Home | Press Releases    Saturday 8 March 2008

Aweil Community urges action on Sudan’s north-south border war

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Aweil Community in the Diaspora demands immediate action on the border (North-South) war

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The Aweil Community in the Diaspora has once again learnt, with great shock, the unprovoked attack by the combined forces of Misseriya militia, Sudan Defense Force (SDF) and Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) against the people of Northern Bahr-El-Ghazal (NBEG) State. The under reported war in NBEG, which started late last year, has claimed hundreds of civilian lives, destroyed million upon million worth of property and displaced thousands of people along the border. On the onset, we, members of Aweil community in the Diaspora, would like to express our deepest condolences to the families of those whose lives have been cut short by this needless and unwarranted war.

The war in Northern Bahr-El-Ghazal did not come as a surprise to citizens of NBEG. In fact, citizens of NBEG, independent observers and analysts knew the NCP backed Misseriya and their allies were planning something sinister against peaceful people of NBEG. This is what exactly happened on March 1st and 2nd when heavily armed militia attacked border areas of NBEG killing dozen civilians and displacing hundreds more. We, members of Aweil community in the Diaspora, are not only outraged by these repeated attacks against our homeland but strongly demand the Government of Sudan to account for all this destruction being wreaked against our people.

Who exactly is on the offensive and why?

The war in Northern Bahr-El-Ghazal has gone on for months now yet something hasn’t been quite clear to Sudanese and all peace loving people across the world: who exactly is initiating this brutal and unnecessary war? Quite frankly, the series of armed confrontations which began back in December 2007 have all been fought on Northern Bahr-El-Ghal soil. Some people may wonder why so. Simply put, the people of NBEG have been on the receiving end throughout the conflict. Members of Misseriya community supported by Sudan Defence Forces and Sudan Armed forces have been on the offensive since the start of the conflict. The NCP proxy forces have been the sole agitators throughout this conflict initiating every single battle waged thus far. To this day, no confrontation has ever taken place on Misseriya land; a fact that, in effect, serves to reinforce the fact that it is Misseriya and their allies who are on the offensive. The motivation of these proxy forces was and continues to be that they want to annex much part of NBEG to the North thereby complicating border demarcation as spelled out in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA.)

It is quite evident that the proxy forces attacking our people have no regard for peace. When this war first broke out last year, a peace delegation led by Sudan Defence Minister, Abdelarhim Mohamed Hussein and SPLM Secretary General, Pa’gan Amuom visited both NBEG and South Kordofan in an effort to restore peace along the border. But before the peace delegation had reached Khartoum after their visit, another scathing attack was launched against Northern Bahr-El-Ghazal catching everyone including the peace delegates by surprise. We thought that blatant disregard for peace effort along the border by Misseriya forces was accidental. However, we were however made to think again when only days after peace and border commission, led by Hon. Aldo Ajou Deng Akuey, en-route to Khartoum, arrived in Aweil to explain to people in NBEG the importance of maintaining peace along the border, the Misseriya and their allies mounted yet another destructive attack displacing further more civilians. This blatant disregard for peace efforts begs more questions than answers, among them: why is Misseriya community and her allies not interested in peace and continue wreaking havoc against neighbouring communities?

But doesn’t South Kordofan State government have a stake in this?

The CPA explicitly states that illegally armed civilian population, both in the South and the North, needed to be disarmed so that there is peace and security across the land. Soon after its formation, the Government of NBEG acted swiftly to disarm all civilian population in NBEG thereby fulfilling the CPA clause on disarmament. On its part, South Kordofan government failed to honor the disarmament clause which demands disarming of civilians thus giving NCP a chance to massively arm Misseriya - the result of which is currently being manifested in ceaseless slaughter and displacement of civilian populations as well as destruction of enormous property both in Darfur and South Sudan, Aweil being the most hit in the latter category. But the question remains: why is South Kordofan government not doing enough to contain its lawless citizens? Why are Misseriya not being disarmed like their counterparts in NBEG? Are Misseriya peace-loving people or are they only being used as cover-up by NCP in its massacre spree? These questions, among others, need to be answered by the South Kordofan State government which has allowed its civilian population to cause havoc in neighboring States at will and with absolute impunity.

NIFization of war:

In our previous statements on the current war, we have reminded everyone that the war in Northern Bhar-El-Ghazal is a proxy war by the NCP against the people of Aweil in particular and South Sudan at large. We gave evidences to support this argument and we intend to reiterate previous evidences in this article. We strongly believe that the NBEG is under attack by both SDF and SAF and here is why: the forces attacking our State are armed with heavy and deadly artillery and high-tech machine guns. Besides, they have hundreds of vehicles which greatly enhance the maneuverability of their heavy artillery. Effectively, the forces attacking our State are not in any way different from regular army; they possess all kinds of sophisticated military hardware. Additionally, the forces attacking NBEG are fully trained and equipped with conventional combat strategies. Therefore, we have all the reasons to believe that forces attacking our peaceful civilians in NBEG are essentially SAF and their PDF allies from Misseriya community.

