By Santino Aniek,
October 19, 2019(Nyamilepedia) — Like bitter clingers, the so-called top traditional leaders, community leaders, youths and intellectuals from the Leek Nuer community are spending every minute of claiming areas which are deep inside Ruweng territory. As far as I’m concerned, this week brought perhaps the most dangerous and disrupting events between the Leek Nuer community and Panaruu community and it has been almost completely overshadowed by the news of oil spill in Ruweng State. But while many of us may be preoccupied by the disaster of oil spill in Ruweng State, make no mistake that South Sudanese people are watching and they are worried about this dishonorably claim by the so-called top traditional leaders, community leaders, youths and intellectuals from the Leek Nuer community. For over a week, the Ruweng people and the South Sudanese were led to believe that my birthplace Duerlongol (Toma South) and Panakuaj (El Nar) is belong to Leek Nuer. How and why can these happen in the country that was liberated with more than 2.5 millions lives? Nevertheless, there are no good explanations by the so-called top traditional leaders, community leaders, youths and intellectuals from the Leek Nuer community. In addition, this is how conflicts can get started by intentional and this is how neighbor like Panaruu can feel betrayed and adversaries emboldened. Our country is less stable today because our neighbor is capable of creating chaos without good reason.
More importantly, this is the very country we expect to raise a family when you wake up in the morning to the aftermath of a meaningless open latter from the so-called top traditional leaders, community leaders, youths, and intellectuals from the Leek Nuer community threatening another community, and dishonestly claiming to be a peaceful community in South Sudan. How far Leek Nuer can go? What are the depths of the despair and danger this community is? Generally speaking, Leek Nuer has the history of committing atrocities in Panaruu for many years, they can refute as they used to, but Nhialic is our witness as we approach the implementation of the Peace Agreement in our country, and still Leek Nuer are exploiting the morphological of war. Furthermore, it is a symbol of their radicalism and refusal to accept that most of the oil areas in South Sudan are located in Panaruu land and Leek Nuer always find away to create a chaos leaving Panaruu community with nothing but to defend themselves. Though, the Leek Nuer community dishonestly believes that every drop of oil in Western Upper Nile is located in their area and it sounds similarly like the silly statement that was made by my brother Lam Akol in which he claims Shilluks have historically lived on the riverside but Jieeng do not.
This act by the Leek Nuer community of claiming Duerlongol (Toma South) and Panakuaj (El Nar) is shameful. This is designed to create another chaos between the two communities while our people are exhausted of senseless war, yes indeed, they have made falsely claim before, and if they attempt this moment in the time, South Sudanese will fully understand that Leek Nuer community as relentless enemy of Panaruu people. Subsequently, they think that their actions all these years are designed to weaken Panaruu people and this peace loving community is an unshakable, but we were horrified at what has transpired this week because our people were hopping that the Khartoum Peace Agreement will bring little bit of stability. Notably, I find it remarkable how little of the public debate these days on social media has focused on whether claiming someone’s land will lead us to a peaceful South Sudan or less suffering or no death in that war torn country. Nonetheless, for those in Leek community who support this dishonest assertion, the zeal to punish is overwhelming and so it is necessary to consider how many people will loose their lives if this assertion turns into conflict. Frankly speaking, I want to remind the so-called top traditional leaders, community leaders, youths, and intellectuals from the Leek Nuer community that if this line in the sand is crossed, there will be enormous consequences no matter what because Panaruu community will never allow Leek Nuer community to inhabit their land even an inch.
Facts indicated we the people of Panaruu strongly believe that Duerlongol (Toma South) and Panakuaj (El Nar) are totally different from Panthou, because these two areas deeply located inside the territory of Ruweng State. Therefore, As one of the indigenous people of Duerlongol (Toma South) and Panakuaj (El Nar), I stand firm with the rest of the people of Panaruu not to give an inch of our land to Leek Nuer community even if it cost many lives, because this will be betrayal to our fallen heroes and martyrs who gave their lives during the war of Baggara. All in all, the role of our neighbor in Bentiu in manipulating issues, inciting, provoking, and creating violence will be the topic of many a future historian’s study in South Sudan.
