Opinion By: William Ezekiel
Despite theories of a conspiracy by Dr. Riek Machar, First Vice President and leader of the SPLM-IO and his likes in South Sudan, against the Collo Kingdom in particular and community as well, “Mal ba Kal,” which literally translates into “Heaven is a sweet home,” in English language, shall inevitably and/or under any circumstances, remain a sole Homeland to King/Reth De wäd wad Ocollo (1635-1650 A.D.), his followers and subjects, with the village of Ma’kal Obudhiang as his Royal seat.
Linguistically, and in the course of pronouncing Ma ba Kal, ancient Collo linguists, as much as an accent, and vowels are concerned, tend to have had joint, twisted the prefix with suffix letters of Mal ba Kal (compound name), merged into one single word to form Ma’kal (single name) as pronunciation and Collo semantics demand. This is obvious in Pashoda/Fashoda the Royal capital city of Collo Kingdom.
In the chronology of Collo Kingdom rulers, King Ochollo wad Dak (1615-1635 A.D.), was the fifth Collo King, a great leader of his time, who vigorously defended the Kingdom territorial integrity and safeguarded the Collo nation from intruders, and with the help of his son De wäd, King Ochollo triumphantly pushed back, conquered and heavily inflicted casualties both men and material, on his enemies known as Bel; again the people of Bel, are in most cases widely classified by the Collo Kingdom as Anyuak.
It’s said, in that battle, as many as thousands of Bel men and women had been killed, some injured and many more taken captives, it’s upon this background, the place was called Näk Diär (You just killed women), and to those with little knowledge or completely ignorant of abstract facts on area per se, Näk Diär is located southeast of Malakal town, both Opet Jëë and Näk Diär areas, in essence, are typically Collo nomenclature and terminology.
In those days of the reign of De Wäd wad Ochollo seventeenth-century ago, the land called Mal ba Kal and nowadays distorted by the fact of bias of the exploiting class as Malakal used to be named after areas situated inside the island and that one of the eastern bank of the White Nile River as well, to mention but a few, villages of Ma’kal Obudhiang, Ma’kal Aywok Wangen, Ma’kal Pwöt and so on and forth, stand crystal clear in defying unsubstantiated allegations and assumptions of the neo-colonialists and Arab Jallab of South Sudan.
These two areas remain inseparable entities in name and essence; then Ma’kal area, which lies on the eastern bank of White Nile River spreads from Opet Jëë (exterminate people), which includes the de facto area of Malakal airport, situated north of the town of Malakal, all the way to Wij Acüny (Shortcut area), used to be known as Hamla (الحملة/ the campaign/the invasion), and currently includes areas of Dairy and Veterinary facilities, fisheries department and Fisheries Institute to former Malakal Animal Zoo, and part of St. Lowanga Roman Catholic Church, down to areas of Hai Murle, Nuba, Shilluk, Zandi, Muro, and Danagala, no doubt, these areas- apart from Hai Dinka constitute Wij Acüny.
The current locations of Raay El-Mosari (Egyptian Water Nile Monitoring Unit), Malakal Teaching Hospital, Upper Nile government establishments including the office of the Governor, down to Malakal main market (السوق الكبير), former Hai Temergia (Nurses quarter), and the beginning of Hai Jellaba, all were virtually De wäd wad Ochollo plantations and hunting grounds.
As regards the area widely known as Malakal city that once upon a time, served as a provincial capital of the Upper Nile region and subsequently Upper Nile state, was established in 1917, by the Angelo-Egyptian condominium rule, with the specific objective to control the slave trade.