Dr. Lam Akol on Aliiny/Paanthou/Heglig

Posted: April 15, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël in Junub Sudan
Tags: ,

I find Jacob Akol’s article interesting, especially the exposition on
where Heglig (Paanthou) belongs. However, I do not understand why he
blames the international community, which has been friendly all along
to the SPLM/A, for believing that Heglig was, indeed, part of today’s
Sudan when the SPLM leadership themselves have admitted so, as he so
eloquently presented in his article. Does he expect them to be more
royal than the King? You see, this is a community that has been made
to believe that only the opinion of the SPLM/A mattered in South

The truth must be told that the SPLM/A leadership bungled the matter.
They had more than one opportunity to correct the mess. Riek Machar
himself, who hails from the Unity State where Heglig belonged, led the
SPLM/A delegation to the HAGUE for the international arbitration. He
very well knew that the map of Abyei he presented included Heglig. He
and his team never raised a finger. Again, when the 1/1/1956 border
with the North was being discussed, Heglig was not included by the
SPLM/A side to be part of South Sudan. It is not among the five areas
now being disputed by the two sides. The international community has
been following all these talks very closely and have been blindly
supporting the SPLM/A. How do you expect them to suddenly buy a new
flimsy argument? Unless you want to say that they do not use their
minds. The international community also knows that Abyei, at least up
to the time of the court of arbitration, was part of the North. It
follows therefore that any part of the Abyei map presented to the
Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) excluded from it becomes part of
North Sudan.

I tend to agree with Akol’s last theory on why GOSS accepted the ABC
ruling without questioning the inclusion of Heglig (Paanthou) in it.
This must be the only reason why Dr Riek Machar was cowed into
defending such an indefensible position. The SPLM/A leadership must
accept the responsibility for having handed Paanthou in a platter to
Sudan. Then and only then will the South Sudanese be persuaded that
their intentions are genuine. One question poses itself: Is the
fighting in Heglig really for claiming it back to South Sudan? If that
were to be the case, why are we not fighting at Hofrat el Nhas, Kafia
Kingi, etc, which are still annexed to Sudan? If that were to be the
case, are the Sudan rebels, who admitted in the media that they were
fighting in Heglig, really fighting to reduce the size of their
country by taking Heglig out of it?

I do not believe for a second that the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki
Moon, gave an “ultimatum to Kiir” to pull his troops out of Heglig. He
was only conveying the resolution of the UN Security Council which
URGED South Sudan to pull its troops out of Heglig and URGED Sudan to
stop bombing areas in South Sudan. When South Sudan joined the UN in
July last year it must have read the UN Charter which clearly
specifies that the Security Council is the custodian of World Peace
and Security. Why should they be surprised when the UNSC is exercising
its authority mandated to it by more than 190 countries including
South Sudan?

We should stop scapegoating and face our problems squarely. We said
it time and again that South Sudan needs the consensus of all its
stakeholders, especially the political parties, more than any time
before. The SPLM/A alone cannot deliver the country. This is the time
it must humble itself and begin to think that the country belongs to
all, government and the opposition.

Dr Lam Akol.

  1. egshsehseh says:

    There are some attention-grabbing time limits in this article however I dont know if I see all of them heart to heart. There is some validity however I’ll take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we wish more! Added to FeedBurner as properly


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