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‘What’s past is prologue; what to come, in yours and my discharge’

This book focuses on a small territory but it provides a vivid case study of the concepts of community, identity and of the causes and ensuing challenges of border delineation and separatist movements – ever-present issues.

Bona Malwal revisits the years of bitter civil war and makes a heartfelt case for the still unresolved plight of the border Dinka community of Abyei. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005 requires the Ngok people to vote in a referendum to remain part of Northern Sudan or return to the now independent South – their dilemma made complex by the 1956 borders drawn by the British before Sudan became independent and by the political leaders of the Ngok Dinka aspiring to make the case of their people synonymous with the political cause of South Sudan.

Writing with both love for his people and homeland and from frustration, Malwal argues that introducing Abyei into the politics of South and North Sudan not only complicates the liberation of South Sudan, but that self-determination for the South – as the political bottom line in the search for peace in Sudan – has left the Ngok Dinka community at war on three sides: the North, the South and the former concept of a ‘New Sudan’, entrenched in the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement. He concludes that only international intervention can now help the Ngok Dinka – and this book is his cri de coeur for such help.


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