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Any new conflict over Abyei will end in Kordofan – South Sudanese official

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By Ngor Arol Garang

March 31, 2011 (WAU) – A key official from the regional government of South Sudan on Thursday warned that any next war involving the north against the south could involve fighting in the Misseriya town of Muglad in South Kordofan.

Students from the southern Abyei oil region demonstrate outside the South Sudan coordinator office against the delays of the Abyei referendum in Khartoum November 4, 2010 (Reuters)

Tensions have been running high in Abyei since January’s independence referendum for South Sudan, in which majority voted overwhelmingly to endorse formation of the new independent nation out of the North.

Under the 2005 peace deal which ended over two decades of north-south conflict, the people of Abyei, like the people of South Sudan, were granted the right - in the Abyei protocol - to hold a simultaneous plebiscite on its own future, as to whether it would want remain part of Kordofan in Central Sudan or return to the South from where they were transferred in 1905.

The vote was postponed indefinitely, with Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and the South’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) failing to reach a consensus over who should be eligible to vote.

The renewed accusations and a build-up of military weapons in the oil producing region by forces from both north and south Sudan is raising fears of further violence in the flashpoint border region.

On Wednesday, General Moses Obi, the force commander of the United Nation Mission in Sudan told reporters in the national capital Khartoum that, with the northern and southern armies deploying extra troops near the volatile region, and in the absence of a political solution, the situation in Abyei could quickly deteriorate.

"Both sides have their formations not too far from Abyei. They are all within their rights to deploy. But if the Abyei situation is not addressed, those deployments are near enough to influence Abyei at short notice," he said. "Since early January there have been deaths, there have been displacements. And if the stalemate continues politically, the risk of confrontation remains and could escalate."

Brigadier General, Yel Mayar Mareng, deputy of Warrap State warned in an interview with Sudan Tribune on Thursday from Kuajok, capital of Warrap State that any another attack on Abyei would escalate into large scale of conflict that he said would last in Muglad.

"There are people in the north who says the issue of Abyei is only an issue for Dinka Ngok. This concept is wrong and those with such thinking need to be told openly that Abyei is part and parcel of South Sudan. It belongs to the South by all definitions and if there is an attack and fighting in Abyei it means a fighting against the south", said Mareng.

The senior official of the SPLM said the Misseriya do not deserve a single right to vote in the referendum because they are not Dinka Ngok transferred to Kordofan from Bahr el Ghazal in 1905 and do not have legal claim in the area.

"I repeat the so call Misseriya do not have any right to claim in Abyei because they are not part of the Dinka Ngok transferred to Kordofan from Bahr el Ghazal in 1905. The vote is the Dinka Ngok seeking to return [to] Bahr el Ghazal from where they were transferred to Kordofan by the British in 1905. Was the Misseriya part of Dinka Ngok? If they need water the government of south Sudan recognizes this on humanitarian ground and cannot be forced," said Mareng.

The senior government official said Misseriya should not allow themselves to be deceived by individuals in the NCP government in Khartoum to fight the war on their behalf; they only needed to know where their interest is.

"The Misseriya should not allow Khartoum to use them to fight their war. They need to know where their interest is and if they accept to be used the next war between the south and north would end in Muglad," warned Mareng.

"The Misseriya need to know this and the importance of peaceful coexistence and if they do not know they have prepare for war, may God prohibit, will end in their area," said the senior official from Southern state of Warrap.

Mareng is the first senior government official from southern Sudan to adopt war like words and threatens to take war to Misseriya land. His reaction appears as response to President Bashir’s insistence to include Misseriya in Abyei referendum vote. President Bashir, in statements broadcasted from the Qatari capital, Doha, by Sudan TV said the problem of Abyei cannot be solved without Misseriya participation in the referendum vote.

"The problem of Abyei cannot be solved without the Arab Misseriya nomads participating in a referendum on the status of the disputed border region."

"We are saying, loud and clear, that there will be no referendum on Abyei without the Misseriya," Bashir said in Doha late on Wednesday, a speech broadcasted live on Sudanese National Television and published in Thursday’s newspapers.

