Posted: February 23, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Arop Madut-Arop, Books, Columnists, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers


By Hon. Arop Madut-Arop, Nairobi, Kenya

...the late Luol Chol...valiant revolutionary singer of Koriom Division...with Garang'e Mabior in the background under under the tree...with Kuol Majak standing guard

The late Luol Chol, a revolutionary singer of Koryom Division, with John Garang in the background sitting under the tree…with Cde. Kuol Majak standing guard

February 23, 2017 (SSB) — I have read in some social media websites, a statement by the Sudanese President Omar al Bashir and at times by his foreign minister. In his statements President al Bashir categorically, authoritatively and repeatedly stated that the disputed Abyei Region by the two Sudans is a Sudanese area and will remain so until a referendum is conducted in accordance to the 2005 Naivasha Comprehensive Peace Agreement which will enable the Ngok Dinka People, as the permanent inhabitants of the area, to decide where their area, which has been administered in Kordofan, as a result of an administrative Order in 1905, by the then colonial governor of Sudan, Sir Wingate, to protect the Ngok Dinka citizens against the banned evil slave trafficking by the Misseriya Arab.

As a citizen of this no mean region, I decide to publish a chapter from my unpublished book, “The Ngok Dinka In Historical Perspective.” The attached chapter, the Ngok Dinka Chief Kuol Arop and the Misseriya Sheikh Nimr Ali peaceful coexistent agreement is being released for publication in effort to shed light on the controversy over the right ownership of the Abyei Region. Needless to stress that it was because of this agreement that allows the Misseriya Arabs to traverse the Ngok Dinka area annually. Before the reconquest and during the Turco-Egyptian and Mahdist rules the Misseriya Cattle, were (mostly in Darfur region) were only allowed and traversed the part of the Kiir Ader in Dinka Malual country.  I would be grateful if your esteemed Website can publish this piece from my unpublished well researched manuscript which I hope will soon go to print.

Hon Arop Madut Arop (MP), who represents Abyei Region in the Transitional Legislative Assembly in Juba and the author of two books: Sudan’s Painful Road to Peace and The Genesis of Political Consciousness in South Sudan

Following the captured of Omdurman by the Anglo-Egyptian forces in September 1897, bringing to an end the Mahdist miss rule, most of the last war was savagely fought in El Obeid, the supposed provincial capital of Kordofan. When the invaders arrived at El obeid, it was found littered with thousands of the dead bodies of the Mahdist Dervishes (insurgents who reportedly staged the last desperate battle).

The new authorities found it expedient and decided to relocate the capital from El Obeid to Talodi in the Nuba Mountains in the south. El Obeid, the provincial capital remained at Talodi until well after peace and security was completely established and the province divided into four Administrative Units, Districts.

When the provincial Capital of Kordofan was moved from Talodi in the Nuba Mountains to El Obeid, the province was divided up into four districts; northern District at Sodiri, eastern District at Umruaba, the southern District at Kadugli and the Western District at Nahud. The files concerning Sultan Kuol Arop area were sent to Nahud, the new District of Western Kordofan.

As soon as he was appointed Paramount Chief of the Ngok Dinka Chiefdoms, Sultan Kuol Arop visited Nahud, the capital of the newly established Kordofan western District and accused Sultan Ali Jula for violating the ban on slave trafficking. He told the District Commissioner that, Ali Jula the leader of the Misseriya Arab had, on a number of occasions raided Ngok Dinka area, for slave trafficking and cattle rustling. Sultan Kuol Arop reminded the District authorities of the previous complaint he raised at Talodi in 1910 and the warning that was given to Ali Jula concerning the same crime.

The western District authorities who had apparently received many reports earlier against Ali Jula for repeatedly violating the ban on slave trafficking and cattle raiding and; apparently with the hindsight of his background history as a former Mahdist insurgent, inter alia, Sultan Ali Jula was summoned to Nahud and dismissed from his position as the Paramount Chief of the Misseriya Ajaeira. Wih the apparent support of Sultan Kuol Arop, Ali Jula’s son Nimr was appointed in his place as the overall Sultan of the Misseriya.

It was in this light that, the new Misseriya leader, Sultan Nimr Ali Jula established good woring relations with his southern neighbour, Sultan Kuol Arop Biong who had supported his appointment as the paramount chief of the Misseriya. With immediate effect, the two chiefs agreed to allow the Misseriya cattle herders; that had increasingly become numerous and were affected badly during the Mahdist insurgency, to traverse Ngok

Dinka land annually during the dry season, when there was water and pasture shortages in the Misseriya country.

The Sultan Kuol Arop-Sheikh Nimr Ali Jula détente and peaceful cooperation agreement is given credence by the Abyei Border Commission Report experts who stated and I quote. The Ragaba (Ngaol) was not visited by the Humr at the beginning of the century (1900 hundred). The ABC Report added that, the Humr people were able to expand their seasonal use of the area only later in the Condominium period (1899-1956) as a result of the stability fostered by the government of the day and the good relations between the ruling families of the Ngok and Humr.1 The ABC experts Report also established that the Ragaba ez Zarga has been a site of the Ngok Dinka permanent settlement since at least in the late eighteen century ( late 1700).2 This was formally recognized by the Misseriya in the peace agreement between the Humr and the Ngok of March 1965.3

In efforts to avoid any future clash between the two neighbouring tribesmen over the pastures, Misseriya and Ngok chiefs made the following agreement. The Ngok Dinka Misseriya agreement allowed the Misseriya to traverse the Ngok Dinka area annually, beginning from the start of the dry season without hindrance. The Ngok Dinka cattlemen would also traverse the part of Misseriya Qooz i.e. (dry land) whenever there was flood in the Ngok Dinka area.

The Misseryia Ajaeira tribesmen, since Kuol Arop signed a detene, with his Misseriya counterpart Nimr Ali Jula (1920,s) the Misseriya cattle herders, as a tradition, spent the months of June, July, August and September around Muglad and Babanusa areas, where they do some cultivation during the rainy season. When the water and pastures become scanty, the Misseriya and their cattle often moved with their cattle to the Qooz, a vast waterless landmass between the Misseriya region and the Ngok Dinka country in the South where they spent the months of October, November and December each year.

In December, when the Ngok Dinka cattle herders would have moved away from the Ngol/Ngaol area to the central Ngok Dinka land, often after the second harvest (Anguol), the Misseriya would replace them there. In January, when the Ngok Dinka cattle have moved to the Toic pasture land, south of the river Kiir, the Misseriya would move to the central Ngok Dinka land. By February when the Twic cattlemen have moved to Apuk area in Gogrial east (Toiny Apuk), the Ngok Dinka cattlemen would move to Twic area.

At the beginning of the rainy season in April, the Twic cattle herders would move back to Twic area to manure their fields in readiness for the cultivation season when the rains would fall. The Ngok Dinka would also move back to their Toic, south of Kiir River where they would stay until the rains fall in May.

By this time, the Misseriya would have started moving away from central Ngok Dinka to Ngol area in anticipation of their northward journey to their homeland starting from June. By June the Ngok Dinka people would divide themselves, with milking cows remaining in the permanent homesteads while the young men move to Ngol area where they would remain there until the next winter season begins.

In July, August and September, the Misseriya and their cattle would be in Muglad and Babanusa areas and beyond. But with the rainy season over, the Misseriya cattlemen would move to the Qooz area on their way southward to the Ngok Dinka country. This important smooth rotational arrangement by two great tribal leaders, who wanted peaceful co-existence between their people, remained effectively in force until it was impacted by the Misseriya Dinka conflict (Chapter 5-; four).4

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.

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