Twic History


Twic Origins

The Twic, who locally called themselves Twi and in many literature referred to as Eastern Twic because of the other Twic in the West bank of the Nile who had earlier crossed to the West from the current Twicland, are one of the many Jieeng (Dinka) subtribes who inhabit most areas of the Northern and Central South Sudan both East and West of the Nile. Twic, Twi and Eastern Twic (Twij) have been used interchangeably in various written literature materials.  For centuries, Twic East people have lived as a unique Jieng enthnic group and their contacts with neighbors and outside world have enriched their well-being as a people. Historical accounts trace the origins of the majority of Eastern Twic Jieeng (Dinka) to the Northern Jieeng who live around Pangak, Malakal and Renk. Some of the groups from whom Twic lineages originated include; Luac, Rut, Thoi, Ng'ook and Dongjol.  A smaller section returned from the West Bank of the White Nile River from those who had earlier crossed westwards.  These returnees where of the Luac origin. Over centuries, people from far places arrived in the Twicland, adopted the traditions, learned the Twic's dialect and merged into the Eastern Twic local practices. There is often confusion that some Jieng far away from the East Bank of the White Nile River mistaken Twic to be Boor while ethnic differences explain a quite different narrative the two Groups.   The other distinct Jieeng groups found in the Northern Part of Jonglei State are Hol and Nyarweng as shown on the adjacent map.  Such confusion came from the fact that all the four major Jieeng groups in Jonglei were administered in Bor District named after one of the constituent communities (Bor Dinka). 

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Twic Political and Administrative History

The Twic Dinka are known for straightforwardness and where rules of conduct are universally observed. In the Sudanese and the South Sudanese struggle for independence, Twic Dinka played notable roles. During the Anglo-Egyptian rule, the Twic Dinka among other Jieeng people in the Upper Nile and Bahr El Ghazal Regions of the Sudan, resisted foreign rule. They resisted Turks who were conducting devastating slave trade along the Nile River. When the Turks were replaced by the British and Egyptians (Anglo-Condominion Rule), the Twic staged a fierce resistance as the Colonialists had extensively encroached on their land.  The Twic was later subdued by the Colonial Government in the 1920s.  After the Sudan attained independence from the Condominion government, the Twic together with other Jieeng and South Sudanese flocked to the bush when the first Sudanese civil war officially broke out in 1963 after a low level rebellion that had started in 1955. The Twic Dinka sacrificed a great deal in the two wars that signified the cause of the marginalized Sudanese. In 1967, high ranking Twic leaders went to Malakal, met with the Sudanese Government officials and demanded an administrative government to be established in South Sudan and to be based in the town of Juba. That demand coupled with the Anyanya activities in the Twic Area did not sit well with the government and its collaborators.

In the backdrop of the unforgiving Prime Minister, Sadiq Al-Mahdi, the Twic Dinka chiefs and politicians became soft targets for the raging civil war in Southern Sudan. A political conspiracy  led to the extrajudicial execution of 32 Chiefs, including Ajang Duot Bior who was the Paramount Chief of the then Bor District, honorable Bul Kooch, the Twic Area MP, Nyarweng's Paramount Chief, Jogaak Deng Malual and Athiu Maadol a prominent Bor Dinka chief. 

At that time, Bor District was the administrative area for Bor Dinka, Hol Dinka, Nyarweng Dinka and the Twic Dinka(E). During the 1972 Addis Ababa Agreement negotiation, the Rebel Chief Negotiator was Enoch Mading de Garang, a Prominent Twic Dinka who had championed the cause of the movement Europe and Africa. In the Anya-Nya National Armed Forces Wing, Akuoot Atem de Mayen, a veteran politician and commander and John Garang de Mabior, a captain in the Rebel Group both Twic Dinkas, were both vocal opponents of the Agreement for they suspected the Sudanese government would later renege on it.  Both Akuoot and Garang were founding members of the SPLA/SPLM.  In the first set up of the SPLA/M leadership structure, Mr. Akuoot later became the first chairman of the SPLA/M with the Garang as Chief of the Army but due to ideological differences and invincible external forces, Dr. Garang took over the group and became its chairman and commander in chief until he inked the CPA with the Sudan Goverment in 2005 after which he shortly died in a plan crush.  Capt. Garang, as a result of his opposition to the Addis Ababa Agreement, influenced his commanding officer Paul Awel Ruai, not to accept absorption of the Rebel fighters into the Sudanese army without assurances to the lasting peace.  

Under the colonial, Sudanese and South Sudanese goverments, the Twic people have been ruled under different political administrations. 

During the colonial rule, the Twic were administered in Duk District headquartered in Duk Payuel.  The colonial government later merged Duk District into Bor District and the Twic together with Hol and Nyarweng Dinkas were adminstratively transferred to Bor.  The Twic remained in Bor District until 1976 when new Districts were created.  The Twic together with Hol and Nyarweng Dinkas were once again transferred from Bor District to form Kongoor District.  In 2004, as requirement for the impending CPA, geographical and political boundaries were drawn and the district system was abolished and replaced with Counties.  Kongoor District was partitioned into Twic East and Duk Counties while Bor transformed from Bor District into Bor County.  In 2015, the three counties of Bor, Duk and Twic East were amalgamated once again to form the current State of Jonglei.  

Below is the administrative chronology of the Twic Dinka:

- Bor-Duk District  (1906 - 1936)

- Bor District  (1936 - 1976)

- Kong'oor District  (1976 - 2004)

- Jonglei State (2015 - Present).

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