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Episcopal Bishop of Aweil calls for an end to Mile 14 "bickering"

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November 9, 2012 (JUBA) - The Episcopal Bishop of Aweil diocese has called on the citizens of South Sudan’s Northern Bahr el Ghazal and political leaders to unite for common purpose and stop "bickering" over the inclusion of Mile 14 in a buffer zone between South Sudan and neighbouring Sudan agreed in September.

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Abraham Yel Nhial, made the appeal weeks after “a group of business people” from the state came out to denounce remarks made by state governor Paul Malong Awan about 14 miles and demanded that he either “retract” his statement or submit his resignation.

Governor Awan, who served as the commander in the area for the former rebels that have governed South Sudan since a 2005 peace deal with Khartoum, has said he will fight anyone trying to take the area away from his state and has demanded to now how the 14 mile area became included in the buffer zone.

Under the security arrangements signed on 27 September by President Salva Kiir and his Sudanese counterpart Omer Ahmed Hassan El Bashir, both sides have to withdraw their armed forces 10km either side of a notional AU-proposed border line

The South Sudanese negotiators of the deal have stressed that the buffer zone is a temporary measure and that the borderline it is based on is non-binding and will in no way prejudge the final demarcation of the border and resolution of the many disputed areas.

The United Nations Security Council and African Union have both stated that the demilitarised buffer zone, will have no prejudicial impact on either side, as Juba and Khartoum attempt to resolve the many issues resulting from South Sudan’s independence last year. Such assurances, however, did not prevent protests in the South Sudanese capital against the deal and a series of heated public meetings on the issue.

The youthful America-educated religious leader urged native inhabitants of his home state to maintain peace, unity and respect in order to maintain a peaceful community. He advised advising equally against the use of “divisive politics” hate speeches and unnecessary bickering that give wrong signals to incite violence among electorates and leaders.

However, the group of businessman who have criticised the Governor’s questioning of how the 14 miles became part of the safe demilitarize buffer zone, continued their calls for Awan to resign over his treatment of the issue.

“I have always said that it is Governor Paul Malong who vomited out this venom. It was him who came from Addis Ababa and went straight to the press instead of calling a meeting with community leaders to brief them or wait for negotiators to come and tell us what they have discussed and agreed”, Lual Bol Kuan, a native of Northern Bahr el Ghazal state who identifies himself as spokesperson of the group said on Friday.

Kuan, who repeatedly called on Awan to resign during an interview with Sudan Tribune, said the the Governor "cannot have it both ways" by opposing the policies of the ruling SPLM, while remaining part of the government.

"It does not work like that. We are a nation. We are no longer a rebel movement where we had some people acting as independent area commanders. I know some of governors still behave like when they were acting like judges, commissioners, community leaders and at the same time as army commanders. No. We are now [an] independent country with governing institutions implementing policies of the government”, Kuan said.

But Bishop Nhial said it was not time for criticism, asserting that “it is high time” for people to come together people regardless of differences, asserting that the land belongs to the entire group.

In a statement on Thursday Nhial said:

“For those who are not standing with people of Aweil, my prayer is that they would soon realise that the land is for us all and very important more than our jobs or positions or gifts. Those things are temporary. But our land remains so dear to us always for generations. It never gets useless but remain valuable forever. I know there is much to divide today: politics, money, positions, pride, self-interesting, misunderstanding, personal problems, and many others. I write to encourage you not to trade your land with anything else or betray your own people with temporary material things. These things will get finished and land will still be there”.

He described being citizens of Aweil as “a gift” from God and that he hopes people should distinguish us as people who love our land more anything to give it away for things which do not last. I hope the good Lord will indeed bless all our combined efforts and please continue praying for our governor, his government and all 14 miles area supporters for protection”.

Deng Thiep Akok, former Aweil North County Commissioner commended Bishop Nhial for his appeal, adding that the people of Aweil will continue to count on the active engagement of its leaders "on key issues" as they strive to meet the hopes and expectations of people.

“I know many people don’t know that politics is the game full of challenges. Leaders are often faced with many challenges. The issue of 14 miles area now is one such example of challenges which leaders are expected to deal with. They listen carefully to people when issues with alarming concerns arise to take decision based on popular demand. The government of Northern Bahr el Ghazal State under the leadership of Paul Malong Awan should not be left alone regardless of differences”, Akok appealed in an interview with Sudan Tribune on Friday.

James Alic Garang, a native of Northern Bahr el Ghazal studying in United States of America, approved the Bishop’s, adding “few within our community, who for one reason or another, chose to stand aloof over this issue of the land. These people are a minority and should not hold the whole community hostage especially when we have the legitimate concerns”.

Reverend Moses Deng equally appreciated Bishop Nhial for making his call for unity and urged him to go the extra mile to consolidate widening political differences created in the state by the 2010 April elections.

