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129 Groups calling themselves Anyanya operating out of Ethiopia had existed since at least 1976. They did not agree with the Addis Ababa agreement and the creation of a southern autonomous region. They wanted southern independence instead. Various Nuer SPLA forces were never in Anyanya II: they included Riek Machar (studying outside of Sudan), later SPLA zonal commander of his home region, Western Upper Nile, and Cmdr. William Nyuon Bany (in the Sudanese army), the highest-ranking Nuer in the SPLM/A until his defection in 1992.
130 Nelson Kasfir, “Why the Addis Ababa Agreement...,”p. 16; D.H. Johnson and Gerard Prunier, “The Foundation and Expansion of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army,” in Civil War in the Sudan, p. 124. Earlier threats to transfer a southern battalion from Wau to the north sparked off the first civil war, in 1955; note that the Kasfir article says, “That event [transfer of the Wau battalion] is popularly, if incorrectly, considered to have initiated the civil war.” Actually, the level of armed insurgency during the first Anyanya war was low until the early 1960s, when Maj. Gen. Abboud came to power in 1958 and began to impose Islamization and Arabization measures on the south. Kasfir, “Why the Addis Ababa Agreement....” 131 A soldier in Anyanya, John Garang had been integrated into the Sudanese army pursuant to the Addis Ababa agreement in 1972 and gradually promoted to the rank of colonel. While in the Sudanese army, John Garang earned a Ph.D. at Iowa State University (U. S.) in agronomics, focusing his research on the adverse effects on southern Sudan of the planned Jonglei canal.
132 Alier, Southern Sudan, pp. 264-66; email, D. H. Johnson, April 30, 2001.
98Oil in Southern Sudan
At the time, Bor was only one of a series of mutinies of former Anyanya from the government army.133 But the Bor mutiny led to the founding of the SPLM/A by Col. John Garang, Maj. Kerubino Kwanyin Bol, Lt. Col. Samuel Gai (Nath) Tut, and others.134 From its inception, the SPLM/A was, in effect, an army, defecting in battalions, southern in origin. Over the years prior to 1983, small numbers of Nuer and Dinka soldiers, police, and civil servants had gradually joined the Anyanya II nucleus in Ethiopia,135 and were initially incorporated into the new movement.
The SPLM/A was sponsored, housed, supplied, and trained by the repressive government of Pres.
Mengistu Haile Miriam of Ethiopia. Ethiopia was reciprocating Sudan’s own efforts. Ethiopia had warned Sudan as early as 1976 that if Sudan did not stop supporting Ethiopian and Eritrean dissidents, Ethiopia would support Sudanese dissidents.136 With the Cold War at its height, Ethiopia was aligned with the Soviet Union and Cuba, while Sudan was aligned with the United States. President Nimeiri’s dictatorship received considerable aid from the U.S. The SPLM/A received arms, training, and other assistance from the Soviet bloc and sent thousands of southern and Nuba boy soldiers and adult officers to Cuba for military and academic education.137 133 See Nelson Kasfir, “Why the Addis Ababa Agreement....” 134 Before the mutiny, Col. John Garang and Samuel Gai Tut had been running guns to Anyanya II. Kerubino had been fighting Anyanya II. See D.H. Johnson and G. Prunier, “The Foundation and Expansion of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army,” pp. 117-41.
135 Nuer mutineers from the Sudanese army in Western Upper Nile did not all go to Ethiopia. Some stayed with their arms in their area to protect their people against the Baggara, who were increasing their attacks on Nuer and Dinka communities with the aid of government or Umma Party armament. Some armed Nuer engaged in banditry.
136 One of the first to benefit from this Ethiopian support was Sadiq al Mahdi of the Umma Party, following the failed Umma Party coup attempt in Sudan in 1976. Email, D. H. Johnson, April 30, 2001; M.W. Daly, “Broken Bridge and Empty Basket: The Political and Economic Background of the Sudanese Civil War,” in Civil War in the Sudan, p. 20.
137 Carol Berger, “From Cattle Camp to Slaughterhouse: The Politics of Identity Among Cuban-Educated Dinka Refugees in Canada” (unpublished dissertation for the Master of Arts at the University of Alberta, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, October 2, 2001).
Colonel Garang’s call for a united, secular, socialist Sudan was a non-secessionist goal consistent with that of the Ethiopian ruling council, the Derg. Anyanya II, like its predecessor, called for southern independence.
