Saturday, 14 April 2012

Kuajok on Heglig

I was going to write a post about hippos. But then the SPLA took Heglig and we seem to be teetering on the verge of war with the Republic of Sudan. I don’t think that war is inevitably round the corner, I am cautiously optimistic that a resolution to Heglig will be found. But I was finding it hard to concentrate on hippos.

What are people in Kuajok saying about the spirally political situation? These are the positions that I am hearing a lot

This is a about asserting national sovereignty and Khartoum recognizing that South Sudan is an independent nation and Heglig is a part of South Sudan. Although the Abyei Boundaries Commission at the Hague Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that Heglig was in the North – the recommendations of the Commission were never implemented.

Related to this point, any war that might happen is both old and new. Its old because Khartoum is an old enemy, and the current escalations are really a continuation of tensions that have been unresolved since the CPA. However, it is also new because what is at stake is defense of the nation. The current rhetoric about Heglig is deeply imbedded in growing national identities in South Sudan

People are very angry with the UN and the “International Community” for calling on the President to withdraw troops from Heglig. They see it as a double standard. Why was the Sudan Army (SAF) not asked to pull out of Abyei?

There is a lot of talk about ‘mobilisation’. Warrap is one of the 5 border states who have been asked by President Kiir to 'mobilise'. Its not clear what the exact terms of this mobilisation are (but take an educated guess). While people say they are 'ready', people are also incredibly scared and do not want to go back to war. Even some of the young men I am friends with, who  find it quite hard to admit they are scared of things in general, have admitted they are incredibly worried about what is going happen.

Tonight there will be a rally at the SPLM office to inform people about what is happening and what the SPLM position is.


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    1. First: of all thumbs up for a great blog
      Second: It amazes me to keep hearing that the permanent court of arbitration has ruled that Heglig belonged to the North!!!! There was no mention of North/South throughout the deliberations up to the final ruling simply because the ruling was on the boundary of the area of the nine Dinka Ngok chiefdoms transferred from Bhar al Gazal to Kordofan in 1905.. All documents maps and even videos of the entire process are available for public viewing at the PCA website:

  2. Hi Peter, Thanks for pointing out the mistake here. I wrote this entry in a rush and from memory without checking my facts properly. I was confusing it with the other areas that the PCA ruled as part of North Sudan. My aim was to record the first reactions in Kuajok, where I am currently living, to events in Heglig. But you are 100% correct I should have been more thorough with the background. I should also point out that I wrote it before Douglas Johnson disseminated his very helpful 'note on Panthou/Heglig' which explains the situation very clearly.