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Northern Bahr el Ghazal governor objects to "demilitarization" of Mile 14 area


September 30, 2012 (JUBA) - Paul Malong Awan, Governor of South Sudan’s State Northern Bahr el Ghazal has expressed his disappointment with the Security Arrangements deal with Sudan that calls for withdrawal of the armed forces of the young nation from the disputed Mile 14 area, declaring that the exercise would only take place in his absence.

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General Paul Malong Awan, Governor of South Sudan’s State of Northern Bahr el Ghazal (photo - paulmalongforgovernor.org)

The Sudanese government delayed the talks over the outstanding issues and refused for several months to accept the buffer zone proposed by the African Union mediation because it includes Mile 14. Sudan says the area historically belongs to its western Darfur region.

Presidents Omer Al-Bashir and Salva Kiir, however, reached a deal providing that South Sudanese troops have to pull out of the disputed area south of the Kiir/Bahr el Arab River and to establish a tribal administration there. The two parties agree also that the lines of the buffer zone do not demarcate the borders and they have to continue talks over the contested areas.

Governor Awan made the remarks on Friday while briefing citizens of the state living in the country’s capital Juba two days after returning from the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, where the deal was signed on Thursday.

"I want to assure you that we are in 14 Mile and we will be there to stay. This is our area and we know how to manage relations," Awan said in a statement broadcast by South Sudan Television on Saturday.

Governor Awan, who is under mounting pressure from citizens from the area, told the audience that Mile 14 had been part of South Sudan and that he does not think he will witness the area becoming part of Sudan in his presence.

The ownership of the fertile grazing area has been disputed between two pastoralist groups, the Malual Dinka and Rizeigat since the 19th century. During Anglo-Egyptian rule, the British administration gave the Darfurian Rizeigat tribe a secondary right of to hunt in the area.

However the after annexing of Darfur to Sudan in 1916, the colonial administration decided to annex the disputed Mile 14 into Darfur, to recompense the Rizeigat for their efforts supporting in the annexation of Darfur to Sudan.

"We know the period they come. We are now left with two months. When they come, will ask them whether they need water or land, if they need land and not water and pastures, we will ask them to return," Awan told a visibly congested meeting hall by an audience wanting to hear his official position.

"When a dispute over grazing arose in 1918, the British governor of Darfur imposed a new boundary, declaring that ’Dar Rizeigat’ extended 65 km (40 miles) south of the Bahr al-Arab/Kiir River," wrote British historian Douglas Johnson in his 2010 book When boundaries become borders.

The Dinka Malwal contested the decision and in 1924 the British governors of Darfur and Bahr al-Ghazal provinces agreed a new boundary demarcating the Darfur border 23 km (14 miles) south of and parallel to the Bahr al-Arab/Kiir River.

Members of parliament and key prominent members of the community also expressed disappointment with the deal and vowed support to the state administration, accusing the national government of deliberately excluding representatives from the area from the talks.

"This will not work. Grazing corridors are never boundaries. The area has never been part of Sudan," said Dhieu Mathok Diing Wol, a leading member of South Sudan’s governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) from the area.

Majang Ngor Kuany, a former speaker of the state Legislative Assembly and now a chair of the parliamentary committee responsible for information and communication said he could not attend the brief because the hall was full but that he would not have accepted endorsing the deal which concedes the area.

"I left the briefing yesterday because it was full. I could not find a seat so I left but it is all the same. Whether I was at the briefing or not, I do not support giving out the area," Kuany said on Saturday.

Angelo Machar Akec, a native of the area and a senior civil servant who works with the national government in Juba also protested the exclusion of local representatives at the talks, arguing the decision was a deliberate plan.

"I think it was a deliberate plan because it has never happened anywhere that people from the area are left out from discussions about issues which affect them. The negotiators never consulted us. They do not know where these areas are. They have no knowledge about them at all. We will not accept. We will just fight. This is the only solution and which I think this is what they wanted," he said.