"The Abyei protocol states clearly that the inhabitants of the region, the Ngok Dinka and the other citizens, have the right to participate in the referendum."We refuse this division between first and second class citizens, between settled and nomadic. They are all Sudanese and they have the same rights," he added.

Heavy fighting erupted in the disputed region last January allegedly over rumors that Dinka Ngok planned to unilaterally join the South erupted between the two rival groups. Dozens were reported to have been killed and several injured.

However, the traditional leaders reacted swiftly to contain the situation resulting in the Kadugli Agreement which they signed on 13 and 17 January 2011.

But, the area witnessed resumption of another heavy fighting which saw the use of heavy machine guns and other military weapons mounted on vehicles, between the armed groups from the Nine Dinka Ngok and rival Misseriya, allegedly backed up by the pro government militiamen known as Popular Defense Forces, in more than three different locations along the Abyei border in late February and in the first week of March 2011.

Officials and locals from Abyei said over 100 people were killed as several others sustained injuries on both sides. Both North and south Sudan have also traded accusations of each sending "irregular" soldiers to the disputed region, in a violation of a January peace accord, which calls on all forces to withdraw from the area except for special joint units of northern and southern troops alongside UN peacekeepers

The SPLM officials in the Abyei administration and the local chiefs accuse the Misseriya of violating Kadugli agreement while the Misseriya claim their cattle herders were blocked by the SPLA from going further south to access water and pasture by armed groups from the Dinka Ngok.

Khartoum warned two weeks ago of possible armed confrontation if the southern army does not pull its troops out of the oil-producing region. The warning came in response to the SPLM’s charges that Khartoum was arming Arab tribes all along the north-south border with the intention to annex areas containing oil wells.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

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  • 1 April 2011 05:14, by Omoni jr

    Goood warning mr. general,but let it not only works in mouth,Arabs understand only the action.
    And you need also to arm our civilians in Abyei too,so that they can defend themselves from tyrant regime in khartoum.
    To all the generals who are keeping running up and down like monkeys gettting happy when there too many wild friuts on the ground,be warned that there is time for everything,one day one time you will be asking yourselves and confess to the people of south sudan.

    • 3 April 2011 08:55, by Makjohnson

      Abyei youth should not just crying in a distent while it is time for them to lead the fight for their encestry land or they could not encourage others to fights for them. It is clan by clan fights even if it envolve others from both side is because of their weak and poor traditional integrity.
      What make matter worse is, people of South Sudan have came to understand the advices given to Kiir by those individual Abyei opportunists are that detroying South from within while their children contribute nothing to protect mothers and fathers home.They let the Abyei hero- Peter Gatdet defect without calculating who is remaining there from their coward General.
      Wait and see the next step who will fights for them
      Makjohnson

  • 1 April 2011 05:24, by Makuei

    Comrade Mereng

    Congratulations!!!

    "I repeat the so call Misseriya do not have any right to claim in Abyei because they are not part of the Dinka Ngok transferred to Kordofan from Bahr el Ghazal in 1905. The vote is the Dinka Ngok seeking to return [to] Bahr el Ghazal from where they were transferred to Kordofan by the British in 1905. Was the Misseriya part of Dinka Ngok? If they need water the government of south Sudan recognizes this on humanitarian ground and cannot be forced," said Mareng.

    We need voice like this in Juba!!

    • 1 April 2011 06:12, by Hero

      Good General! Not only warning or tough wards are needed,but we must be ready to fight and defend Abyei and the whole of South Sudan if any these provocation escalate further.

      Abyei’s youths must also be prepared not to be caught unprepared when things get nasty.Otherwise,
      Good luck General!

  • 1 April 2011 06:14, by Kim Deng

    Folks,

    Who is going to defend this town since Gen. Tiger Gatdet is not there any more? I doubt if these coward Generals of Abyei get balls and face the Baggara tribes in the fields let alone the SAF.

