Tribes and Childers

Just one more comment on the Sam Childers thing. After mentioning the fact that I was pretty sure it’s not really a Dinka area at all down near Nimule, I decided to check and make sure I wasn’t delusional when I posted that.

And what would you know, but UN OCHA confirmed my suspicion (see: Erin’s obsessive love of all things map-related) that it’s not historically a Dinka area.  That is a link to a map of all the tribal areas in South Sudan, color coded and everything.  It’s in PDF form, so here below I’ve zoomed in on the section in question:

Tribes of South Sudan (Central, Eastern, Western Equatoria and South Lakes, and Jonglei states)

Nimule is all the way down at the very bottom border, in that blue section, at the farthest south part.

The blue section is the area which is predominantly Madi.

There are no Dinka tribes historically in that area.  The closest areas that are Dinka are the Dinka Bor and Dinka Aliab tribes in Jonglei and Lakes states respectively.

And I even made it so you didn’t have to click into the picture by circling them here:

Not close.

I was feeling super superior and ready to be like “Neener neener!” and then I did a bit of research on the history of Madi and Dinka clashing in Eastern Equatoria near Nimule and I was all “…oh.”

During the war, there was a huge influx of Dinka in the area as IDPs (a 2006 survey said it was at that point possibly even as many as half the population of Nimule, although I’m certain that’s changed in 5 years since there has been such a population migration and influx in this past year alone, and I would guess that is no longer a valid stat), and tensions are high because some would like them to return to their homelands and leave the Madilands for the Madi.   Like I’ve stated before, tensions between the tribes are very complicated (to put it mildly) and I couldn’t even begin to go into all the inter-tribal tensions which happen at both local and country-wide levels.  There is particularly a lot of animosity towards Dinkas  due to their supremacy in most high ranking government positions.

Anyways, if you’re interested in reading about some of the issues in the area, I recommend going here, herehere, here, and here to start.

Please note that I still don’t necessarily find much validity in the claim that they “rounded a corner” and stumbled across 4,000 people.  And even conceding that point as true, but poor writing, the fact remains that having “no choice” but to “lock and load” and shoot off some rounds is spurious at the least and just plain stupid at the best.

But I felt I should at least set the record straight on the tribal divisions in Nimule/Southwest Eastern Equatoria area.


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