Akec dismissed claims that Mile 14 belongs to East Darfur state according to the 1924 agreement between Dinka Malual chiefs and Rizeigat chiefs. He also said he disagreed with the agreement in principle reached at the talks which culminated in the deal to pull out its troops from the area.

"There has never been an agreement. What I know is that there was an arrangement that allows Riziggat to come with their cattle during the dry season to access water and pasture and go back when it rains," he said.

"This was just [a] traditional arrangement. It was an agreement and pulling out our troops from that area means that we have no full right for that area, or we agreed that it’s a contested area which is wrong based on the evidence on the ground. 14 Mile has not been a disputed area, and it has been administrated by Northern Bahr el Ghazal state since the independence of Sudan” in 1956, he stressed.

The deal places no ownership of the 14-mile border area to either Sudan or South Sudan but agreed that the area would be administered by a traditional authority including the Dinka Malual and the tribes who graze their cattle in the area.

Under the deal in Addis Ababa, the demilitarization of the area will be observed by Ethiopian peacekeepers who are already deployed as part of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA). Abyei is another disputed border area.

The UNISFA and local representatives will sit on a Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mission (JBVMM).


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  • 30 September 2012 09:39, by Rommel

    The colonial Munroe-Wheatley agreement did not confer outright ownership of this *Dinka land* to the Rizeigat.The hybrid nature of the agreement, which detailed rights and restrictions for both groups rather than conferring outright ownership, left the official status of the area open to interpretation.

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    • 30 September 2012 09:39, by Rommel

      The Munro-Wheatley agreement did not sanction a formal border adjustment or transfer to the Darfur province, but was merely intended to harmonise the grazing and land use rights of the two groups — the owners of the land > the Malual Dinka and the migrating nomads > the Rizeigat.

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      • 30 September 2012 09:42, by Rommel

        The procedures required for an official change – including approval of the (British) governor-general, were not implemented. These are our lands — the resting places of the bones of our forefathers and the inheritance of our children; we will not surrender them, to *anyone*!

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        • 30 September 2012 10:16, by mohammed ali

          Luka,"left the official status of the area open to interpretation." Simply all what you said is your interpretation of what you assumed is "open to interpretation"!

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          • 30 September 2012 12:15, by sudani ana

            Mohamed Ali
            Did ST remove your comments (exchange with Rommel) just now or did I imagine it.

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            • 30 September 2012 12:36, by Rommel

              Mohammed’s response to me was not removed — and why should it be!? I can safely say that you imagined that it was removed. Mohammed is ignorant of history, but that won’t stop him from chattering on endlessly on matters he so evidently knows nothing about... but at least he’s marginally polite, in that he doesn’t swear.

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              • 30 September 2012 12:51, by mohammed ali

                Luka, nobody knowes these details except those involved the negotiation.Am not like you to know every thing in the entire world. I got the humbleness & blessing of saying I don’t know when I don’t.That doesn’t make ignorant.Ignorace is the parrala of arrogancy. After-all I simply used your own words to " zip " your arrogant rant without refering to history of that area which I DON’T KNOW!

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                • 30 September 2012 13:36, by Rommel

                  Where have I claimed that I am informed and enlightened on every subject-matter? If my knowledge on a certain matter is lacking... I say nothing. I don’t trenchantly argue a position wholly informed by ignorance, which is precisely what you do, Mohammed - despite your unconvincing and laughable disavowals.

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                • 1 October 2012 08:14, by Daniel Deng

                  Mohammed, I have been away for some days now, and your lies are growing to the point they even appear to be truths. By the way, why called Rommel "Luka." What Luka, and how do you know Rommel is Luka?

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              • 30 September 2012 12:51, by sudani ana

                Yes sorry Rommel, my confusion, different article. By the way I find Mohamed Ali very polite "not marginally’.