    • 1 April 2011 06:55, by Omoni jr

      Kimberly Deng,
      please,i do respect you as you are lady,but the question is,why are you always commenting against your own government and its people? you are always hate the people south sudan for no reason.
      You are comments always so negative toward south and positive toward north [ SOUTH ENEMIES]. When so called Dog Gatdet was in SPLA/M, You were also hating him,and keep backing Arabs as you fellows brothers.I thought Riek Machar is from Nuer too and still in Juba.So are you gonna tell him to the suit of Gatdet militia?

      • 1 April 2011 07:22, by Covert

        Omoni jr,

        Please Save your valuable words, you can’t and will never make any sense to them, they were born that way.

    • 1 April 2011 16:41, by Nyiak

      Thank you so much General, you are absolutely right. Abyei is a precious part of the South and it deserves sacrifices to be offered. We should decide either to leave this problem to be solved by the International community including UK or we sweep AL Massiriyya and the NCP/NIF away from abyei by force.

      To you KIM DENG there is no doubt that you are mind is a mind of an infant. You just a block headed tribal person . you better join your Militia and fight for your stomuch, Khartoum will give dry bread to eat.

    • 2 April 2011 16:52, by Martin Muong

      SPLA will defend it. Just relax and feel free and don’t show your pusillanimous on this website.For your information Peter Gadet is not a national hero.So don’t worry about his defection from South.Please stop intimidating people. If SPLA manage to captured many towns during critical time, do you think they will fail?.It remain only 400000 hours to declare the independence of Southern Sudan. You will enjoy it although you show your orchestrated voice in your remark. if you feel like follow a rebellious Gen Peter Gadet why don’t you join him instead?.

    • 2 April 2011 17:22, by Martin Muong

      Kim Deng,
      You will never be happy unless GOSS transfer power to your mother.If not, you will end up inciting your own people.
      Nothing is heinous than being anti-government.Please cut your losses.By the way who is Peter Gadet?. He is not Judas Iscariot who join SPLA in 2006?. This time he will not extricate from SPLA warriors.

  • 1 April 2011 08:25, by James Garang

    My advise are direct to SPLM officals and Military officers of Southern Sudan to make good tactics of war between South Sudan and North Sudan because this war is not easly and we are accepted to sacrifices our life for sake of our full right,because Abyei is Southern Sudan land and even the tribe of Abyei are well known that they are belong to Southern Sudan tribe Dinka without connection with Arab.
    For what I know Arab are proud with Russian Jets fighters and Chinese helicopters gunship. but they do not know that world is largest not Russian and Chinese alone who have that technology. so we pray to Almighty God to touch the hearts of other powerful nations to give us the anti of those warplane because Arab know very well that they do not defeat us on the ground war just they hope that they will defeat us through airfighting. but they are still with child mind.
    Southern Sudan Oyeeeeeeee let us go to war if is a only option of Arab. God will be on our side.

  • 1 April 2011 10:14, by mohammed ali

    The so called Misseria! Wake up! You said you are fighting for the marginalized people.

    Miseria is part of Abeyei and will vote in the referundum.Miseria were not transfered from anywhere , they were living here for centuries.

    The talk about war is megalomania. You can never ever reach Almuguld.SAF does not need to intervene, Misseria only will be enough.SPLA cannot fight any war as there is no longer an SPLA.Ther are punch of looters who all southerners want to get rid off!

    War means destruction of the oil industry upon which the south budget depends totally!Already 50% of southerners are starving , according to the UN.No help for food is going to come during the financial crises and the surge of food prices.Southerners will not be able to go to the north if a war is started in Abeyei as they used to do during the last war. It will be dangerous. Even for the already 2 million southerners it will be dangerous and unsafe. We are living in peace, let us continue to do so despite seperation. The hegemoney of Abyei boys over the SPLA should not blind the produnt southerners from the wide picture!

    Talkin about war is megalomenia. SPLA had never entered a town during the war. They were fighting in the bush. What the south had achieved with peace could have never achieved with war..

