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Cultivation of sorghum and other crops begins in the highlands or permanent settlement areas in the early rainy season and the harvest of crops begins when the rains are heavy in June-August. Rains drop off in September-November and cattle are driven to the toic again. This is the most socially active place and time, a period of fun, especially for the youth. The rains usually stop by early December, while harvest of crops is completed and the cattle graze on the stalks.90 Relations between Baggara, and Nuer and Dinka Before the discovery of oil in 1978, Blocks 1, 2, and parts of 4 were economically useful for their pasturelands during the dry season; they were partially flooded during the other six or eight months of the year. During the colonial period, the British allowed the Baggara91 to graze during the dry season in Nuer and Dinka pastures and water in their rivers, but controlled this seasonal migration by issuing permits, in order to minimize friction over resources between the Baggara and the Nuer and Dinka.
The Nuer and Dinka who lived in the region have never moved their herds to Baggara lands for watering or any other purpose, except sometimes for sale. Their migrations stayed within the south, where the valuable dry season pastures and water—and their permanently habitable land—lay. The historian of the Baggara in the 1950s noted that “much of [the southern area of Baggara migration] has permanent 90 Majok and Schwabe, Development Among Africa’s Migratory Pastoralists, pp. 28-29.
91 The Baggara of southwestern Kordofan and southeastern Darfur include the Misseriya, Humr, Hawazma, and Rizeygat, together known as ‘Ataya. The Humr and Misseriya were once two sections of the Misseriya ethnic group. The Humr were later considered an ethnic group and consisted of two main sections encompassing several omdiyas, or administrative units. Ian Cunnison, Baggara Arabs: Power and the Lineage in a Sudanese Nomad Tribe (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966), pp. 7, 197, and map, facing p. 224.
This is the seminal work on the Baggara. Because of the contemporary negative connotations of Baggara, including as raiders and slave takers, they prefer to be called by their ethnic group name, such as Misseriya, instead of Baggara.
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Dinka settlements, although during most of the time that the Humr [Baggara] occupy it the Dinka are with their cattle south of the Bahr el Arab [River].”92 The two groups had complementary migration patterns that avoided both using the same watering and grazing area at the same time, although this broke down occasionally.
Cattle raids were a part of life among the Baggara, Nuer, and Dinka; the Dinka lived on both sides of the north-south border in Sudan (which border was generally kept as the British left it at independence, with one exception).93 The Leek and Bul sections of the Nuer, and the Ruweng (Panaru) Dinka (as well as the Ngok Dinka of Abyei, Kordofan; Twic Dinka of northern Bahr El Ghazal; and other Dinka), lived close enough to the Baggara of Kordofan (Humr and Misseriya) to be affected by their cattle raids. They fought back and conducted counterraids.94 Usually a tribal conference resolved the conflict, sometimes at central government insistence.95 But the feuding did not dominate relations. Negotiated access for Baggara cattle to Dinka and Nuer watering spots was more common than raids before the war.
Independence, Civil War, and the Addis Ababa Agreement In 1956 independence came to Sudan, a country where many differences existed among its peoples: race, ethnicity, language, religion, dress, facial scarification, cuisine, and so on. It was a multicultural society where no one people had the majority. The Dinka, the largest people in Sudan, were estimated to 92 Cunnison, Baggara Arabs, pp. 18-19.
93 In 1961, the government moved the north-south border to incorporate into Darfur the uranium lands formerly in northern Bahr El Ghazal. The uranium lands were not near Western Upper Nile. See below.
94 Elijah Hon Top, Human Rights Watch interview, Khartoum, July 26, 1999; Keen, Benefits of Famine, pp. 79-82. Some Nuer believe that the Bul Nuer had better relations with the Baggara than did the other Nuer, and that the Bul Nuer were armed before other western Nuer because they acquired guns from the Baggara, and even served as scouts for them in territory of other Nuer.
This remains to be researched.
95 See Alex de Waal, “Some Comments on Militias in Contemporary Sudan,” in Civil War in the Sudan, eds. M.W. Daly and Ahmad Alawad Sikainga (London: British Academic Press, 1993), pp. 145-46.
