Home | News    Tuesday 17 April 2012

S. Sudanese activists in massive demo against UN chief’s remarks


By Julius N. Uma

April 16, 2012 (KUAJOK) - Hundreds of youth, civil society activists, women and students on Monday held huge demonstrations in South Sudan’s Warrap and Northern Bahr el Ghazal states protesting against the United Nations’ calls for the withdrawal of southern forces from the disputed Heglig oil region.

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Civil society activists demonstrate in Warrap state capital, Kuajok, April 16, 2012 (Julius Uma/ST)

South Sudan’s army (SPLA) say that it has held the region for nearly a week, although the Sudan Armed Forces have claimed to have retaken part if the area. Neither claim has been independently verified as fierce clashes continue.

In Kuajok, the Warrap State capital, protestors chanted slogans in support of South Sudan president, Salva Kiir, while strongly condemning UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon and Sudanese leader, Omar Hassan Al-Bashir.

“The UN Secretary General must apologise for his unpolished statement,” read one of the placards, while another urged the international community to be fair to both Sudan and South Sudan.

Speaking in the South Sudanese parliament on Thursday Kiir said that Ban had given him an "order" to withdraw from the region. Protests have been organised in the capital Juba, Jonglei and Lakes State against the international community’s call for the SPLA to leave the area.

The protestors also handed over a strongly-worded petition to the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) state coordination office, in which they expressed firm support towards the SPLA’s occupation of Panthou - as the Heglig region is known in Dinka.

The army’s actions, they argued in the petition, was in retaliation for SAF’s alleged killing of innocent civilians in South Sudan through a series of aerial bombardments in several parts of Unity State.

“We the youth, civil society organisations and the entire public of Warrap State are deeply saddened by the recent statement made by Ban Ki-Moon in which he ordered President Kiir to withdraw in Panthou,” partly reads the petition.

It added, “Such a statement shows the limited knowledge of the UN Secretary General to address the issues that are still outstanding between the North and South Sudan since the time the CPA [Comprehensive Peace Agreement] and after the referendum period.”

The protestors draw parallels with SAF’s occupation of the Abyei area in May last year, which displaced thousand of people and ask why Khartoum was not put under as much pressure to withdraw its forces.

Saaman Dau Chan, a protestor in Warrap State told Sudan Tribune he fully supports the SPLA’s occupation of Panthou/Helglig, which he claimed is part of South Sudan as per the border as it was at Sudan’s independence from Britain in 1956.

“We need to refer back to the 1956 [agreements] in order to resolve this matter,” he said, as another chanted, “Yes, Yes Panthou! No, No Heglig”.

The protestors urged the UN, Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the European Union and the Arab League, among others to seek immediate remedies to resolve all outstanding issues between Sudan and South Sudan.

In the run up to the Heglig clashes both Juba and Khartoum expressed dissatisfaction with the African Union’s role chairing the post-independence talks in Addis Ababa.

Upon receiving the petition, Fergus Boyle, the UNMISS civil affair officers in Warrap State lauded the activists for their peaceful stand on the contentious issues at hand. Although he did not elaborate on the detail of the petition, Boyle pledged to ensure that the document reaches the office of the UN Secretary General.

He however reiterated the UN and African Union’s earlier calls for both countries’ troops to pull out of the disputed region for “the sake of peace”.

Later on, the protestors marched to the council of ministers to deliver a similar petition to Warrap’s deputy governor, Yel Mareng.


A group of activists on Monday paralysed business in Aweil, the Northern Bahr el Ghazal capital, with a similar demonstration in support of the SPLA’s occupation of Heglig. They too submitted a petition to UNMISS.

“We will never withdraw from Heglig since it is part of South Sudan,” said the group in a press release extended to Sudan Tribune.

Angok Arthur Akuein, an activist from Northern Bahr el Ghazal said the peaceful demonstration was not only in support of the SPLA but to further condemn the Sudanese government for its provocative military aggression towards South Sudan.

“The Sudan government has been waging war against the south through ground attacks and aerial bombardments since, before and after secession,” Akuein remarked, while condemning recent calls from UN Secretary General and the African Union demanding withdrawal of southern forces.

Paul Malong Awan, the governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal praised the activists for their peaceful demonstration and willingness to defend South Sudan’s territorial integrity against external aggressors.

“Today you have shown the spirit of togetherness and I urge you to continue with the same spirit. We are ready to support you as [a] government,” Awan told the activists gathered at the state council of ministers.


Meanwhile, the UN Secretary-General on Monday reiterated his deep concern over continued hostilities between Sudan and South Sudan, including its impact on innocent civilians.

In a statement the UN chief called on both parties to end the fighting immediately and to respect international humanitarian law and the protection of civilians.

The UN chief urged the Government of Sudan to cease immediately all aerial bombardment of South Sudanese territory, while echoing earlier calls on the Government of South Sudan to withdraw immediately from Heglig. He asked that the two sides use legal and diplomatic instruments to address the status of oil-rich area, which until last week supplied Khartoum with half its oil production.

“The Secretary-General is alarmed over reports received this weekend of the build-up of armed militia in the Abyei Area, which is in violation of the 20 June Agreement in which the parties committed themselves to the immediate withdrawal of all armed elements from the Abyei Area,” the statement said.