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              • 30 September 2012 12:54, by Rommel

                He’ll accuse you [well me at least] of being someone you’re not and will gratuitously use ever fallacy in the book in an attempt to win an argument. The man has a tendency to moralize to people when he is in fact a moral noughting nought.

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                • 30 September 2012 13:13, by sudani ana

                  Woot like you to be offensive, has he touched a sensitive nerve there?

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                  • 30 September 2012 14:25, by Rommel

                    Oh please -Sudani- there’s simply no way in which I could possibly take offense to what is essentially a comedy routine. Upon the suggestion of one of the many illiterate discussants on this ’forum’, Mohammed has convinced himself that I am indeed Luka Biong. I guess I could take offense to being painted as an old man, when I am in fact just 22 years of age.

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                    • 30 September 2012 16:04, by Jalaby

                      WOW, it’s first time for me to know that Mr. Rommel is actually coward Luka Biong but hiding under Rommel name!
                      Unless Mr. Mohamed Ali has strong evidence that Mr. Rommel is in fact Mr Luka Biong he won’t say that!
                      Mr. Rommel claims that he is young guy with 22 years old only but unfortunately he didn’t provide any thing that proves his claims!
                      Yes,I do believe Mr. Mohamed Ali!

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            • 30 September 2012 14:31, by South South

              Sudani ana,
              Governor Paul Malong Awan said all. In two months those Fake black Arabs will come to NBG. We will ask them, what do want water or land ? You gay Muslims can not take our land. They will find us ready to give them answers.

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      • 1 October 2012 04:41, by Nguetbuny de Luelpiny

        It seem like SPLM official are alway drinking, sleeping with prostitutes in the Hotel that poisoning them & contaminating them with Aids disease in juba. I worry alway about my people health, which many SPLM officials do not care. Leno Edward was asked when he came to Canada in Calgary Alberta. Was asked why southern official are letting people died for simple things. His answer was like a Gang

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    • 30 September 2012 18:26, by SouthSudaneseviews

      The Governor is right about people land which old traders to Sudan tries to take away through wrong way: http://www.splmtoday.com/docs/maps/1954%20Map%20-%20Tribes%20of%20Sudan.pdf

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  • 30 September 2012 10:11, by Jalaby

    Well, the headache of Dinka Ngok in Abyei is still paining and now it’s Dinka Malual turns in Mile 14, who is next in Dinka to claim more land?
    Mile 14 was never among the disputed areas that the two sides agreed on to discuss, African mediator mistakenly added it!
    Those people don’t know where are their areas in the border,they added Heglig before to their areas and occupied it

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    • 30 September 2012 10:18, by Jalaby

      and now never dare to open their mouth claiming their ownership to it!
      Well, the south has signed the agreement now in front of the whole world and any attempt of breaching it will put you in face-to-face war with the international community! Just implement blindly what you signed and no time for discussion, no chance for going back even one step!

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      • 30 September 2012 10:25, by Jalaby

        Ironically, Mr. Paul, the governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal opposed the agreement and said "pulling out the armed forced (SPLA) from Mile 14 will take place only during his absence!"
        No problem Mr. Paul, pulling out SPLA for sure will take place, I suggest you that you take a vacation during the pulling out time so you achieve what you said without abusing your dignity man!

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  • 30 September 2012 10:50, by 4Justice

    I knew Salva would succumb to Bahsir’s demands, very disappointing indeed!

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  • 30 September 2012 11:58, by Ahmado

    what will you doing Paul Malong is your dinka who sign the agreement and for me,dinkas looked so confuse people in the south.remember when we entered in heglig dinka told us that heglig is our area of south sudan and stayed there for ten days and we knew that is home land the same dinka ordered us to withdraw from area and leave it to arabs.