“Our people of Aweil are completely different from other communities. It is actually an honour and privilege to have been born a member of Aweil community. I like one thing with our people. We are peaceful. We do not fight among ourselves. We address our issues in a way that does not translate to violence even if you see us quarreling," Reverend Deng who is currently visiting Juba from the Northern Bahr el Ghazal, told Sudan Tribune at the South Sudan Hotel in Juba on Friday.

He explained that the Bible rejects hate speech and instead advocates for peace and unity among people, in order to address issues of concern as children of God without giving them a hard time.

“We are admonished by the Colossians 4:6. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt that you may know how you ought to answer each one”, he explained. He said he was very concerned about the lives of the people, especially those he said would be uprooted from their ancestral areas when South Sudan’s army (SPLA) withdraws from the 14 mile area.

South Sudan’ Deputy Interior Minister, Salva Mathok Gengdit, told Sudan Tribune on Monday that South Sudan’s police force is ready to be deployed to the border areas where their presence is required to protect civilians.

This week the Defence Ministers of both countries concluded a meeting in Juba to discuss the implementation of the security deal, without revealing when the demilitarisation of the border zone would begin.

Reports have emerged from Juba throughout the week, that South Sudan refused a demand formulated by the Sudanese side asking to deploy joint patrols along the common border in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states where the Sudanese army fight the SPLM-North rebels. Talks are due to continue in Khartoum but a date has not been set.

Reverend Moses Deng called more cooperation from both church and the government at different levels in South Sudan, adding that he believed there was no way democracy could strive without religious leaders being involved in the affairs of the state.

“We recognise the attempt of government in consulting bishops in the country but I wish to state clearly that they are not the ecclesiastical body in South Sudan. We have ecclesiastical body such as the council of churches which brings together different denominations”, reverend Deng explained.

According to him, the effort of Council of Churches to share the concerns with the government in the interest of democracy and the nation were hampered by bureaucracy. "We pray the government makes it flexible for us to have access to its machinery for this cooperation that we seek", he said.

He noted that government had a responsibility towards the people to equip the citizenry by identifying and shaping their skills for productive purposes granting them the opportunity to work.

He further indicated that good leadership is portrayed by the success of the people and not necessarily the policies, asserting that policies must be translated into the success in the lives of the people and this must be evident collectively in people’s living at the end of the year, fulfilling the government’s short and long term plans. “It is with the citizenry that we build a nation”.

He cautioned political leaders to respect the purpose of their call and avoid practices that would undermine the integrity of their offices. He tasked them to work diligently and remain focused in order not to be influenced by the world, especially the love of material resources and craving for positions and power.

(ST)

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  • 10 November 2012 08:38, by Mou

    My gratitude goes to Bishop Abraham and Bishop Moses for taking that courage and strong stand. this is what I want to hear from the church leaders.
    I am with you in that position.
    Thanks
    Stephen Mayuen Mou

    repondre message

    • 10 November 2012 08:49, by Dinka Dominated SPLA/M

      I know this people are mass and lack of understand the legal obligation, the can run to juba street insulting the president but they will be a shame of their lack of understanding, this remind me of CPA when some of them were tell Garang that he is not doing good enough to bring peace to the country, now the resort to Kiir again, shame,

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      • 10 November 2012 09:16, by dinkdong

        Grammar please.

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        • 10 November 2012 09:42, by Ruach

          Land is one of the most precious elements that any one wants to take it by force must be a victim of the land! Any one who supports wrong decisions for this land must be subjected to curses by local inhabitants whose properties are taken without good convince!

          repondre message

        • 10 November 2012 09:45, by Ruach

          Land is one of the most precious elements that any one wants to take it by force must be a victim of the land! Any one who supports wrong decisions for this land must be subjected to curses by local inhabitants whose properties are taken without good convince!

          repondre message

        • 10 November 2012 10:46, by Peacocktail

          His Grace Bishop is doing well and reconciling the people, Peace man, Never preach hatred, our land and our resources, our Leaders keep us respect and we must respect them too. differences are lessen and we shall encounter being it our Land exchange with other resources.Big Thanks his Lordship,•"The world is like a Mask dancing. If you want to see it well, you do not stand in one place"NBeG ours

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      • 10 November 2012 21:12, by Sir King

        Brother Dinka Dominated SPLM/A, Please it is very important to understand first what you wanted to write to the forum rather than continuing with fake ideas against community. How can you say that Aweil never understand? Do you think you are the only persons who can understand better in Gogrial? Please, it is important for you Gogrialists to preserve, instead of going ahead distorting conditions.

