South Sudan

Dinka council of accused of trying to annex parts of Abyei to Twic State


‘Elites of Twic Mayardit community’ including at least one member of Salva Kiir Mayardit’s advisory group, the Dinka Council of Elders, have been accused of seeking to annex some parts of the Abyei Area to the newly created Twic State.

Last December, three members of parliament from Abyei addressed a letter to the chairman of the Council of States, drawing attention to the sketch map of 28 states, which they say misrepresents the boundary between Abyei Area and Twic State.

Kiir announced the creation of the 28 states last October after consultations with the Dinka Council of Elders. According to the Abyei MPs, the map that was released together with the Establishment Order appears to annex parts of Abyei to Twic.

“Some elites of Twic Mayadit community have started to raise a claim over the land of Dinka Ngok, to the south of the River Kiir as shown in the proposed sketch map of 28 states of South Sudan,” say the MPs in their letter.

The three MPs, Arop Madut Arop, Asha Abbas Akuei and Deng Arop Kuol, are calling on the Council of States to respect the boundaries of the Abyei Administrative Area as defined in the Hague Arbitration ruling of 2009. “The people of Abyei are confident that the land in dispute belongs to them and will be ready to face the claim advanced by Twic Mayardit when the official status of Abyei is determined,” the letter says.

“Finally, we appeal to your good office that the southern part of Abyei should not be part of the current determination of the 28 state borders and should not be in the sketch map,” adds the letter.

Commenting on the same issue separately, one of the Abyei MPs alleged that the claim over Ngok Dinka land was made by “some elements among the Twic community headed by Hon Charles Majak Aleer in his capacity as member of the Jieng Council of Elders.”

But Charles Majak denied on Monday the allegation that he and others from his community have prepared a map annexing land of Abyei.

“That is nonsense,” said the member of the Dinka lobby group. “Which places are these people you are citing are claiming to have been annexed to Twic? The borders are clear. People from these places know their places tree to tree and I don’t think there is a reason to do that. Why should Twic annex areas of other communities? Those are misleading allegations.”

Majak explained that River Kiir passes through several areas some of which fall either to the Ngok or to the Twic.

The member of the self-appointed tribal lobby group stressed that there are no known border disputes between the Ngok and Twic, saying arrangements to mark out, demarcate and reaffirm borders between communities are underway.

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