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Salva Kiir Must End Nuer Exclusion From South Sudan Government

11/16/2005 3:19 am

Press Release
Union of Nuer Community in North America (UNCONA)
Nov, 16, 2005

UNCONA is an organization whose mandate is to work for the welfare of the
Nuer nation in the Sudan. Its Constitution gives the supreme council, the
highest body of the organization, legal power to take position on political,
social and economic policies which affect the Nuer in the country. The
constitution also bestows upon the council the power of issuing decrees to
address problems which may have negative impact on the Nuer nation. Every
Nuer, whether in North America or elsewhere in the world, is deemed to
accept the decrees issued by the supreme council.

Today, the supreme council sat down again to deliberate the exclusion of the
Nuer from the government of South Sudan. Previously, the council condemned
the deliberate exclusion of the Nuer nation from the government of the
national unity.

Following the formation of the South Sudan government, it has become clear
to any Nuer that marginalization directed against the Nuer is not something
accidental, but a well orchestrated scheme by the Dinka elite who are
currently occupying Khartoum's presidential palace with Jalis. The UNCONA
would like to inform the readers in advance that it has no problem with
Dinka ethnic group collectively. The problem of the South is Dinka elite,
who are in the position of power. These elite politicize ethnicity to
perpetuate hegemony of one ethnic group over the rest of South Sudan tribes.
In reality, these elite turned the Comprehensive Peace Agreement into a
marriage contract between them and the Jali elite. The CPA has now become
IPA, that is, Incomprehensive Peace Agreement in which the Nuer ethnic group
is marginalized worse than the marginalization the people of the South
endured under successive Northern regimes for decades.

Nuer exclusion from the government of South Sudan is not something that
springs from acts of individual Dinka elite. It is the policy called
Dinkanization which always culminates into Nuer exclusion from governments
since Abel Alier time. Dinkanization, as a policy, was adopted by the Dinka
elite to rewind South Sudan history. It is based on perceived historical
animosities between the Nuer and the Dinka ethnic groups.

Before the colonization of the Sudan by Anglo-Egyptian forces, communal
relationship between the Nuer and the Dinka was marked by inter-tribal wars.
The former was compelled by the forces of nature to increase the size of its
territory for survival. The Nuer in the original homeland of Bentiu had to
migrate eastward looking for more grazing lands. As the result, they have to
engulf Dinkalands towards the east via conquest and assimilation. Fifty
percent of today Eastern Jikany and Lou clans are believed to have Dinka
blood as the result of the assimilation of eastern Dinka.

The marginalization of the Nuer in any South Sudan government headed by the
Dinka should be viewed in historical perspective. Since the independence of
the Sudan, the Dinka elite always look for an opportunity to avenge against
the Nuer for the lands the latter conquered from the former great
grandfathers. Whenever the Dinka elite have an access to power in the
Sudanese state, the first thing they would do is to settle historical wrongs
with the Nuer by pursuing a policy of Dinkanization.

The first manifestation of the Dinka elite's attempt to exclude the Nuer
from the position of authority was during the government of Abel Alier
formed after the conclusion of the 1972 Addis Ababa Agreement. In his first
"emergency government", no Nuer was made Minster. In the second government,
Abel made his personal friend Peter Gatkuoth Gwal deputy president and
Minister of finance. The second Nuer who became a minister was Chuol Juach.
Comparing the Abel's cabinet with the current South Sudan government, one
could draw similarities. In Salva Kiir's cabinet, there are only two Nuer in
the cabinet (Duer Jokoak cannot be counted because he was brought by the
national congress as the division of power by the CPA dictates). It is
accidental even for Nuer to have two ministers. It is due to the fact that
John Luk refused to take the position of state minister in the North. Had he
accepted, only Riek Machar would have been the deputy president and the
Minister for land and housing in the government like late Peter Gatkuoth
Gwal who held similar position in the past.

It's when the leadership of the South is under somebody other than a Dinka
that Nuer would get real representation. When Joseph Lagu became the
President the South, he made five Nuer full ministers. In most ministries,
there was considerable number of the Nuer who became directors such as late
Philip Pidak Lieth. Again Joseph Tombura made five Nuer full ministers when
he became president of South Sudan High Executive Council. There was
widespread resentment of his administration by the Dinka elite because he
made a young Nuer boy, Charles Kuot Chatiem, Minister for administration.
The Dinka elite always believe that a Dinka must always administer the South
because "they are born to rule". The concept "Dinka are born to rule" was
first made public by Justine Yac Arop, who is now special advisor to Kiir
and minister for cabinet affairs. The way Salva Kiir formed is government
may not be a surprise to those who know Yac Arop as an uncompromising
tribalist and staunch believer of Dinkanization policy in the South.