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comprise 12 percent of the Sudanese population at the time of the only ethnic census in 1955/1956.96 At that time, 39 percent of the Sudanese spoke Arabic as their native language and identified themselves as “Arabs.” Approximately 60 percent of the population was African (non-Arab).97 It is estimated that between 60 and 70 percent of the population of Sudan is Muslim. Ninety percent of Muslims live in the northern two-thirds of the country. They are, among themselves, quite diverse and preserve many customs, languages, facial scarification styles, and dress unique to their ethnic groups.
Southerners--which name refers to those who predominate in the southern third of the country--call themselves “Africans,”98 speak their own languages,99 worship their own gods or—a minority—practice Christianity.100 Few southerners are Muslims.
Not all persons describing themselves as Africans (non-Arabs) are southerners, and many Africans living in the center, east, and west of Sudan are Muslims; approximately a fifth of Sudan’s population is both African and Muslim. These Africans are Muslims who have not adopted Arab culture and their home language is not Arabic. One example is the Nuba, who live in central Sudan; many Nuba, including Muslims, consider themselves Africans (not Arabs); perhaps one-half of the people of the Nuba 96 Ahmad Alawad Sikainga, “Sudan: Ethnic Structure,” Enclyclopedia Britannica (1999-2001), www.britannica.com/eb (April 27, 2001); First Population Census of Sudan 1955/56. Notes on Omodia Map (Khartoum: Ministry for Social Affairs Population Census Office, 1958), as cited in D.H. Johnson email, April 30, 2001.
97 We follow the categories set out in the census without making any judgment as to what constitutes an “Arab,” noting that all Sudanese are East Africans and that “Arab” is a cultural or language category. Just what these categories mean and what defines a Sudanese is the subject of great political debate. See Francis M. Deng, War of Visions: Conflict of Identities in the Sudan (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1995).
98 The term “black Africans” is a recent introduction by some foreigners wishing to alert other foreigners to Sudanese racial differences.
99 Juba Arabic, a version of Arabic which includes many words from southern languages, is used as a lingua franca among southerners. The educated usually speak English and Arabic as well as their birth language.
100 Ahmad Alawad Sikainga, “Sudan: Ethnic Structure,” Enclyclopedia Britannica (1999-2001), www.britannica.com/eb (accessed April 27, 2001). Polygamy persists among some southerners who otherwise consider themselves Christians.
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Mountains area is Muslim and the other half Christian.101 The adoption of Islam without Arabization is typical of sub-Saharan Muslim Africans outside of Sudan; Sudan’s coupling of Islam with Arabic language, customs, and culture in most of northern Sudan is unusual in Africa. The attempts of central governments and others to spread the Arab/Muslim culture to African areas has long been a source of political and social friction in Sudan. Attempts of Arab/Muslim Sudanese to politically and economically dominate non-Arabs and non-Muslims have also been resisted.
Those dominating the central government in Sudan since independence—whether military dictatorship, elected, democratic, socialist, free market, sectarian, secular, or Islamist—have always come from northern Nile-based (riverine) ethnic groups claiming Arab origin, whose religion was Islam. All Sudanese central governments have considered the oil in the south to be national, i.e., central government, property, and the same for the Nile waters that wend their way north through the sudd.
Historical experience, including nineteenth-century enslavement of southerns by northern entrepreneurs,102 made southerners suspicious of northern government promises to deal fairly with them regarding treaties, oil, or any other matter.103 At the time of the last national census, in 1983, the southern provinces were the poorest in the country.
Per capita income in the south (population then about five million) was about half that of the national average and perhaps only one-quarter that of the more prosperous province of Khartoum.104 Life 101 The controversial Leni Riefenstal played a role in bringing the Nuba to international attention. See Leni Riefenstahl, The Last of the Nuba (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995), featuring those Nuba who still embrace their traditional religions, scarification, and dress.
102 Deng, War of Visions.
103 The title of a well-known work on the south expresses the southern view: Abel Alier, Southern Sudan: Too Many Agreements Dishonored, 2d ed. (Reading: Ithaca Press, 1992).
