South Sudan-ization of Abyei – are the elites misguided?

Abyei not_Shared_Area_antheap 

Toronto, Canada – The pathway for Abyei natives to gain citizenship in the Republic of South Sudan must remain an open door policy. This inalienable right has been paid for in blood and flesh and nobody will take that away from these selfless people. The scars of war are still self-evident and one must carefully pull up their stockings before wading into the stormy waters of Abyei. The audacity to question the rights of the people of Abyei in the South could be construed as mean and sheer ingratitude!

The sons/daughters of Abyei have fully earned the right to citizenship in the Republic of South Sudan and they should never be taken to task for partaking in the enjoyment of fruits of our liberation. As though southerners needed a refresher, Luka Biong has done a painstaking job of enumerating Abyei’s contribution. In addition to his efforts, Mr. Biong is hereby duly reminded that “Jesh Amer” from all tribes vividly recall the distinguished leadership of Pieng Deng Kuol and many other comrades from Abyei! Regardless of how the CPA has played out, we (South Sudanese) shall forever be indebted to the people of Abyei, Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile.

For starters, one needs to dig no further than to listen to the patriotic songs of late Nyankol Mathiang to know that the fight for Abyei is a battle that is yet to be won from Bashir and his blood-thirsty generals. The true spirit of patriotism is contained in these words – “Mading Deng, Abyei e dong wei ka de (How did Abyei get left behind)?” In one’s view, this sincere recognition that we are still at war over Abyei is what South Sudan needs more than any other debate/talk.

We must be vigilant in our commitment never to succumb to the tyranny of our enemy. While it is an exaggeration to call Abyei “Kashmir” of our region, it is a fact Abyei remains at crossroads. Its final status will be determined either through a referendum, a political settlement, or worst case scenario through another bloody war between the two Sudans. Pending the outcome of these eventualities, it would be premature on the part of some South Sudanese to declare victory over Abyei! Through ballots/bullets, Abyei must be won from the butchers of Khartoum.

Recent Addis Ababa negotiations, which are mediated by Thabo Mbeki and his AU Panel, make it crystal clear to any nomad that Abyei is a society in transition. Though we all hope and pray that its people will democratically choose to join South Sudan, the reality is that the supposed referendum is yet to occur. And to complicate things further, Sudan has unequivocally rejected the proposals of the AU Panel and all other agreements on Abyei. The negotiations have reached a dead-end and God knows what the future holds. Should the referendum take place, the people of Abyei will be the ones to choose their own destiny.

For South Sudan to win the hearts and minds of any “undecided” Abyei-ans, our Government must do everything possible to afford all Abyei-ans the respect and dignity they truly deserve.

The grievances that led us to current juncture are yet to be settled and our ship is yet to safely arrive ashore. Let us burry any notion that some tribes contributed more blood in the long journey of liberation. Whether directly or indirectly, we have all shed and bled. Nobody should crave for the title of fame or shame. The basic historical facts confirming that the people of Abyei are ethnically-related to South Sudan should be a rallying cry upon which to build our quest.

Simply put, Abyei people are our people.

Loyalty to the nation is a great pillar of citizenship and the Abyei people have not disappointed South Sudan on any occasion. Her precious sons and daughters have been nothing but passionate servants to South Sudan. With their intellect and academic prowess, these great role models shall forever be a great asset to the new nation. We vow in honour of your priceless contribution.

It is true the region was legally transferred to Northern Sudan in 1905 and we do not fault our forefathers for their past decisions. Whether this decision is/was regrettable, we are not opaque to the fact it remains in the Sudan to the present day. Instead of bickering, we should all rise and applaud the job of seasoned negotiators, like comrade Pagan Amum, who have done their utmost best to win Abyei at the negotiating tables. Kudos to them and shame to the enemy!

Our people are yet to enjoy the real fruits of independence. Any self-proclaimed bravery is hypocritical at this point. The reason being we are still sitting on Abyei mines. We must embark on demining Abyei before any loose talk. Let us rise in one voice and demand an end to the slavery that has been imposed on our race for generations. We are stronger together and unity is our best weaponry against the slave-master.

At any cost, there should be no room for discrimination in our new country. What is more, we just learnt our lesson the hard way yesterday…and the predator is still knocking loud at the door!

Disrespectful rhetoric of any form is regrettable and must be rejected in our society. Our respected leaders should resist being the source of division among the least of us. We are all South Sudanese and we are each called upon to honor the duties we owe to our beloved country. Whether you are in the government or you are a local villager, we owe one another a duty of respect for the human dignity. We equally carry the cross of citizenship and we all deserve a place at the dinner table.

Last but not least, let us admit the facts and find a way to move the country forward. Legally speaking, there is no hurt in admitting that Abyei is in the Sudan and ALL people of South Sudan are doing everything humanly possible to win Abyei.

President Kiir, would it be unwise to form the Abyei battalion now? I believe everyone is ready!


Abyei e panda.


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