Most of the rebellions in the process of the South Sudan liberation were
ignited as the result of Dinkanization and Arabization. When the Nuer army
officers in Akobo garrison realized that Dinkanization was becoming another
Arabization, Capt. Benson Kuany Latjor and other officers mutinied. They
retreated to Bilpam, Ethiopia and formed Any-Nya II to liberate the South
from Arabization and Dinkanization. It should also to be recalled that the
Addis Ababa Agreement was not abrogated first by Jafar Numeiri. South Sudan
members of parliament were the first who voted for the amendment of the
agreement in order to reverse Dinkanization policy, which was detrimental to
development in the South. Numeiri only signed the death certificate of the

The re-division of the South in contravention of the Addis Ababa Agreement
was a response of the Nuer and their allies to end Dinkanization of the
South. Nuer politicians such as late Samuel Gai Tut and late Philip Pidak
Lieth envisioned that the only way to free the South from Dinka elite was to
decentralize power to three Southern provinces so that Dinka elite like
Justine Yac Arop would not be able to abuse power by romancing underage
Equatorian girls in Juba.

The mutinies in Bor and Ayod in 1983 were supported by the Nuer elite
because they saw an opportunity for Southerners to fight for independent
country where the Dinka elite would not Dinkanize the South by using
Northern Arab political and military might. In an independent South, the
Nuer and other ethnic groups can impose justice, democracy and the rule of
law to civilize the Dinka elite who are allergic to such ideals.

The attainment of equality and justice in the context of a united Sudan is
impossible because the Dinka elite always plays unity card to unite with
Arab elite against the South. It should be recalled that the concept "united
Sudan based on justice" was not an innovation of John Garang. During
Anya-Nya one, William Deng Nhial broke away from the rest of South Sudan
politicians, who were demanding separation. But it was discovered later that
William Deng really believed in one Sudan under the leadership of African
majority because he was not comfortable seeing South Sudan liberation being
led by somebody other than a Dinka. When Dinka elite want to maintain their
power, they turn toward promoting unity of the Sudan to prevent any
non-Dinka to lead the South. The policies of William Deng were borrowed by
John Garang to kill his Southern rivals under the guise of ideological
differences. Most of the times the Dinka elite turn South Sudan liberation
struggle into forum of power struggle because they cannot accept any
democratic output which takes power away from them.

The factional wars between SPLA (dominated by the Dinka) and Anya-Nya II
(dominated by the Nuer) from 1983-87 brought a lot of human suffering in the
South. The destruction Garang's forces unleashed on Nuerland surpassed that
of successive Northern regimes combined. The Dinka soldiers did not only
rape women, burn villages and cut men genital organs but also attempted to
compel Nuer villagers to speak Dinka language.

Despite the historical animosities between the Nuer and the Dinka, the
former is always receptive to the unity of the people of the South. In 1987,
Gordon Koang Chol accepted the offer of Mengistu Hailemariam to unite with
SPLA. The Anya-Nya II concluded the agreement with the SPLA in 1987 on
condition that the objective of the South since Anya-Nya I had to be
restored. Dinkanization was also condemned by Gordon Koang as being
responsible for the setback experienced by Southerners to achieve their

However, as soon as the SPLA and A-Two united, the Dinka elite led by Garang
interpreted it as capitulation of the Nuer to the will of the Dinka. Instead
Dinkanization of the movement continued as usual. The Nuer elite first
refused to take military action against Dinkanization policy for fear that
it would derail the liberation. But their patience ran out in 1991 when it
was clear that Garang told his uncle in Bor that "he put the Nuer in his
pocket". Riek Machar and Gordon Koang plus their ally Lam Akol declared the
removal of late John Garang in order to save the South from tribal
destruction. The factional wars are usually cause by Nuer reaction against
Dinkanization continued up to present day.

Since the Nuer most of the times prioritize the objective of the South, Riek
Machar--like Gordon Koang in 1987--accepted the U.S. offer to unite with
SPLM/A. Nairobi Agreement was concluded between Machar's faction and the
SPLA in 2001. A week later Dr. Garang told a gathering of Dinka elders at
his residence that "a Nuer is like a woman who runs away from her husband
and returns a month later". The elders laughed approvingly. Within two
months of its conclusion, Garang put the agreement into the garbage bin. One
Dinka commander of the SPLA made a joke by saying that "the agreement was
meant to cover up Riek Machar so that he should not surrender naked".