In Ethiopia, political, leadership, and personality problems cropped up within the rebel movement between the two factions in the SPLM/A, one led by Lt. Col. Samuel Gai and Maj. William Abdallah Chuol—the Anyanya II separatist faction —and the other by Colonel Garang. The SPLA fought its first battles against Anyanya II. Although Anyanya II was driven out of Ethiopia and some leaders killed, it did not dissolve but became a predominantly Nuer militia taking arms from the Sudanese government and fighting the SPLA. Anyanya II was particularly useful to the Sudanese government because of its location along the route from Bahr El Ghazal to the Ethiopian border, where it attacked SPLA recruits on their way to Ethiopian training camps. It also intercepted and fought the trained SPLA troops proceeding from their bases in Ethiopia.138 Government Use of the Baggara as a Forced Displacement Tool, 1980s Following the southern mutiny and the resumption ofwar in 1983, both governments of dictator Jafa’ar Nimeiri (1969-85) and elected Prime Minister Sadiq al Mahdi of the Umma Party (1986-89) took steps to counter rebellious southern groups—and to protect the areas of oil exploration—by favoring Arab ethnic groups in the “transition zone” of Sudan between north and south. Both governments armed the militia of the Baggara nomadic cattle herders of southern Kordofan and Darfur, the muraheleen,139 with automatic weapons. The Baggara began to use their new weapons to loot cattle and force the Dinka and 138 Biel Torkech Rambang, Nuer representative in the U.S., Human Rights Watch interview, Washington, D.C., March 6, 2001.
139 These were originally young Baggara armed men who traveled with their families’ cattle herds to provide protection. Muraheleen is the Misseriya Baggara word for travelers, which now refers to all Baggara militias of southern Darfur and Kordofan. The Rizeigat word for this group of young men is fursan, or cavalry, although they are called muraheleen.
The government, which initially came to power in a military-Islamist coup in 1989, incorporated the muraheleen into their army (usually as Popular Defence Forces or PDF), used army officers to train and command them, and conducted joint military operations in the south with them, particularly along the Babanusa-Wau railway.
Nuer from their land and pastures. The Baggara already had an advantage over their Dinka and Nuer neighbors, in that the Baggara had horses whereas southerners could not keep horses because of the inhospitable climate.
In the north of Western Upper Nile, the government used displacement to make the area “safe” for foreign and northern-based exploitation of oil. The Heglig oil location (in Block 2) was not densely populated, but Dinka lived dispersed in the whole Heglig area and moved their cattle tocattle camps in that same region, according to contemporary accounts, the memories of former residents, and older maps.140 The government permitted the muraheleen to operate unchecked in Dinka and Nuer areas in order to (1) deflect the political threat posed by the marginalized but potentially threatening Baggara by allowing them to reap profits from looting their richer neighbors to the south; (2) defeat southern rebels; and (3) gain access to southern resources such as oil, water, and grazing lands in the context of a growing economic and environmental crisis in the north.141 The government did not pay the Baggara anything much for their raids, but gave their militia a license to steal from the Nuer and Dinka: cattle, grain, household goods—and women and children, taken as slaves. Notably, after the civil war resumed, the government stopped intervening in raids and calling tribal conferences to resolve conflicts between Baggara and the Nuer and Dinka.142 140 The population around Mayom was about one person per square mile in peacetime, according to a development worker. Roger Schrock, formerly affiliated with the NSCC, Nairobi, Human Rights Watch telephone interview, Iowa, October 28, 1999.
141 Social scientist David Keen observes that political and economic developments starting in the mid-1960s eroded the earlier system of protection by exposing the vulnerability of southern Sudanese to exploitative processes. At the same time these developments provided certain groups in the north, such as the marginalized Baggara, with both the motive and the ability to deepen this exploitation through the use of force. Keen, Benefits of Famine, pp. 18-19.