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  • 30 September 2012 13:03, by Mapuor

    Governments of both Sudans should embark on destocking leaving room for the expansion on growing crops.Cattle is not the only thing humans can depend on for survival,more over the poor breeds (ZEBU AND SAHWAAL) which are kept in the regions cuase more problems than benefits,thousands of lives are lost each year

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  • 30 September 2012 13:10, by Ahmado

    Withdraw from heglig it explain to world leaders that heglig is not our land we entered wrongly I will continue to blame the dinka president for betray people of south sudan and now heglig is in hand of enemy plus 14 miles, what next ? Abyei will be the next to surrender it to Arabs so call missaria.

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    • 30 September 2012 13:12, by Ahmado

      All agreement which was sign in addis ababa are useless agreement the same in 1972 when the uncle Lagu sign which led to continuation of war in 1983 and the same salva has did which will lead war on generation to continue .Kiir just sign the agreement for the of his oil to flow through sudan.

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  • 30 September 2012 13:37, by manyang mawech

    Very shameful if DINKA .M BOL and Dinka warrior would not come out on this case.

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    • 1 October 2012 04:54, by Nguetbuny de Luelpiny

      gree with Malong Awan& all who opposed damned 14-16 Arab settlement Programme to expanded south. SPLM officials do not do their home work Assignments as I have observed this time papers. They just listen to somebody talking nicely in English, without going to reality what in papers. Thabo Beki is doing business Arab settlers in the North. Uncle Kiir&Riek are too weak,should young take over papers.

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  • 30 September 2012 13:56, by Ahmado

    Malong what can you do? Is your brother KIIR sign the agreement and now you are giving land of south to enemy tomorrow what will happen? Enemy will continue to displace you until you give all your land to them. By way Arabs always easily to confuse you, like what KIIR did in heglig.

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    • 30 September 2012 14:29, by Abyei Soil

      The agreement is less valid, the arabs are busy dancing & laughing but the same teeth they’re laughing will gonna be the same to cry for.

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  • 30 September 2012 13:58, by 4Justice

    All the time foreign investment, foreign investment,foreign investment, what about domestic investment? The gov falsely holds the believe that foreign investment is going to bring domestic prosperity. Why would you want to have Turkey invest in the airline industry in South Sudan when we can finance boing aircraft and establish our own South Sudan airways? The only people who benefit from foreign investors are the looters in government and the foreign companies not the people.

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  • 30 September 2012 14:12, by 4Justice

    Kiir government lacks the capacity to develop a comprehensive plan. Planning is a mental predisposition to do things in orderly way, to think before acting and to act in the light of facts rather than guesses”. Planning is deciding best alternative among others to perform different managerial functions in order to achieve predetermined goals.

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  • 30 September 2012 16:14, by James Maker Akok

    To all Southern Sudanese people, Paul Malong Awan is very right, South Sudan must never give map of 14miles Areas to North Sudan. My decision right now South Sudanese people need to strike/protest in president Kiir office, and all South Sudan Government offices in all ten States.
    I have a map show Heglig, Abyei, and all 14miles are inside South Sudan.
    South Sudan need International Court.

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  • 30 September 2012 17:30, by Kim Deng

    What do you expect if a country is lead by coward guy? Of coures, humiliation and defeat at the same time.
    Abyei, Panthow/Malou-Raar, 14 miles plus six or more places are going to be given if not already given to arabized Nubian gov’t.
    What does Mr. Slava what? Le oil flowing = $$.
    Shame of him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • 30 September 2012 17:33, by Kim Deng

    "Under the deal, the South Sudan army (SPLA) should withdraw from six areas it controls along the borders, including “Mile 14”.
    What do you expect if the country is lead by coward man, of course, defeat and humiliation at the same time.
    Shame on him (Mr. Slava)!!!!!

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  • 30 September 2012 18:25, by SouthSudaneseviews

    The Governor is right about people land which old traders to Sudan tries to take away through wrong way: http://www.splmtoday.com/docs/maps/1954%20Map%20-%20Tribes%20of%20Sudan.pdf

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  • 30 September 2012 18:29, by SeekingTruth

    Kiir is proven beyond doubt that he isn’t competence at all to lead this nation. Now, we the average citizens of this beautiful country have a say and that I strongly support Dinka Malual and governor Malong for their stand! Remember, how many agreements have Arabs dishonoured? The only way we will rightfully reclaim our lands is to breach the Addis’s deal. I don’t see any apparent reasons for....

