Kalkuel State: A District of Rich History

Posted: December 31, 2015 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Ariik Atekdit, Columnists, Commentary, Contributing Writers

By Ariik Atekdit, Tonj, South Sudan

28 governors with president kiir

The swearing in ceremony of 28 governors in Juba, South Sudan, 29 Dec 2015

December 31, 2015 (SSB) — In the former British Colonial era in the Sudan; Kalkuel/Tonj had been one of the important and a strong economic strength for the British Empire in Africa. During the Second World War all the European colonies instructed their colonial areas to support them on War.

In the Sudan, Tonj District was reported to have helped so strongly in supporting the British Empire especially in the area of food logistic. Thousands of bulls and cows in the area were collected in Tonj District to be taken to warfront to support Britain on that war.

Another important district that supported on that war and ranking second after Tonj district in the Sudan is said to be: Yei River District in Equatoria Region. This proves that Tonj/Kalkuel is such a great and rich region even during the earlier days of our forefathers.

Tonj is also ranked as one of the oldest and historical cities in South Sudan with positive and rich history during the days of South Sudan war of liberation.

The War that got initiated in the last century that has resulted into the South Sudan independence was run by an influential politician from Tonj District. Veteran William Deng Nhial who was killed in 1963 by Arabs was among the first ideological South Sudanese intellectuals to have spearheaded and struggled for the right of South Sudan freedom.

In 1996 when even the Arab based Government wanted to create a state for Gogrial and Tonj Communities they chose to name it Warrap State. Warrap town is another small urban centre within Tonj Region and the capital was to be located in Warrap it was luck of history. Now that Twic and Gogrial States are newly created; they are getting their independence from Tonj Region.

History has it that the Tonj Region is a very big constituency out of which Gogrial got born before now. Abyei Region before 1905 was part of our administration.

In early and late 1990s the SPLM/A movement fighting the Khartoum regime was in Tonj Region around the areas of Thiet, Yinhkuel, Ngabagook and Mayom Abun areas. Tonj and Rumbek were used during the war to be the logistics centres in the war of fighting the Arabs and rebellion of Riek Machar and Kerubino Kuanyin Bol.

The truth still remained that before the capture of Rumbek town and Yirol most of the military and food logistics was in Tonj region’s villages. Yinhkuel mostly was the SPLA strongest Headquarters in the war that was aimed to liberate the whole Sudan. Our local communities like others in Greater Bahr el Ghazal Region have collected several bulls monthly to support SPLA war of liberation endlessly.

The 1999 Wunlit Peace Accord was held within Tonj District. The fact is that peace agreement which was mostly initiated by New Sudan Council of Churches and other peace loving organizations paved a positive way to Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). At least that moment did not occur anywhere but in Kalkuel.

When peace came Tonj Region was the only place in South Sudan selected for reorganization of the SPLA soldiers at Akucchieng. All the SPLA soldiers being from Nuba, Ingassana and South Sudanese were re-organized, re-trained, re-structured and re-instructed in Akucchieng before sending them to joint integrated units (JIUs) those forces successfully monitored and supervised CPA to implementation without doubt.

My Dinka (Muonyjang) communities across South Sudan are well-versed with Wanhalel Dinka Customary Laws (Ganuun Wanhalel);all those laws that are now used to govern Dinka Communities were first drafted and formulated at home in what is now Tonj/Kalkuel State.

Economically Kalkuel State is a very rich region. In we have a plenty of oil underground waiting to be exploited for the benefit of the general South Sudanese and most of the swampy areas fall within this region between them and the other two Northern and Southern Liech States. Our Toich areas are extending from Konggor area, Lou Ariik, Apuk Padoc, Lou Paher and Luanyjang swampy areas. They are very rich with resources and if well-used the region shall quickly get developed.

When war broke out in 2013 Tonj sons and daughters did not aim guns against their fellow South Sudanese. Our intellectuals though most of them are not employed, they didn’t join SPLM-FPDs to internationalize South Sudan political affairs negatively.

There was no any single general of our sons and daughters who had tried to join Dr Riek Machar to fight against the people of South Sudan. Very strongly we participated in bringing peace back to South Sudan and defended the constitution and the sovereignty.

 The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.

  1. Abusala says:

    South Sudan was not liberated by Kalkuel nor Yinhkuel these people are the one drawback south sudan because they are still fighting among themselves due to cattle raider.


  2. Bak Chan Bol says:

    Late William Deng Nhial assassinated 1968


  3. Mayen Arop says:

    Rich history which was inhabited by Great unsung elders we will never forget!

    but now we have elders who work on sections and desires of their indigenous payams they particularly belong, who have absolute greed and support in land grabbing causing and fueling intercommunal fightings, favouring and taking one side.


  4. SPLA OYEE says:

    What is difference between British and South Sudanese? If KalKuel Tonj is so rich as proclaimed by the writer, then why doesn’t KalKuel now support South Sudanese who are suffering from hunger? Many people had gone to Sudan due to hunger. Or don’t people in KalKuel see South Sudanese as people to be helped with that abundant richness? When will South Sudanese benefit from KalKuel richness with food and cows and bulls?
    Thank you,


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