I just want to share with you an article below that Uncle James Ogillo wrote four years ago about Dinka claims that Malakal belongs to them. Thanks
NGOK JIENG PETITION TO DR. JOHN GARANG CLAIMING OWNERSHIP OF MALAKAL COUNTY
By: James Ogilo Agor Agokwech
This provocative and piratical petition has made me to recall minding a critical observation made by a distinguished journalist in 1984. “James, I have observed that almost every educated Ngok Jieng appears quite naïve in his thinking and actions. I wonder, does this naive ness come from Sorghum(Jaak) or the black fish they eat in abundance?” I told the journalist that I whole-heartedly agreed with his wise observation. I also mentioned that the Padang Jieng eat a lot of other food. Stuff like the leave of Thaw “Higlig,” nabak, wild vegetable roots. I further informed the journalist that I had strong suspicion that this wide spread naive ness may probably emanate from the bites of larvae of house flies(twil) in Shilluk or sun fly which causes Kala-Azar, a deadly disease quite common in the areas they live in.
The petition also reminds me of a similar petition by the Padang officials in 1985 to Brig. Peter Mabil Riak, then Act/Military Governor of Upper Nile area urging him to purge a number of Nuer officials whom Governor D.D. Mathews had sky rocketed to super scales and replaced them with Padang officials. A certain Nuer official stole the petition before Governor Peter Mabil could take action on it. The petition was sent to the Military High Command Council of General Sawar El Dhab. Peter Mabil was immediately purged and replaced with a Nuer army officer.
Regarding the matter under discussion, I would like to enter the debate, not because I am a Shilluk. Most southerners know that I am quite above tribal politics. For example, a Nuer group led by late Joshua Dei Wal in 1965 petitioned the Southern Front Party Conference in Malakal to look into what they called “Nuer marginalization by the Dinka since time immemorial.” The group alleged that Jang being the elder brother of Naath had taken for himself a heifer which their father had be quested to Naath after the death of the father. They cited several other grievances against the Dinka. I am proud that I was one of the five members of the conference selected by the Nuer group to look into the matter, describing the five of us as persons “detribalized.”
Copies of the petition were distributed to a number of SPLM/A commanders and dignitaries including Padang Jieng counties secretaries. To my mind, the Permanent Peace Agreement signed between the Government of Sudan and the SPLM/A on January 9th 2005, does not empower SPLM/A to alter tribal boundaries. The agreement recognizes the boundaries between North and South Sudan as they stood on January 1st 1956. The Anglo-Egyptian Administration “Closed District Ordinance 1922,” stipulated that, the tribes of South Sudan, the Nuba Mountains and the Ingessana Hills were to be left alone and their ways of life were not to be disturbed. They were to be governed by their own customs and traditions provided that they conformed with justice, equity and good conscience. The Sudan Self-Government Act 1954, the Addis Ababa Accord 1972, the re-division of Southern Provinces 1976 and the re-division of South Sudan 1984 never interfered with Southern tribal boundaries. Secondly, the re-division of former Upper Nile Province into Upper Nile, and Jonglei Provinces 1976, did not follow rivers as wished by the Padang Jieng. The Ngok Jieng and the Gajok Nuer on the Southern side of the Sobat River remained with their Kith and Kin in Upper Nile Province. The same with the Shilluk south of Sobat and east of White Nile.
The Ngok Jieng claimed that they are knowledgeable of their alleged historical ownership of Malakal. According to legends, the Nilotic tribes of Jang, Naath and Lou lived in a “cradled land” somewhere in the Sudd region. The Jang and Naath brothers were cattle herders, while Lou, their cousin was a fisherman. The cattle herders had their settlements on higher grounds away from the riverbanks. They moved to the riverian swamps during dry season whey the water receded. They moved back to their settlements inland when the rivers were full and over-flowing their banks.
The Lou on the other hand, being mainly fishermen built their settlements on the ridges along the Nile. The Lou family original home was at “Wicpac” east of lake No. They migrated to and fro north or south or east or west. This, accounts for their presence today in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Equatioria, Bahr El Gazal and Upper Nile. Despite their big numbers the Jang and Naath families have not been able to move out of the Sudan due to their movements being controlled by cattle and grazing. The Naath family migration to the east is recent. The Lou brothers Nyikango(Shilluk), Dimo(Jur Chol), and Gilo(Anuak), left WicPac about the same time due to family quarrels. Dimo went up Bahr El Gazal River while Nyikango and Gilo went northwards following the White Nile. Nykango
Nykango took the western bank while Gilo took the east. On reaching the Sobat River fifty miles north of Lake No, he branched east building his settlements on the ridges along the river. He built Obango and Apiew (where I come from) at the mouth of Sobat River, Odwar and Banglay (where descendents of Akwot referred to in Ngok Jieng petition) live. Banglay means following wild herds in the dialects of all the Shilluk speaking tribes; Adong, Abwong, and Gel Achel (where the Ngok Jieng live); Ulang, Nasir, Mulual, and Jekuo (where Jikang Dor live); Akobo (where Lau live) and Pachalla (where the Anuak live). All the names along the Sobat, Pibor and Gilo rivers are Anuak.