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    • 30 September 2012 18:41, by SeekingTruth

      the Arabs encroachment into our lands. During the negotiation, there was no mentioning of Panthou as a disputed area whatsoever instead, we heard about more withdrawals of South forces inside S. Sudan. South Sudanese must find ways to scrap this damn deal as Arabs did in the previous accords. Flowing of oil alone cant be bought by giving too much concession. It’s insanely ridiculous!

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      • 30 September 2012 19:12, by panchol

        Has right to suggest aired out his opinion to people of NBGS as well as to South Sudanese.
        I don’t know if Warguet fall in mile 14?

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  • 30 September 2012 20:04, by Tutbol

    Kiir is coward by external forces the, the Euopeans and AU with thr threat of sanction if he didn’t made a deal and of course he caved in as he always does. The Europeans want to replace arabs on a pretext of the so-called investment and in few years our people will be toiling for meagre wages when land is owned by corporations with of getting it back. The Europeans want to get hold of wild sites.

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  • 30 September 2012 20:13, by Whortti Bor Manza

    Kiir and his aids are confused. Malong Awan was in Addis and he never made the objection officially. Why to complain to the poor Malwals of Aweil. The mediators were in hurry to resume the petrodollars flow because no more cash for endless tours. Remember the arab and his camel, slowly the arabs will take over the RSS. Oh Salva Kiir wake up.

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  • 30 September 2012 20:18, by Tutbol

    Our people must be very vigilant with those foreign investments, we have seen it Southern Africa and closer to home in kenya and Gambela in ethiopia and now the want to use the same tactics in jonglei state by pitying natives against each other. They don’t know they dirty trick is unearthed. I hope so called UN troops are told go home for we will handle our affairs. They are part of the problem

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  • 30 September 2012 22:14, by ViVa Sudan

    Kiir and his aids are confused why? were they under drog or wat ? The deal places ownership of the 14 mile border area toSudan its our land & we are not waiting for a deal with idiot dinka ..very disappointing indeed coz its da fact we have all da right of all 4 disputed areas so keep quite & let politician talk- wat Malong poor can do to SALVA NOTHING SO GUYS FROM SOUTH U MUST PAY TO GET OIL FOOD

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  • 1 October 2012 03:17, by 4Justice

    One doesn’t have to be a psychologist to know Kiir is a fragile person, it is evident from the way he talks and the walks, he always looks confused and often stumbles while walking.

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  • 1 October 2012 04:17, by Nguetbuny de Luelpiny

    The best way to disciplineRizeigat &Misseriya is to domesticate them in one place. If they do compromise the deal, they need to be given southern Cows Boys to discipline them and show them. They gill go back to their own the land. They steal ours children& girls into their bondage movement of slaving them. This time SPLA will go back to liberation tones. Nuba, Blues, Darfur must be liberate from

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    • 1 October 2012 10:20, by American Missile.

      the recent agreement is in question and doubt, simple because the Abyei issue is not resolved and since this was not agreed, would fragile this agreement.leave alone the " demilitarization" of mile 14 area.
      The mediators did not look at the returning point in the negotiation, which is Abyei Issue.
      So,there is possibility of continuing conflicts between this two country.
      Political Analyst.

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  • 1 October 2012 07:59, by philipdit wol

    Paul Malong is a man whom can fight like a man fear, fear, may lead you unwhere in South Sudan I strongly condenmed mile 14 we can not give an 1 metree away from our beloving land to an Arabization guys I support Malong by main of thick and thin,.

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  • 1 October 2012 17:18, by Akot Deng

    i always laught when they talk of 23 KM south of Kiir River, they are mistaken to touch the wrong button Aweil is not for Jokes, you will only occupy thta land on our absentence.

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