142 The year 1982 saw the last efforts of the Sudanese government army to keep the peace—in particular the last clashes between government soldiers and the armed Baggara in Western Upper Nile (between Abiemnon and Mayom), wherethe government attempted to quell Baggara raids into the south. Roger Schrock, interview, October 28, 1999. The central government, however, continued to support peace conferences among northern and western ethnic groups who had disputes over cattle raiding and land
101Human Rights Watch
In the early 1980s, the Baggara stepped up their fights with the Ngok Dinka of Abyei, southern Kordofan, over water and grazing; the Baggara’s home areas periodically suffered drought and were undergoing desertification—and a famine in 1984. They thoroughly looted and displaced these Ngok Dinka of Kordofan, many of whom became displaced persons south of the Bahr al Arab River, in the Bahr al Ghazal territory of their Twic Dinka cousins.143 Even there, Baggara assaults kept and keep the displaced Ngok Dinka and their Twic Dinka cousins on the run.144 The next line of Baggara attack during those early years followed known watering routes southeast, through Western Upper Nile. Entering from the westerly direction of Abiemnon at the beginning of the dry season in December or January, when the roads were dry enough for their horses, the muraheleen displaced small isolated villages in Dinka areas of Western Upper Nile throughout the early 1980s. They pierced through to Leek Nuer territory and displaced villages there also.
According to a church development worker based in Bentiu and Mayom, in about 1982 the Baggara began showing up in the Mayom area with automatic weapons and became more aggressive. That year the Baggara took about 500 Nuer and Dinka cattle from the Heglig/Unity/Mayom region, and ran back north.145 use. See De Waal, “Militias,” p. 146; Human Rights Watch, “Sudan,” World Report 2000 (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1999), p.
143 The Ngok Dinka lived in Abyei District in southern Kordofan on the northern side of the north/south border. Keen, Benefits of Famine, p. 79. Their displacement appears related to Baggara land and water hunger rather than oil, but the Baggara were nonetheless favored by the government in this contest between Arab and African citizens.
144 Human Rights Watch, Famine in Sudan, 1998:The Human Rights Causes (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1999), pp. 31-35.
145 Among these Baggara were poachers; non-Baggara poachers also entered the Unity oilfield area in the early 1980s hunting for a herd of about seventy-six elephants between Pariang and Bentiu. The hunters caught most of these elephants, and by 1983 only twelve remained. To reach the herd, the nomads came from Muglad through Heglig to Unity, then back by the eastern Nuba Mountains. Roger Schrock, interview, October 28, 1999.
A young Nuer man told how on two occasions in the 1980s the muraheleen came on horses and raided his village, Rang (two hours north of Bentiu on foot):146 In the beginning, we had no guns.... The muraheleen were shooting at people, who scattered. Then the muraheleen took the cows and left. Sometimes they captured children playing in the forest. Those children never returned. The muraheleen wore long white robes, and had guns. They came once a year but our people did not move.147 The muraheleen burned down the huts and grain, but these Nuer did not leave until the “Arab soldiers came footing [sic], in uniform,” the Nuer man explained. “They were coming quietly, then they started shooting without saying anything.” The soldiers also came twice, destroying the village and taking the cows. But the second time they set up a base in the village. The narrator was then sixteen. “The soldiers did not tell us to move but we saw them shoot civilians, and this was too much for us. My brothers were killed, the younger and the elder. They were in the luak [cattle byre].” 148 Inside the current Block 4, west of Bentiu, and probably not far from what later became an oilfield, there were schools attended by hundreds of Leek Nuer children in 1983, according to the man who then served as school administrator.149 These Nuer were pushed by the Baggara to cross the Bahr El Ghazal (Nam) River for safety.
The school administrator said:
The Baggara looted the Nuer cattle, and sold it to traders. They killed people, abducted girls and boys to be slaves, and sold some to Libya. If a person were lucky, his children 146 All outsiders who have worked with the Nuer and other southerners note that the Nuer, on foot, cover twice as much territory as outsiders, in the same time. Therefore what is two hours walking (or “footing”) for the Nuer is four hours walking for outsiders.
147 Former combatant, Human Rights Watch interview, Kenya, August 3, 2000.
149 Former school administrator, interview, August 1-2, 2000.
The schools the administrator was managing closed from 1983 until 1991 because the Baggara raiders destroyed them. Whole Nuer communities fled; many families were separated. Most young Nuer men went to Bilpam, an SPLA military base in Ethiopia, “for training to protect their land,” the school administrator said.151 “The Baggara Misseriya came from Abiemnon, which was an Ngok Dinka area.
They pushed the Dinka to Bul Nuer areas.”152
The administrator recalled that: