|ARMING THE MILITIAS||ASSAULTS
ON DINKA VILLAGES
When the militias began to raid, loot and burn the villages and granaries of their Dinka neighbours, the Dinka responded by arming themselves, but this confirmed them as justifiable targets in the eyes of their attackers.
In February 1986 a group of Murahleen, believed to be Rezeigat from nearby ad-Da'ein, began raiding small villages - including Ajok, Gok Macar, Achana, Majak Bai and Chirkou - around Marial Bai, the headquarters of Dinka Chief Riny Lual Dau.
The villages were easily overrun, and cattle, grain and human beings were taken as "war booty" in the raids.
Attacks on the villages continued intermittently for six days. Chief Riny Lual Dau assembled his people in Marial Bai to pool their defensive resources: his own guards had rifles, as did each village chief, and the young men from Aweil town also gathered there.
The Murahleen responded to the Dinka gathering at Marial Bai by launching a massive seven-day assault which ended in their seizure of women and children as well as thousands of sheep, goats and cattle.
It was among the first of many such raids, in which thousands of Dinka women and children were captured and forced to trek to Southern Darfur and Southern Kordofan.
Some were put to work in the fields, and others were taken as domestic servants. Those surplus to requirements were sold. Top