. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/
6. Sudan Tribune, “African Union Says Abyei Unilateral Referendum ‘illegal,’” October 28,
2013. http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article48603http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article48603; Sudan Tribune, “Sudan Dismisses Results of Ngok Dinka Referendum in Abyei,” October 31, 2013. http://www.sudantribunehttp://www.sudantribune. com/spip.php?article48645.
7. Human Rights Watch, “Sudan: Stop Abyei Abuses, Hold Forces Accountable,” May 26, 2011. http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/05/26/sudan-stop-abyei-abuses-hold-forces-accountablehttp://www.hrw.org/news/2011/05/26/sudan-stop-abyei-abuses-h...d-forces-accountable.
8. Mawson, “Murahaleen raids”; and Johnson, “Why Abyei Matters.”
9. Sudan Tribune, “Kiir Accuses Sudan of Killing Abyei Chief to Sabotage Referendum,” May
9, 2013. http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article46516http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article46516.
10. Stubbs and Morrison, “Land and Agriculture,” 251–65; and Beswick, “The Ngok,” 147.
11. Santandrea, The Luo.
12. Ibid.
13. Sabah, Tribal Structure.
14. Henderson, “The Migration of Messiria,” 58.
15. Beswick, “The Ngok,” 148.
16. Ibid., 157; and Howell, “Notes on the Ngok Dinka,” 239–93.
17. Beswick, “The Ngok,” 145.
18. Ibid., 146.
19. Ibid., 148.
20. Ibid., 149.
21. Henderson, “The Migration of the Messiria,” 55–63.
22. Ibid., 55–63.
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23. Beswick, “The Ngok,” 151.
24. Salih, “Ideology of the Dinka.”
25. Johnson, “Why Abyei matters,” 3.
26. Beswick, “The Ngok,” 151–52.
27. Deng, The Man Called Deng, 46.
28. Beswick, “The Ngok,”153.
29. Ibid., 154.
30. Interview with Ring Makuac, Juba, South Sudan, July 2014.
31. Ibid.
32. Deng, The Man Called Deng, 47.
33. Johnson, “Abyei Brief Notes.”
34. Ibid.
35. Henderson, “The Migration of Messiria,” 69.
36. Ibid., 69–70.
37. Government of Sudan, Sudan Intelligence Report; and Johnson, “Abyei Brief Notes.”
38. Deng, Africans of Two Worlds, 138.
39. Beswick, “The Ngok,” 155.
40. Ibid., 156.
41. Daly, Empire on the Nile.
42. Government of Sudan, Sudan Intelligence Report.
43. Beswick, “The Ngok,” 156.
44. Deng, The Man Called Deng, 48.
45. Beswick, “The Ngok,” 157; and Holt and Daly, “A History,” 96.
46. Government of Sudan, Sudan Intelligence Report, 135, May 1929 (also cited in Beswick,
“The Ngok,” 157).
47. Deng, The Man Called Deng.
48. Johnson, “Abyei Brief Notes.”
49. Beswick, “The Ngok,” 158.
50. Ibid., 159.
51. Deng, The Man Called Deng, 130.
52. Ibid.
53. National Records Office, Khartoum (hereafter NRO), WKD/66.E.5, P. Hogg, “Future of the
Ngok Dinka,” letter by District Commissioner of western Kordofan to Governor of
Kordofan, 1951.
54. Government of Sudan, Report on the Administration.
55. Deng, The Man Called Deng.
56. Ibid.
57. Ibid., 225.
58. Ibid., 224–226.
59. Ibid.
60. Ibid., 227.
61. Johnson, “Abyei Brief Notes.”
62. Deng, The Man Called Deng, 223–8.
63. Government of Sudan, Report on the Administration, 158.
64. Interview with Justin Deng, March 2013, Kuajok, South Sudan. Deng was one of the youths
who took the letter to the colonial administration.
65. John Garang, “Speech to the People of Abyei,” cited in “Editorial: How Dr Garang Wanted
Abyei to Be?,” Sudan Mirror, January 26, 2007.
66. Gurdon, Sudan at the Crossroads.
67. Alier, Southern Sudan.
68. Johnson, “Abyei Brief Notes.”
69. Government of Sudan, Commission of Inquiry Report.
70. Interview with Manu Kuol, March 2013, Wau, South Sudan.
71. Johnson, “Abyei Brief Notes.”
72. Deng, The Man Called Deng, 23–4, 43–5.
73. Ibid., 238.
74. Ibid.
75. Deng, New Sudan.
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76. Beswick, “The Ngok,” 162.
77. Interview with Justin Deng, March 2013, Kuajok, South Sudan; Rolandsen, “Making of the
78. Interview with Dodol Nyang, April 2013, Abyei, South Sudan.
79. Interview with Dominic Kuol, March 2013, Wau, South Sudan.
80. Ibid.
81. Alier. Southern Sudan, 40.
82. Interview with Dominic Kuol, April 2013, Wau, South Sudan.
83. Interview with Manau Kuol, April 2013, Wau, South Sudan.
84. Arop Madut-Arop, Genesis of Political Consciousness.
85. Interview with Dominic Kuol, April 2013, Wau, South Sudan.
86. Interview with Justin Deng, April 2013, Kuajok, South Sudan.
87. Johnson, “Abyei Brief Notes.”
88. Beswick, “The Ngok,” 162.
89. Alier, Southern Sudan, 117–8; Johnson, Root Causes, 44.
90. “Draft organic law to organize regional self-government in the Southern Provinces of the
Sudan,” Addis Ababa Agreement, Article 3(iii). Emphasis added.
91. Interview with Ring Arop, October 2013, Juba, South Sudan. Arop delivered speech on behalf
of the people of Abyei during President Nemieri’s visit there in 1972.
92. Arop Madut-Arop, Sudan’s Painful Road, 63–6.
93. Deng, War of Visions.
94. Wakoson, “Politics of Southern Self-government.”
95. Arop Madut-Arop, Genesis of Political Consciousness.
96. Gurdon, Sudan at the Crossroads.
97. Alier, Southern Sudan.
98. Arop Madut-Arop, Genesis of Political Consciousness.
99. Interview with Zakharia Bol Deng, September 2013, Birmingham, UK.
100. Interview with Arop Madut, October 2013, Oxford, UK.
101. John Garang, “Speech to the People of Abyei,” cited in “Editorial: How Dr Garang Wanted
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