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    • 10 November 2012 10:12, by Dinkawarrior

      It’s a great message from God’s servants! literally, you can’t blame anybody for refusal on Mile 14. Because our people lost hope for corruption from Kiir’s Government. Greediness and lies is always impose bitterness and angrily but there is still a window of compromise. Let’s join hands together and do what will be best to our people! Thanks you Abraham and Moses for the encouragement!

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      • 10 November 2012 10:14, by Dinka Dominated SPLA/M

        We re printing and analysing ever fake agreement signed by nyagateen with their master in Khartoum during the war to presenting them to ICC and south Sudan Supreme Court
        Have a look at this stupid agreed useless vanished
        LANGUAGE
        Arabic is the official language of the Sudan, English is the second language in the
        Sudan. The government shall endeavour to develop other languages.
        2. Amendment of

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        • 10 November 2012 10:15, by Dinka Dominated SPLA/M

          Agreement.
          1. No amendment bill on this Agreement shall be presented to the National
          Assembly without consulting the Coordinating Council
          2. For amendment on this Agreement the Coordinating Council may present its
          Petition to the President of the Republic provided that such a bill is passed in the
          Coordinating Council by two-thirds majority

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          • 10 November 2012 10:16, by Dinka Dominated SPLA/M

            Signed by:
            For the Government of Sudan:
            LT General El Zuber Mohammed Salah, Vice President
            For the United Democratic Salvation Front (UDSF)
            And South Sudan Independence Movement/Army (SSIM/A):
            Cdr. Dr. Riek Machar Teny D., Chairman & C-in-C (SSIM/A)
            For the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM/A)
            Cdr. Karubino Kawanyn Bol
            Chairman C-in-C (SPLM/A)

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            • 10 November 2012 10:17, by Dinka Dominated SPLA/M

              For South Sudan Independents Group (SSIG)
              Cdr. Kawac Makwei
              Chairman C-in-C (SSIG)
              For Equatoria Defence Force (DF)
              Dr. Thiopholus Ochang Loti
              Chairman C-in-C (EDF)
              For Union of Sudanese African Parties (U.S.A.P)
              Mr Samuel Aru Bol
              Chairman (U.S.A.P)
              For Bor Group
              Arok Thon Arok
              Chairman

              repondre message

              • 10 November 2012 10:20, by Dinka Dominated SPLA/M

                All of these nyagateen were dismissed by their gang leader Mr Magnificent nyagat Riek Puot Nyuon

                repondre message

  • 10 November 2012 11:54, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

    It is our land. It is our people. We all deserve to stand with Malual Gier Nyan’g. Today is Aweil. Tomorrow it might be Narus or Kajokeji or Source yubu or Ezo. Spirit of nationalism must prevail in all of us.

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    • 11 November 2012 07:08, by Kenyang

      Likang, thank you. No one would have put that any better. An inch of land which rightly belongs to South Sudan and being compromised or gave away demand full condemnation from each South Sudanese. Village boys such as ’Dinka Dominated SPLM’ need a formal or even an informal education than on national issues. Knowing how to spell your name in English is a privillage not beyond that.

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  • 10 November 2012 12:56, by wacjak

    This hopeless Dinka Dominated SPLM diverted the story to those Agreements. By the way, are you Kiir’s agent on this website? If you are from Warrap as your writings have always proved to appease those people, am afraid, you are making more harm than good for Warrap people for nothing just because of your useless, barbaric, unsophisticated, unpalatable, childish, silly and fabricated comments.

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  • 10 November 2012 18:30, by Nguetbuny de Luelpiny

    Jieng da land is been given away by Kiir & Riek administration.Who fail people need? Riek give Alieny away after Abiei Arbitration in the Huge
    Kiir sign central mainland away to northern Invaders.
    I heard Pagan Amum was talking about buffer zone, was it this 14-18 mile?
    At the tip of Upper Nile (Jieng dit Ayuel de Jiel mainland) to Madieng Ayuel is our land
    Kiir is smaller than Jieng.

    repondre message

  • 10 November 2012 18:56, by Nguetbuny de Luelpiny

    Attention please! Jieng da Ayuel de Jiel
    Attention please! Jieng da Ayuel de Jiel
    Attention please! Jieng da Ayuel de Jiel
    You might convey this message to all Jieng da Ayuel de Jiel people. They need emergency convention before 2015. To avoid confusion, all elders, politicians, and small must come together to predict the future of thier life before 2015. Ajang dit needs to look into crises they

    repondre message

  • 11 November 2012 07:36, by Madiak

    God bless u man of God Bishop’ to all my father’ mothers’sisters’brothers in Aweil you know when God let peolpe of Egypt 2the the promise land it mean that the land is importand to God and to people whom he gave it 2’ that is why God help people of Israel till they reach 2the promise land’ mile 14 and more than 150mile north river Kiir up 2Gen alony (Abumatharig) we’ll retake all Occupied lands.

    repondre message

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