Borderlands in Abyei. Presentation By: Jack Dentith John Fenning - Jess Hayes - Kellee Jacobs - Alessia Mura - Sam Rosmarin. May 2008. Over 300 buildings destroyed. May 2008. 30-50 thousand people displaced. Research Question:. What is the nature of the conflict in Abyei?.
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What is the nature of the conflict in Abyei?
The process of border formation in Sudan has
been critical in shaping the nature and level of
conflict Abyei in terms of its actors and stakes
Lord Kitchener of Khartoum
1700s – first interaction between Ngok Dinka and Misserya
1905 – British transfer Abyei to Kordofan Province in the North
1955-1972 –First Sudanese Civil War
1983 – Second Sudanese Civil War begins
Omar al-Bashir and John Garang at the Signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005
2004 –Abyei protocol
2005- Second Civil War ends, Abyei Boundary Commission defines Abyei boundaries
2008 – Renewed clashes in Abyei
2009 – International Arbitration modifies ABC boundaries
2011 – Southern Referendum, but no Abyei referendum
What are borders?
What are borderlands?
How do they affect conflict?
The Sudanese Borderlands Today
Defined by their contradictions (Anderson and O’Down, 1999)
Violent ‘neuralgia points’ (Goodhand)
Hirst (2005) distinguishes between a frontier, which is fluid and mobile, and a border, which is fixed
Local Processes and Perceptions
National conflict, national identities
CPA – Abyei Protocol
Exclusion and threat of exclusion
Interactions within Borderlands
Dinka Cattle Camps
Misseriya Cattle Camps
- large irrigated schemes + attempted settlement of nomads- balance of payments + conflict due to ‘underdevelopment’
Encroachment + Marginalisation- Misseriya pushed south + feel excluded from Abyei Development Project (1978-1981)
Changes in the way land is used and perceived
Oil profits allowed the NCP to wage its
wars in Abyei
2003: 25% of total production
2009: 1% of total production
The process of border formation problematised the presence of oil in Abyei and vice versa
Dinka and Misseriya Leaders
Isolation and Marginalization of both groups
Formation of national identities
Bashir and IGAD
Oil fields removed by PCA ruling
PCA - 22 July 2009
‘Troika’: US Norway UK
Perceptions of bias
Has external diplomatic intervention in Abyei exacerbated the conflict?
Is the current conflict just on big ‘tragic misunderstanding?’
Voter Ballot in January’s Referendum on Southern Secession
“the border conflict is fundamentally a conflict over who is a citizen, who should have a vote and who should organize the election in the first place” (Anderson and Hamilton 1999)
“The (ABC) decision should have no practical effect on the traditional grazing patterns of the two communities as those patterns were followed for many years until they were disrupted by armed conflict”
Abyei Boundary Commission Report, 14 July 2005
- Borderland framework is useful in explaining the conflict in Abyei
- Important factors:
Falling on the right side of the border
=Pride, Dignity and Power