104 Atif A.Saghayroun and Abdul-Aziz M. Farah, “The Nature and Determinants of Fertility and Mortality in the Sudan,” in Population and Human Resources, p. 56.
expectancy in Upper Nile province in the 1973 census was 35.69 years, compared to the already low national average of 44.85.105 Against this background, it was unsurprising that an independent Sudan, once freed from its colonial masters, soon showed the strains of maintaining unity. The country consisted of nine large provinces. As early as 1955, less than a year before independence, a mutiny among southern soldiers broke out when the central government tried to transfer them from the southern garrison in Wau, Bahr El Ghazal, to the north. Only two years after independence, the 1958 military takeover by Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Abboud and his subsequent policy of Islamization fueled a southern separatist war, sporadic at first. During the early 1960s, separatist southern guerrillas known as Anyanya106 made the initial focus of the war Equatoria, one of three southern provinces, but by the mid-1960s it had spread to the other two southern provinces: Upper Nile (the largest) and Bahr El Ghazal. In 1969, President Jafa’ar Nimeiri took power in Khartoum following a military coup. He prosecuted the war but soon entered into peace negotiations with the rebels.
In 1972 an agreement was signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, mediated by Ethiopia’s ruler Emperor Haile Selassie, which ended the first civil war and gave regional autonomy to the three southern provinces, uniting them into one political body, the Southern Region.107 The government subsequently incorporated some Anyanya rebels into its army: the Addis Ababa agreement stated that citizens of the Southern Region “shall constitute a sizeable proportion” of the Sudan armed forces “in such reasonable numbers as will correspond to the population of the region.”108 105 Saghayroun and Farah, “The State of Health and Nutrition in the Sudan,” p. 69, table 5.2.
106 Anyanya, the name by which these separatist guerrillas were known, is the word for a poison made in southern Sudan.
107 In 1976, in the first of his “decentralization” moves, President Nimeiri divided each province into two. Thereafter the Southern Region had six provinces rather than three. Subsequent governments have drawn and redrawn states, regions, and provinces throughout Sudan.
108 Article 26 (i), Addis Ababa Agreement, in Steven Wöndu and Ann Lesch, Battle for Peace in Sudan (New York: University Press of America, 2000), p. 202.
In all, the government brought 10,703 Anyanya into the uniformed forces,109 leaving 7,290 still unemployed.110 109 Protocols on Interim Arrangement, Chapter II, Articles 1-4, ibid., p. 208. The interim arrangement was to to remain in force for five years, subject to revision by the Sudanese president. It provided that the armed forces in the Southern Region “shall consist of a national force called the Southern Command composed of 12,000 officers and men of whom 6,000 shall be citizens from the Region and the other 6,000 from outside the Region.” The military commission ended up recruiting only the Anyanya: 2,000 noncommissioned officers and privates from Anyanya in each of three southern provinces (subtotal 6,000) plus a total of 203 officers.
An additional 1,500 Anyanya from each southern province (subtotal 4,500) were absorbed into the police and prison forces.
110 Some were resettled as traditional farmers and others went to work in government establishments, where many remained employed only until 1974, when central government special funding ended. The regional government then guided the remaining estimated at 3,500 to self-employment as farmers. Alier, Southern Sudan, p. 143.
Overview Chevron’s presence spanned major developments in Sudan’s modern postcolonial history. Chevron was granted its oil concession in 1974, shortly after the agreement on southern autonomy ended the separatist war in the south. Chevron discovered oil in this autonomous region in 1978, and by the time a second civil war broke out in the south in 1983 was developing Unity and Heglig oilfields. Located in today’s GNPOC Blocks 1 and 2 in Western Upper Nile/Unity State, these oilfields were home to the Nuer and Dinka, members of the two largest ethnic groups in southern Sudan.
In February 1984, a southern separatist rebel force, Anyanya II, attacked a Chevron facility in Block 1 and killed three expatriate workers. This led Chevron to suspend operations in the south.