The Shilluk led by Nyikango moved northwards from WicPac. They raided the Fung. The Fung left the Nile and settled at Sennar on the Blue Nile. The Shilluk controlled the Nile until the coming of the Arabs. Names of towns from Gezira Aba up to Khartoum indicate that the Shilluk were once in the area. For instance, Khartoum Akar-Atum (branches meet), Omdurman-Dhoman (confluence of rivers), Tuti Island-Tut (forming a knot), Halifiya El Maluk might indicate the presence of Shilluk kings in the area. The Fung did not push down the Blue Nile and Nubians did not come south up to Khartoum. So it is in all probability that the kings who might have lived there might have been Shilluks. Some Dinkas and Nuers usually give wild assumption that some of their early tribes men might have been to Khartoum area. Such ill-informed people are unfortunately not good liars. The two communities are known to be republicans, how could they be presumed to have had connection with Halifaya El Maluk. Secondly, the areas along the White and Blue Niles in Northern Sudan do not have extensive grazing areas to accommodate the Dinka and the Nuer nomadic way of life. Shilluk songs reveal that the Shilluk recognize as permanent the present tribal boundaries to the South, East and west and that there are no fixed boundaries between the Shilluk and (wad langar) Arabs. The boundaries are moveable to and fro according to strength. “Othajo giti Tungo giti Mom Ajak giti thaci Langar, tahci yow. Thaja yo ki langar thac othac ki langar,” my boundaries with langar are forward and backward. The future of Colo and Langar boundaries and perhaps with the whole South Sudan remains in the balance.
The Shilluks and the (Bel) Anuaks fought ferocious wars at the present cite of Malakal Town. By then the capital of the Shilluk kingdom was at Ditang, the village with dome trees opposite Malakal Airport. Odak was the king then. His son Diwad moved the Capital to Makal (the earth on which we live is a camp while our true home is heaven), compare with the Bible, “Heaven is my throne and earth the foot-stool of my feet.”
The Bel-Colo war finished all Colo adult male princes. This accounts for the accession of a princess, Queen Abudhok to the throne. The khor west of Malakal Airport is called Opetji-meaning many people died in the khor in that war. The village west of Malakal town is known as Owangaliny-meaning smoking war. The final defeat of the Bel made them evacuate the lower Sobat and to push up the river. At that time the Padang were not in the area.
The Turko-Egyptian Administration, in an attempt to intercept Arab slave trader’s cargo, established Tawfigiya town about five miles north of Sobat mouth. The Administration was not successful. The slave traders found another river route by which they could by-pass the town. They sailed up the White Nile and turned to Lol (Khor Arami) about five miles south of Sobat mouth. The town was therefore transferred to Kodok. Again, the government was not successful. The slave cargo by-passed Kodok by night because there is a khor between the town and the river. The Government finally brought the provincial capital to Malakal . It was empty land being cultivated by Obwa-Owangaliny and Ditang people. The government resettled southern freed slaves at Malakia (civilian residential quarters). The freed slaves were grouped according to their respective tribal clans as they had returned to the south arabicized and islamized. If the tribal identity is the basis of claiming land ownership, then the Malakia tribe is the right owner of Malakal town since they did not find anybody there. The assertion that the family of Mabil Riak owns the land of Malakal tribe is the right owner of Malakal town since they did not find anybody there. The assertion that the family of Mabil Riak owns the land of Malakal and Doleib Hill is an open lie. The first Rumbek Secondary School boys composed a song in the early fifties. They assigned the ownership of Malakal to the Shilluk, Juba to the Bari, Torit-Latuka, Maridi Moru, Yambio-Ande, Rumbek-Dinka, and so on. Andrew Wiei and Charles Mabil Riak were there. How can Peter Mabil allow himself be made a fool in the public eyes? The song is today in Radio Omdurman record library. The notion of the name Malakal being interchangeable with the name Sobat is quite ridiculous. Malakal is a town and Sobat a river. If Maadakeel is Malakal, what is the Dinka word for Sobat?… If Maadakeel (Malakal) was the gathering place of calves where was the gathering place of the cows and that of the people who owned them? Who partitioned the land along the White Nile between the Shilluk and the Dinka and when? The truth is that the majority of the so-called Padang intellectuals in Upper Nile and Jonglei are grafted intellectuals. They pole-vaulted from intermediate or even elementary schools to the theological colleges in Beirut, Nairobi and America.