We need to remind our readers that, not very long ago, the President of the Republic, Omar Hassan El-Bashir, made a public declaration to PDF forces in Wad Medani saying: “I urge leadership of PDF to open training camps and to gather mujahideen…to be ready for anything.” True to his words, that “anything” became clear when his proxy forces, disguising as Misseriya militia, mounted series of destructive attacks on Northern Bahr-El-Ghazal killing hundreds of civilians, looting property and displacing thousands others along the border areas. We also mentioned in our previous statements that the key planners of the ongoing war in NBEG are prominent NCP members who include and not limited to:

1. Lt. Gen (Rtd) Mahadi Babu Nimir former SAF chief of staff and former Sudanese Minister of Defense the tribal head and supervisor of the attack

2. Gen. (Rtd) Fadhal Burma Nasir former member of the revolutionary council during Gen. Dhwar El Dhab Regime

3. Dr. Issa Abshir, former Deputy Governor of Southern Kordofan State

4. Amir Muslam Mustaffa in Charge of mobilization of the Arab tribes at the border and has been a ring leader of the previous attacks at the borders this year and now still executes the same directives in blocking the IDPs and other people coming to Southern Sudan

5. Dir Dere Mohammed Ahmed, leading National Congress Party member, in charge of financing the operation and moral support to the Missiriya militias

6. Maj. Gen. Jenet Hassan Al Amer, in charge of the operations. Gen. Jenet was an attaché in the Sudanese Embassy in Egypt intentionally brought by the Minister of Energy Awadh Al Jazz to annex oil fields in the South to the North.

Most surprisingly, this disastrous war has gone on for months now without any word from the NCP dominated Government of National Unity (GONU). The expectation of many people was that since Sudan is one country, at least until 2011 when Southerners will decide in a referendum whether to remain part of Sudan or a separate country, the security of Sudanese people is an overall responsibility of Sudanese government although autonomous government of South Sudan has some security responsibility for South Sudan region. So, why is the government of Bashir not stopping or at least condemning the current massacre of Northern Bahr-El-Ghazal citizens by supposedly Northern civilians from Misseriya community? Why is Sudan interior minister, Mr. Awad Ahmed not doing anything to restore peace and security along border communities? Unless these questions are satisfactorily answered, we, members of Aweil community in the Diaspora, will continue to believe that our people are being slaughtered by their own government, GONU.

The argument that NCP is behind the constant attack against our people is shared by vast majority of others. For instance, there are many independent analysts and observers around the world who believe that Khartoum is doing everything to reignite North-South conflict. These observers include New York Times Columnist, Nikolas K., who made bleak predication a few days ago when he remarked:

“Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is backing away from the peace agreement, and prodding Arab militias to revive the war with the South Sudan military forces. Small-scale armed clashes have broken out since late last year, and it looks increasingly likely that Darfur will become simply the prologue to a far bloodier conflict that engulfs all Sudan.”

Nikolas’ predication did not come as a surprise to many of us, the current and would be victims of Khartoum military machine. We have repeatedly called on peace loving people world wide to help halt Bashir quest for a second round of genocide in South Sudan which he has already began in Northern Bahr-El-Ghazal before the wounds of previous genocide heal.

Sources within NBEG relayed to us that troops, mainly SAF and PDF, have been massing along the border for days now and that the security situation remains tense and could explode any moment. The mission of these troops is vividly clear: they are preparing for more attacks against our people. From messages coming out of NBEG, it is not longer a secret that NCP is organizing and executing the ongoing conflict in NBEG. It is now up to the Sudanese people who have had to endure the brunt of the last 22 long years of war and the international community who did everything to put an end to the most protracted, destructive and longest of all wars fought on the continent to hold NCP of El-Bashir accountable for trying to unravel peace that brought hope to millions of Sudanese people both in the North and the South.

We demand immediate action along the border:

Besides the destruction inflicted on Aweil citizens, there is also an ongoing hidden massacre being waged against traders and travelers of South Sudanese origin forced by various circumstances to travel to the North. Words have reached members of Aweil community in the Diaspora that there has been a massive reprisal against Aweil traders and travelers that are caught in the Northern part of the border. Many have been killed around Dhein and Marem in a reprisal attack fueled by casualties sustained by aggressors against NBEG. We hold the government of South Kordofan and GONU responsible for the security of our citizens in South Kordofan as government of NBEG and GOSS are responsible for the security of Northern citizens in Aweil. We demand that South Kordofan government provides immediate security to our citizens in its territory so that our citizens are granted a safe corridor on their way home. We also recommend that the governments of NBEG and South Korfodan join forces to ensure security on either side of the border so that the citizens of both States do not become casualties of Khartoum’s proxy war - a war they know nothing about. Citizens of Mading Aweil have suffered a great deal during the previous conflict. Therefore, they can not longer afford to live in constant fear; instead they ought to rebuild their lives and homes after being broken by long war.

Finally, the Aweil Community in the Diaspora is calling on the government of Sudan, Government of South Sudan, International community and all peace loving people the world over to put an immediate end to this brutal, destructive and needless war along the border.

Signed by:

The Aweil Community in the Diaspora
aweilcommunityd@yahoo.com

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