Press Release from the office of the Governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal:
Friday 5 October 2012
NBG State Governor Appreciates citizens for unanimously condemning the marking of the 14-mile Territory as‘disputed area’
The Governor of Northern Bahr al Ghazal State, Lt.Gen. Paul Malong Awan Anei, on behalf of his government, hereby expresses his appreciation to the citizens of the border state for standing firm in opposition the conclusion reached in the Addis Ababa security Agreement between the Republic of South Sudan and of Sudan, on September 27, 2012, that marked, among others, the ancestral land of the Malual Giernyang people of the Dinka ethnic group in Northern Bhar el Ghazal State Aweil.
In the first place, the governor again reaffirms his position as standing firm with his people in the organized land grabbing by the Government of Sudan through the weakness of our South Sudan negotiators in Addis Ababa under the African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP). It is with great disappointment that the bilateral agreement has violated some of the border community rights to their property, especially when the community leaders and the landowners were neither involved nor consulted during the negotiation and the signing of the controversial agreement.
Secondly,Lt. Gen. Paul Malong, thanks all the citizens of Northern Bahr al Ghazal State, in Juba, Diaspora and especially those who reside in Aweil, for turning up in large numbers for their peaceful demonstration yesterday in Aweil and a sensitization gathering at South Sudan Hotel, Juba, on September 28, 2012. During the daylong community-briefing meeting, members express their disappointments and objection to their area being used as part of the compromises and concessions offered by the Government of the Republic of South Sudan. The governor is also grateful with the Aweil community all around the world. The campaign and analysis they have made on social media and mainstream media is worthy of appreciation. Therefore, the fight my fellow citizens have put up in defense of their motherland intellectually is equal to the fight they put up militarily early this year and a few years ago. For this reason, the citizens of my state deserve my heartfelt gratitude as their governor.
All in all, H.E. Gen. Paul Malong Awan, has expressed his conviction that he would stand behind wherever expresses their rights and freedom in matters to do with their land and other resources. Just as the natives feel, the governor is equally hurt by the fact that history has been mutilated and the truth bent to the extent of declaring our land a shared area between the real indigenes, the Malual Dinka, and their visitors, the Reizegat nomads, whom the hosts usually welcome and entertain with good neighborliness and humanitarian heart as they look for pastures and water.
Having expressed his appreciation to his people for their support and to the South Sudanese negotiation team for the breakthrough on other agreements, His Excellency, on behalf of the people of the Northern Bahr al Ghazal State (Aweil), urged the tripartite body (AU, Sudan and South Sudan) on negotiation tasks to take into consideration the concerns of the land owners in this and other arrangements that will follow.
Finally, the governor requests our brotherly neighbours, the Reizegat of Eastern Darfur, who share the resources with us to take into consideration our social and historical connections and not to be misled by politicians from Khartoum. Those people were not their when our ancestors entered a traditional treaty in the past and will not be there when your children continue enjoying our hospitality across our common borders in the future. Therefore, it is the governor’s appeal that the neighbours all the so-called disputed borders refrain from hostile behavior and unjustified claims that may provoke the host communities of South Sudan to withdraw their offers altogether.
Akol Ayom Wekdit
Press Secretary to the Governor of NBGS-Aweil.