    Negotiation is the only towards Abyei , a win-win situation is good for all. Nobody of you is coming to fight

    • 1 April 2011 14:09, by mack waweru

      Deranged and pathetic Arab called Mohammed Ali,
      Unless you are not a Sudanese national to deny that SPLA had never entered any town during the war. 90% of the whole South was under SPLA/M, plus Bule Nile and Nuba Mountains areas.
      Where did you get this lie? No surprise here since Arabs are genetically liars.
      Be assured that no Arab or Islamic countries will help you this time if the war resumes between the South and North. All your supporters are facing both their military and civil terrorism in their respective countries. Any further attack on Abyei will not only end in Muglad, but El Obeid since all these areas belong to Nuba people.
      Misseria came from Mauritania during the Mahdi war of terrorism against Turko - Egyptian occupation of Sudan. They don’t belong here but since they have been allowed to settle, they must respect the territorial right of indigenous people of Sudan.
      SPLA are not bunch of looters as you allege but pillars of protection to all marginalized Sudanese people in Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile and Darfur. Don’t be deceived by daily lies which Khartoum manufactures to incite Misseria to fight for them in Abyei because of oil.Misseria’s cattle won’t drink it and they have to think critically about what they want and not what you fake Arabs want. Abyei must go back to South; otherwise north will lose more on this matter in the near future and you will regret.
      Mack

      • 2 April 2011 01:24, by mohammed ali

        Mack,

        Racism is a digrace! Pathetic as well!

        You failed to mention a single city which was occupied by the SPLA! Yet you call me lier They couldn’t occupy Jubaa even with the direct help and involvement of the Ugandan Army.Neither Malkal or Waou.

        I am quite sure that no Arab or Islamic country will help us, you donnot need to tell me about that!We donnot want or expect help from anyone and we are capable to defend ourselves.As a matter of fact, some of them were helping you and supplying arms for the SPLA.This will not happen again!

        I donnot advocate any attack from any side and I call for a peacful solution.Any war is going to be disastourous.Megalomenia only will make you feel that you will not suffer from war!

        Almost all of north Sudan belongs to Nubians, not only Al Obeid, I have no problem with that.The blue nile is where the first Islamic state was established by the African Funj in today Sudan. They are the pride of Sudanese muslims.The destroid the Nubian Christian Alodia kingdom at Soba.I think you need to read a little bit about the history of Sudan!Afterall those who supported the SPLA from Nuba mountain and blue nile already feel betrayed by the SPLA, as they only abused their cause to get to seperation.This why the SPLA is putting General Telephone Kocku in jail in Juba with fabricated allegations.

        It is not only me who is saying that the SPLA are looters. All international media reported unprecedented corruption in the South.Even your minister of finance reported in 2008 that there were $ 2 billion not accounted for.Australians are astonished with luxury houses bought by the so called freedom fighters! What do you call someone who "takes" $ 2 billions from the welath of the poor, starving marginalized southerners. Is it simply " petty cash"?!

        You are decieving yourself not me! First there is no significant oil to fight for in Abeyie , it is only 3000 bbd, less than one petro station takes in Khrtoum. Second Messeria will not leave their land in Abeyei even if the NCP accepted the claims of the SPLA. They are ready to fight even the central government and they are capable of doing that!

        You are contradicting yourself! One time you say Khartoum inciting Messeria , the second time you say they should think critically about what they want! Meseria say that they are pure Arabs, but am not and I donnot think or talk about purity!

        Abyei should be solved amicable and peacfully. Both sides should win. This what was suggested by the Americans , the EU and the African Union. The SPLA turned down all proposals.

        Of course the north will loose alot if a war is started , but the south will loose much much more!Life will come to an almost complete halt!This is a fact and not a threat.We donnot want this to happen neither for us nor for you! We want to live in peace and you also live in peace and build your new state.False threat will not frighten us.

        • 2 April 2011 22:20, by mack waweru

          Mohammed Ali,

          The media learnt lies from you people. The media is the second source of evil in this world after you.

          Both the Meisseria and northerners claim to be Arabs while they are not, since lying dominates you both, you cannot tell the truth.
          Yes, racism is disgrace and inhumane, but who practice it?
          It is you people.
          Advise your adventurers and die-hard jehadists in the north that the next war is going to be dirty and you stand to lose much stake on it.

