You may hear or read a claim by some Anuak saying that “𝑵𝒖𝒆𝒓 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝑬𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒐𝒑𝒊𝒂𝒏, 𝑵𝒖𝒆𝒓 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒓𝒆𝒇𝒖𝒈𝒆𝒆𝒔”.
This is both wrong and absurd. I am going to refute this claim with historical evidence of Nuer existence in Ethiopia, centuries before refugee migration. 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘴 𝘣𝘰𝘵𝘩 𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘯𝘪𝘤 𝘮𝘰𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘩𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘭𝘺 𝘱𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘵𝘰𝘱𝘪𝘤 𝘵𝘰 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘐 𝘢𝘭𝘸𝘢𝘺𝘴 𝘳𝘦𝘧𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘯 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘥𝘶𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴.
𝘠𝘦𝘵, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘥𝘦𝘣𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘰𝘱𝘪𝘤 𝘪𝘴 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢 𝘭𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘭 𝘰𝘧 𝘩𝘶𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘴𝘦𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘴 𝘢𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘷𝘰𝘭𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘶𝘴 𝘳𝘦𝘲𝘶𝘪𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘳𝘦𝘧𝘶𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯. Nuer lived in Ethiopia years before no one could see refuge in Gambella itself.
Ethiopia first started hosting Sudanese refugees in Gambella in 1983, just 40 years ago, while Gambella town alone has 107 years history of establishment in 2023. Before a single Sudanese refugee entered Ethiopia, Thowath_Pal_Chay, from Nuer Majority, was a President (Chief) of Illubabor under Derge regime.
In the 1930s, 50 years before Gambella hosted Sudanese refugees, Koryum_Tut, a Gajaak Nuer, was appointed as a chief (Fitaurai) reigning from Kurthony, Lare.
Sir Chuol_Jock_Wie_Dup, proud Ethiopian Nuer, contributed to the defeat of Italians in the battle of Adwa, on Sunday, March 2, 1896. That is 87 years before refugees were to be hosted in Gambella.
Lueth_Met, and his brother Thon_Met, over 150 years ago, were a rulers over Makuey province of Gambella, Ethiopia, before word “refugee” was neither defined nor UN was founded.
Yes, in Gambella, we have Nuer refugees and Anuak refugees, but this doesn’t change the fact that there are Ethiopians Nuer and Ethiopians Anuak. In fact, many centuries, even before the Abyssinian Empire, Nuer of Ethiopia lived in Gambella; full article on this soon.
The claim by some Anuak brothers and sisters that Nuer are not Ethiopians but refugees is not only an incorrect assertion but a criminal offense.
This claim promotes a violence. Ethiopian Nuer are NOT leaving Gambella, now and forever. Rather, Gambella government and federal must enact a law to criminalize this illicit claim. I take this opportunity to ask anyone to only work for peace in the region. This tribal division and conflict between Nuer and Anyuak has no gain, it rather drags us backward.