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SOUTH SUDAN: Key political players walked out during formation of the SPLM State Congress

UNITY MPs QUIT SPLM POLLS
by Mayen Benson,
cover page of The Citizen,
Khartoum/Juba, Wednesday,30th April 2008

Key political players in Unity State walked out during a historic formation of the SPLM State Congress, a top official has said.
The boycott was to protest the Govenor’s decision ordering Sudan Peoples Liberation Army(SPLA) forces to surrender Karasana and Aliny (Higlig ) areas to Arab Meseriya after a tortuous meeting with Southern Sudan authorities on Monday.

Mabek Lang, the Commissioner of Pariang County Tuesday said members of Parliament from both Khartoum and Juba abandoned the long anticipated SPLM congress indefinitely complaining that Govenor Taban Deng Gai made a grave decision.

Aliny, which was later renamed ‘Higlig’ by northern regimes after the discovery of oil, has long been a traditional area to Dinka Panarur who are citizens of Unity State.

Government of Southern Sudan Vice-President Dr Riek Machar is in the State to
participate in the abandoned SPLM nationwide exercise that will pave the way for holding the national convention due next week.
But Machar could make his way back to Juba following the political riot in the State.

Lang said the Govenor alleged that the decision was made by Southern Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit.
Lang said SPLA Chief of General Staff Lt General Oyai Deng Ajak was in the State trying to settle logistical difficulties but no significant progress, he said, was made.

The decision came two days after the State population threatened to organize a mass protest against the Meseriya ‘s latest attack on Karasana and Aliny (Higlig) in which dozens were killed, leaving the area burned into ashes.

Debora Ajang, a member of the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly, Sunday said the fighting had left civilians in vulnerable positions with water points blocked by the Arab tribesmen after they had fallen under their custody.

And on Friday, area MP Benjamin Majak Dau said the Aliny Payam was burned to ashes and local Administrators evacuated to neighboring Karasana with possibility of a return to the area on Saturday.

Majak said local enumerators have reportedly run away from their areas of operation due to fear of insecurity, leaving the fate of the census completely under jeopardy.

About 700 internally displaced persons (IDPs), Majak said, are stuck in Kadugli and possibilities for them to be moved into Unity State look complicated after Meseriya
blocked all the routes.


STRAIGHT TALK
by Nhial Bol, Editor In Chief,
The Citizen, Khartoum/Juba, Page 2,
Wednesday, 30th April 2008

Why order the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) to abandon Karsana in Unity State ?

With dismay, we learned yesterday that the SPLA forces have abandoned Karasana ( Aling) and Northern part of Heglig as the orders came from the Governor of Unity State Tabang Deng. The move is shocking to the whole of South Sudan because since the border had not been demarked by the commissioned body, there is no legal ground for the communities to abandon the Pariang area. I have been talking to people in the area and I am sympathetic to the unpatriotic decision unilaterally taken by the government. The Govenor of Northern Bahr El Ghazal State did not abandon an inch of Northern Bahr El Ghazal area.

Why is only Pariang County the testing case for the withdrawal from our historic lands ? We urge the communities in the area to resist the unpatriotic agreement reached betweenTaban and the Governor of Southern Sudan. Historically, our land were not taken by the Arabs, why this time ? Taban is biased, otherwise there is no point he would sign an agreement that would take the lands belonging to the Dinka communities. The communities must resist the decision and revoke it.

Since the whole Southern Sudanese people support the people of Northern Bahr El Ghazal, morally and materially, we need to show the same patriotic sympathy. History will never forgive us if we allow Karsana and Hegili to go to the North. I was excited when I learnt that the constitutional post holders, MPs from the National Assembly, from the South Sudan Legislative Assembly and state MPs declared their boycott of the Congress of the State. This is a patriotic stance that should be followed by all our citizens. The Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM) should not impose policies that allow Arabs to take our lands. If the Arabs did not take our lands during the years of war, what powers do they have now to evict our SPLA forces ?

The move shows unpatriotic stand of the Governor and his supporters but he should understand that there is no compromise over land issues. Where will the Govenor resettle the communities affected by the unpatriotic decision ? I am asking this question because I know our lands are divided according to tribes and there is no room to accommodate people displaced by political decisions.

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