Though the humiliation was obvious under the leadership of Garang, Machar
insisted that the objective of the South must take precedent over fighting
Dinkanization. He told the Nuer gathering in the U.S. that the Dinka problem
should be ignored for a while. But the Nuer informed him that Dinka elite
are people who do not learn from the past. Machar was warned that the
Dinkanization policy would commence as soon as the government of the South
is formed. As predicted, South Sudan Government is a reflection of
Dinkanization policy practiced in the past. It doesn't need one to take
logic courses in order to draw reasonable inferences from the government
established. Every Dinka clan has two ministers. Like Abel Alier time, there
are only two Nuer in the government from SPLM side. Riek Machar, who is also
vice president, is also a minister so that Justine Yac would take some of
his powers when he is busy drawing lands allocated for construction. John
Luk, a master degree holder of law from Oxford, will now play soccer with
Dinka boys. He first rejected a junior position in the North. His acceptance
of such degrading ministry is to find a way to avoid political extinction.

On the other hand, the president of the Supreme Court is a Dinka to
structure the court towards the achievement of Dinkanization policy
championed by Salva Kiir. The Minister of Justice is a Dinka so that the
government legislate laws which would punish anyone who criticizes their
policy. Again the governor of South Sudan bank is a Dinka to divert public
funds to projects in Dinkaland. Although Dinka population is not more than
20 per cent of the population, 45 per cent of members of parliament in Juba
are Dinka. Every ethnic group in the South is complaining except Dinka.

Since the objective of South Sudanese is to liberate themselves from any
form of mental and physical marginalization, the Supreme Council of the
UNCONA has decided that the priority of the Nuer must be to liberate the
South from Dinka elite, who are responsible for Dinkanization policy. The
council has therefore passed the following resolutions:

1. Dinka Community Must Condemn Salva Kiir

The council would like to urge men of goodwill in the Dinka community to
call on Salva Kir to dissolve the Southern Government and form a new one
that would take ethnic groupings into consideration. The future of the Nuer
and Dinka is intertwined that the council requires the Dinka community to
distance itself from Salva Kiir and his tribalist henchmen. Implementation
of the CPA depends on equitable power sharing in the South. Marginalization
of the Nuer, as SPLM Nuer Caucus correctly argues, would only enhance
conflict in the South.
The Dinka community must inform the Dinka elite about the question posed by
Jesus Christ thousands of years ago when he asked: What would a man get by
owning the world but losing his soul? To paraphrase his question, the Dinka
elite should be asked the same question in the context of Sudan politics:
What would they get by occupying all ministerial posts while losing the CPA
in the process?

2. SSDF Must Be Independent

The council urges Major Gen. Paulino Matip to search for South-South
dialogue with SPLA. Although SPLA seems reluctant for the dialogue, the
people of the South need peace and have put their hopes on SSDF to meet
their aspirations. However, if Kiir continues rejecting the dialogue, the
council urges Gen. Matip to integrate 50,000 SSDF forces with Sudan Armed
Forces. The creation of SPLA Affairs as a ministry in the Southern
government is a rejection of one of SSDF demands, which calls for
establishment of South Sudan Armed Forces (SSAF). It should be recalled that
one of the reasons talks between Matip and Garang collapsed at the end of
June was the question of South Sudan Army. Calling South Sudan Army as SPLA
is clear rejection of the dialogue with SSDF. SPLA is a partisan army which
is loyal to one party in the South. The creation of SPLA Affairs does not
augur well with the unity South Sudan armed groups.
If unity between both armies is not achieved, the Council has legal power to
raise funds for SSDF to modernize itself. SSDF shall be modernized and
trained professionally in order to free Southerners from any form of
marginalization in the Sudan be it tribalism in the South or Arabism in the

3. The SPLM Nuer Caucus Must Join other Parties

The Council urges SPLM Nuer Caucus to join other parties in protestation
against intentional Nuer marginalization. Should Council prove that Riek
Machar played a role in Nuer marginalization as alleged by Kiir in
Washington, the Council would advise Hon. Thomas Kume Khan to give Machar
back his dowries. Every Nuer will be morally compelled to treat him as
outcast. Since the Nuer joined the SPLM to liberate the South from any kind
of marginalization, Dinkanization has no real difference with Arabization of
the Sudan. The SPLM Nuer must bring Nuer allies along with them. The Zande
Caucus, the Shilluk caucus, the Anyuak caucus, the Murle caucus, the Mundari
caucus, the Didinga caucus, the Lotuka caucus, the Acholi caucus and etc.
must also follow their Nuer brethren to other parties that do not practice

John Gatluak Kam
President of UNCONA
E-mail: [email protected]

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