These grafted intellectuals have always caused disorder in the Presbyterian Church, and the boundary disputes between Fangak and Kodok Districts. The official district boundaries left by the British are eight miles away from river Nile and Sobat between Fangak and Kodok. The Dinka Ngok and Dongjol are twenty miles away from the White Nile. All these arrangements are in line with Nilotics legends of the Dinka making their permanent settlements away from the banks of rivers. They make temporary cattle camps in the areas inhabited by the banks of rivers. They make temporary cattle camps in the areas inhabited by the Shilluk, even on islands west of White Nile. The past co-existence between the Shilluk and the Padang Dinka is now in total jeopardy. The grafted Padang intellectuals are to blame for this confusion.
In 1975, they brought a feluka to khor felus so as to collect revenue for Fangak on the Sobat in Kodok District. Late Peter Gatkouth was commissioner of Upper Nile Province. He convened a meeting between the people of Pajur and those of Thoi. Chief Olwak Nyilek asked the commissioner whether or not it makes sense to give a car to river people and a feluka (river boat) to forest people? Although I was the interpreter, the commissioner angrily asked chief Olwak in Shilluk, “Olwak, how long do you think we should remain in the forest?” he asked. Dr. Garang is now providing the answer to Gatkouth question by talking about taking the towns to the people. The Jonglei Canal provides the Padang and others with areas for settlements along the canal. Andrew Wiei initiated a district town for Ngok and Dongjol at Bialiet the home place of Mabil Riak. Sobat is a province with is capital at Bialiet but without buildings. The banks of Sobat have the most suitable soil fro brick making. The Ngok Jieng may best be advised to develop their own land instead of claiming buildings left over by the Turks, Egyptians and the British in Malakal.
The Anglo-Egyptian Administration made Malakal Town Council a full district, Kodok a sub district and Sobat a rural council. The whole Shilluk tribe was administered at Kodok in line with the Closed Districts Ordinance 1922. Although Malakal Town Council was and is a dot inside Kodok district, the Malakia tribe, the British and Egyptian officials inside it could not be governed with Shilluk customs and traditions. The Sobat Rural council on the other hand did not have even a hut as its office in the areas of Ngok and Dongjol. The council office in Malakal Town was a temporary loan to the council by the Province Headquarters. They did not need to pay for it. This temporary arrangement does not make Malakal and Sobat interchangeable.
The poll tax referred to in the petition was not collected to develop Malak. If ever it was used for anything at all, it must have been used, however insignificant, for such services like Kala-Azar eradication.
Concerning Anakdiar, Goldit Akwot left Obwa (Dilal) west of Malakal in order to get wide area for dura cultivation. The land at Anakdiar was leased to him by the chief of Pajur. Similarly, Dhanho Akol Kwathker Akwot obtained land leasement from chief of Pajur. Benny-Nhial is a rainmaker, how could Goldit have obtained land leasement from a rainmaker like Awol Kur. The story we know is that Lwal Goldit raided the Ngok Jieng, subdued them, and took cattle and girls. I am not aware of any war fought by Ngok or other Padang Jieng in the area in which they live now.
Reth Kur Nyidhok (Kur Abdel Fadil) was deported to Omdurman by the British because of raiding the Dinkas and taking their cattle and girls without having to pay dowry. Reth Padiet was installed by the British and crowned during the lifetime of Reth Kur. Reth Kur remarked, “it looks as if the British had consulted me in their selection of my successor.” Late Ayang Aney Kur a grandson of one of the Dinka girls so take as wives be force by Reth Kur and commissioner of Upper Nile Peter Mabil Riak accompanied by some assistant commissioners of the Province of whom I was one visited Payang in Dongjol 1982. Payang is the maternal ancestors home of both Ayang and Mabil.
By intimidating Garang with threats of violence, the Padang hopes to reap as usual high positions in both civil and military ranks. The Padang are very skillful in fishing in troubled waters.