          Mack

  • 1 April 2011 14:22, by Ghai-nyanthy

    Issue of Abyei is not S.P.L.M only to look into it.It’s the responsibility of G.O.S.S include the oppositions and if they failed then their last resort is S.P.L.A which is now South Sudan army.

    It’s not easy to convince these nomads that what they want is not place but water and pastures for their animals which disqualify them having right to vote.

  • 2 April 2011 08:07, by Makuei

    Ali,

    Your dad knows very well that he cant fight 4 wars: Darfur, Eastern Sudan, Nuba and Blue States and thats why they want Misserya tribe to fight their own war.

    Khartoum can’t do this alone by this time!

    Stopping cheating yourself about the past. SPLM/SPLA captured some thousands fake Arabs, who fought on behalf of NIF - who were sent back to Khartoum after peace. And to Assure you SPLA was Rumbek, Bor, Bumma, Pochala, Tority, Kapoeta, Pibor, Yei, Yambio and the list is long ...

    • 2 April 2011 14:44, by mohammed ali

      Makui,

      Let alone my dad, I personally know that we cannot fight 4 wars and we donnot want to fight even a single war. May be you are happy with the wars the "mighty" SPLA is fighting now? By the way how many war they are fighting now? and how many are looming?!

      There is no war in Eastern Sudan, blue nile or Nuba mountain. All had settled through negotiation.There is still a war in Dafrfur but things are settling slowly and we hope that negotiation will come to an end soon.

      Threatening us with war in East Sudan , blue nile or Nuba is " aburned card". They all know that they were cheated by the SPLA to achieve it’s goal to seperate the South and they are very bitter of about betreial by the SPLA.Any interference by the GOSS will be considered as a foregin interferecne and will be dealt with accordingly and very swiftly.They have been warned already about interfering in Darfur!

      Morover do you think the SPLA can fight a war again? They are already used to airconditioned luxury cars, one million dollar offices and luxury villas at home and abroad, fat foregin accounts, nice pure and cold bottled water,first class seats in domestic and international flights, Armany suits and nice iced Jhonny Walker! Who will fight again? Why..for the sake of the marginalzed people! Who cares ?!That was an old lie which nobody is going to beleive again! Ordinary Southerners now say that when we were "colonolized’ by the Jalabba and treated as " second class" citizents , we were living a far much better life, at least we were in peace!Thousands who were repatriated from yhe north through intimidation by the SPLA during the referundum are suffering badly and planing to come back to "enslavement and second class citizentship". Thousands of secondry school and higher education students who were in the north are desperate as there is nothing prepared for them in the promised paradise of the SPLA.While the SPLA freedom fighters send their childrens send their kids to stud abroad paid in hard currency , the money of the marginalized people!They simply see their future dispearing away.

      Who will fight, will you come to fight? will you come at all from your"diaspora" to live in the SPLA promised paradise .I doubt, actualy am sure you won’t!

      I am not cheating myself, but you are! Most of these towns were capture briefly by the SPLA but were driven away by the SAF .Only Rumbek remained in the hand of the SPLA and that was during the time of Nivasha and there was no point in returing it at that time becuse we were preparing for negotation. Toirit was captured by the SPLA during the critical time of the negotiation was considered as a pressure card by the SPLA , this why they pulled out of the negotiation and returned it within a very short time and returned back to the negotiation.

      South Sudan is very big and any gurilla fighters can cause chaos and troubles , just like what is happening now! The fact remain that the SPLA did not retain any stratigic town during the war.

      You are cheating yourself by saying the NCP is pushing the Messeria. Neither the NCP nor the government cannot push the Messeria to do anything. This a fact which the NCP and the SPLA knwo very well! They said very clearly : "we are ready to fight both the central govenment and the SPLA if they try to stop us from taking our rights. We are ready to die for that" They are capable of that!

      The best and only solution for Abeyei is through negotiation.Not because we fear war, because we want peace! But we are reay to defend ourselves



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