Sadly, when I read the meaningless open latter from the so-called top traditional leaders, community leaders, youths, and intellectuals from the Leek Nuer community, the result is real damage to our two communities. That is not only my judgment or that of the academia elite who continue to insist we live in a world of facts, reason, and truth, but it is the conclusion of few Nuers who lived here in the West. For decades, Leek Nuer has been obsessed with false claim of Panaruu land; but they never thrive to obtain an inch of land from Panaruu; and even regardless of their culture of violence. But no matter what the outcome will be, Panaruu Youth has been so determined to protect their people whether from external or internal enemy since the civil war broke out and have been in full control over their area, but if anyone attempt at this moment in time to invade any part of Panaruu land, vicious consequences will be the only option because Ruweng people left Bentiu in order for them to be left alone once and for all.
Yet, as we have seen a similar dynamic playing out from the East of Ruweng State as another neighbor is aiming to show who will be the boss in the Greater Upper Nile of the world; Ruweng people have no problem too to deal with them because it is not the first time this community have fought a multiple wars. Now, if war is the chosen one by our neighbor as always the case, we could be debating whose community will need humanitarian relief in the moths to come. As I’m wondering collecting my thought, instead of considering how we might support the recent Peace Agreement sign in Khartoum, our Leek Nuer community wants to incite violence. Still, harboring a fundamental misunderstanding of the history is a real problem in South Sudan, and no schemer in the history of South Sudan whether Leek Nuer community or any other community has been good because others have tried this before, but failed gloomily. As your piece mentioned, “it is worth mentioning that Unity oilfield, Toma South, ElNar & El-Har are areas of Leek”. There is no new right to be discovered in Leek Nuer’s claim that Duerlongol (Toma South) and Panakuaj (El Nar) are belong to Leek, none, not ever because these are the areas I was born and raised, and no one could testify among the so-called top traditional leaders, community leaders, youths and intellectuals from the Leek Nuer community
In fact, the living document of 1956 in South Sudan are the proceeding documents that were produced before most of the so-called top traditional leaders, community leaders, youths and intellectuals from the Leek Nuer community by the the government of old Sudan to create a legal jurisdiction and to justify an existence right of all communities in the Sudan including Panaruu. Therefore, there is a shadow and emanation; history is a written document that means today exactly what it meant on the very day it was established by those who wrote it and Leek Nuer community can falsely claim all areas with oil in South Sudan, but history will still rightly validate them wrong.
Finally, I cannot be any more definitive than I have been up to date with the so-called top traditional leaders, community leaders, youths, and intellectuals from the Leek Nuer community who claim Duerlongol (Toma South) and Panakuaj (El Nar) to be their areas because I was born few miles away from these arenas. Most importantly, it is just the whole mind-boggling to hear the so-called top traditional leaders, community leaders, youths, and intellectuals from the Leek Nuer community saying that Duerlongol (Toma South) and Panakuaj (El Nar) belong to them while these areas have been in the news since 2005. Now, I hope the people of South Sudan will take the time to read much about this falsely assertion by the so-called top traditional leaders, community leaders, youths, and intellectuals from the Leek Nuer community. In fact, it is something we all should be talking and thinking about on social media if we want stability in our country because any community should not be allow to go through what Panaruu has been going through all these years under Nuer in Bentiu. With that being said, for those who understand the value of co-existing peacefully between the Leek Nuer community and Panaruu community must immediately and unequivocally reject this false assertion and dangerous narrative, and reassert a fundamental commitment to peace between the two communities. And therefore, if peace is chosen by Leek Nuer, the entire Ruweng community will be looking forward to work with our brothers and sisters from Leek community as well as the incoming Unity Government to chart a new path forward based on our country’s national security interests, clear-eyed reality, and not on this land grabbing agenda and wishful thinking.
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