I do not need to explain the meaning of the list of words given in the petition. Omda Awow Anyang will inform anybody interested to know about the name Malakal. Chief Edward Amum and James Bol Kalmal will confirm who were found at the cite of Malakal. Brig. John Awan Awok Tut, Birg. Washington Ador Shawish, D/Governor Philip Nyiding, Ustaz Philip Pagan ect…will explain how their ancestor Akwey and his son Nyibil came to the Shilluk land. The Ownership of land of Fanydwai where Doleib Hill station is situated belongs to Pajur not Pathworo. Both Reth Kwongo Dak and Omda Philip Twong Awin are grandsons of Pathworo. If the Pagak of Pathworo mislead their Kith and kin left at Bialiet, their grandsons will correct them. Guer was son of Joknyang and Joknyang was son of Nyibil. Where the Jieng got the name Guer Malual I do not know.
By giving the Shilluk traditions of burying their dead on the west bank of the White Nile as evidence of Padang ownership of east bank, can they give us archeological evidence of their Padang having been buried at Malakal, Doleib Hill and Anakdiar, since their tribal marks go deep on the skulls of their foreheads? Secondly, can surveyor James Kuol Monytong tell us where his father-in-law, former senator and Omda Kt. Nyodho Okiec grandson of Goldit was buried? I do not know why the Ngok Jieng have allowed themselves to be laughed at by the Southern public over their naïve way of doing things.
However, there is a secret why the Ngok Jieng are bitter over Malakal but which they cannot say publicly. Malakal Municipal Council and Sobat Rural Council, each one qualifying by population for a territorial constituency, were always grouped together. Although the voting power of Sobat Council was about 6,000 votes, they always won the contest by voting 101 percent defeating other candidates who drew their support in Malakal Town, which had a population of above 40,000 voters. Andrew Wieiw Riak lost by only 43 votes in the geographical constituency of Mabaan, Renk, Melut, Kodok, Tonga, Bialiet and Malakal in 1974, simply because I lied to some voters who were dancing near the polling station at Adong and who had been instructed to vote the names of the absentees. I told the youths that I had left Wieiw feasting on the meat of a fox, which I had deposited with the Headmaster’s wife who was a Shilluk. The news that the candidate they had come to vote for was eating the meat of a fox, a thing which would make any Dinka vomit at once, made a good number of the would be voters of absentees names to evacuate the dance and went home. I do not know what James Bol used to defeat Joseph Nyok Abiel Ayom in the 1978 elections.
The Ngok Jieng do not usually accede to defeat. However, as long as the Padang to do not accede to defeat, my advice is that they have to be accorded a special category constituency like the Murle and Raga. This will give them the chance of checking each other at the polls instead of rigging elections by 101 percent.
The other point, which needs clarification, is the alleged Padang braver. The petition exhibits commander George Athur as someone brave and who had remained loyal to Garang in 1991. I do not Garang and I do not know Athur and I do not need to know them. I only congratulate them of the job well done. However to use Athur for intimidations is unfortunately not in order. I understand that Atar Secondary School is now a Koranic school for Padang children collected from Atar Ardeba the zone of operation under commander Athur.
My contention is that loyalty to Garang is not loyalty to ordinary Dinka or others in the area. Ismail Gonyi took over Doleib Hil, kept his Milishas there while he either stayed in Malakal or Khartoum. He moved to Pibor by-passing the so-called SPLA/M Padang Garrison. The forces of the Nuer Kujurs attacked Malakal, where were the so-called Padang gallant SPLA/M forces? Why do the Padang have to claim Malakal Town now after the Peace Agreement?
In a nutshell, Garang should not be frightened by intimidations and threats of violence by people who hope to obtain recognition for their previous participation in the movement.
Finally, I would like to pay tribute to my dear students from Ngok Jieng who died in the struggle like my best student Engineer Manyang, Chol Nyang (Timsa) and others. They died for the Southern cause, but not as martyrs on behalf of the malicious theologians who usually benefit from the tombs of other people’s children.
Similarly, I would like to caution the Padang chiefs, elders and others that these theologians are people whom God himself could not control and discipline. They are agents of Lucifer. They still live in the Dark Ages, mixing up the Church with politics and adultery.
Please keep the south united and one. Any other identity than oneness of the southern people is devil inspired.
Newer news items:
Older news items:
Popular news items:
- Collo Global Action (CGA) Protests Human Rights Violations in Upper Nile state, South Sudan - 29/03/2011 - Read 147833 times
- Should dowry be abolished in Collo community? - 13/11/2008 - Read 27696 times
- THE INSTALLATION OF THE SHILLUK (KING) RETH - 08/02/2008 - Read 19247 times
- الشلك أمة .... ولها حضارة ترقت في مدارج الحضارة الإنسانية - 23/01/2007 - Read 17382 times
- Paper: A Historical background of the Collo - 22/08/2010 - Read 16410 times