The Secretary-General, it added, calls on the Government of Sudan to ensure the full and immediate withdrawal of these elements from the Area.


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  • 17 April 2012 07:58, by Sir King

    Ban Kimoon should go and solve the problems between South and North Korea. He should leave us alone. How does he expect us to abandon our land to foreign country Sudan. And he should remember that Arabs were in control of whole Sudan land before South Sudan separated and so, Arabs have tried to grasp our rich land and named them by their own words like Panthou(Aliny) they called it Heglig.

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    • 17 April 2012 08:28, by Lango2010

      I thank all the states of South Sudan for marching in solidarity in line with Army about panthou and other lost territories to north. there is no fareness in the world, someone is kicking you and because they think you are weak, they tell you to apologize to the Offender.
      it is just a miscalled to this bitches of the north. the real game will soon follow unless they go back to 1956 border line.

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      • 17 April 2012 09:33, by Chok Deng

        Thanks S.Sudanese activitists.

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    • 18 April 2012 03:16, by Paul

      Agnes Oswaha, as South Sudan representative to UN is failing us terribly at the UN desk!!! Who in the world decided to appoint her as our representative? dumb!

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  • 17 April 2012 08:07, by E. Defense Forces

    Weapons and documents found in the house of Deputy President of South Sudan in Khartoum.
    Ahmed Haroun and descend on the island and to the lines Alamamihma South Sudan

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    • 17 April 2012 18:58, by Ruach

      E defense Force.
      You are very stupid to post and trusted whatever is posted by Arabs.These weapons were brought in their house to expose them into arsh conditions.

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  • 17 April 2012 08:50, by Madina Tonj

    I know many Southern Sudanese people are so upset about statements from both sides AU and UN. There are many violation which Khartoum regime have been doing since UN troops present in Sudan and we haven’t heard any such statement by AU and UN. It is clear now AU are being tribe to deny the real African suffering for long time in Sudan. UN also are seem to support the dictatorship man al Bashir

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  • 17 April 2012 09:14, by mohammed ali

    It is just laughable! Ban Ki Moon should appologize for " ordering" our president! Did he order him? Can the top diplomat of the world use such a language? The world is just laughing! Blame your drunkun president for his ignorance and stupid thuggish remarks, not Moon!I don’t know from where did they come with this new name for Heglig? Again a product of ignorance and brain washing!...con

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    • 17 April 2012 09:22, by mohammed ali

      ..The ignorant & brain-washed thought that Heglig is an Arab name, so they came with an invented name of Panhouo or whatever! There very few names of Arabic origin.If the name gives the right to posses the land then Heglih is very old we donnot know what does it mean , just like most of the towns of Sudan! This means it does belong to those pple, but not to those of the new invented name!

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      • 17 April 2012 16:08, by Makavelli

        Mohamed Ali,
        can you give us any historical documents that placed Panthou(heglig)within North Sudan’s 1956 border? If not than don’t waste your time ridiculing the assertion by South Sudan that Panthou belong to them and it is within their 1956’s borderline. South Sudan was happily willing to prove that to your govt at the negotiations in Adis Ababa for the last six years but your racist govt refu

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        • 17 April 2012 16:33, by Makavelli

          he is naked and he is expose to not only Sudanese but the who world. he is wanted and anything he does right now is adding to his file at the ICC case. However, i will tell you this Mohamed Ali, we in South Sudan know the enemy is not the northern Sudanese people, the enemy is the govt they support. however, the majority of northerners now realize that it wasn’t "suothern problems" but north

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      • 17 April 2012 16:21, by Makavelli

        refused to address the matters peacefully. because they know the have case at all. they want to occupied these oil rich areas by force. however, we can assure you that you’re govt was dead wrong. they will never reap benefits of any resources of South Sudan ever. There time for jihad-ism in Sudan is over, you’re master of jihadist imam Al-trabi knows it. lastly, your bashir "King is naked"

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        • 17 April 2012 16:23, by Makavelli

          I mean, they have no case at all.

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      • 17 April 2012 19:07, by Rommel

        Mohammed Ali:

        You have a propensity for making things up as you go along. How many times have I caught you in a lie!? Your word on such matters are worthless. There was NO "Heglig" prior to Nimeiri.


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      • 18 April 2012 02:46, by Daniel Buolmawei

        You are wrong my friend Mohammed. We don’t care whether Helglig means Arabic or something. What we do care is why President Numeiry changed Panthou Dinka name of the town to Helglig? That’s our concern. After the discovery of oil in these areas, every name there was changed including Western Upper Nile State into "Unity." Unity is never Arabic word, but why Unity instead of Western Upper Nile?

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        • 18 April 2012 02:51, by Daniel Buolmawei

          Numeiry’s intentions were to make these oil areas controversial because he knew South Sudan one day would secede these areas will be claimed by sides like now as meeting points and not Southern Sudanese areas. An evil plan by oil greedy president. You will not get our panthou, Kersana, Abyei, etc.

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  • 17 April 2012 12:38, by Hitler

    Hey! did i read in this post that there is a build up of militia in Abyei being organized by the islamists jalabas? Abyei must be assaulted immediately. These militias can not maintain the tempo and audacity of our force when we rain on them. Get those arms immediately and create our first war museum artifacts. Lets start it with Abyei.

    repondre message

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