Archive for June 27, 2014

University of Juba

Centre for Peace and Development Studies


Public Lecture

“Federalism in the History of South Sudanese Political Thought”


Douglas Johnson, PhD

Fellow, Rift Valley Institute


Luka B. Deng Kuol, PhD

Associate Professor, University of Juba


  1. Hon. Daniel Zingifuaboro, Minister of Local Government and Law Enforcement, Western Equatoria State
  2. Mr Augustino Ting, The Sudd Institute
  3. Dr. Jaafar Mori, PhD, Dean of College of Social and Economic Studies, University of Juba
  4. Justice Deng Biong, Chairperson of South Sudan Public Grievances Chamber

Venue: New Hall 1, University of Juba

Date: 5th July 2014,

Time: 05:00-07:00 pm

The Programme

1. Welcoming Remarks:

  • Vice Chancellor or his representative (5 minutes)
  • Director of Centre for Peace and Development Studies (5 minutes).

2. Keynote Speaker: Dr Douglas Johnson (45 minutes)

  • Lecture will focus on putting the idea of federalism in historical perspective within South Sudanese historical thought.

3. First Discussant: Hon. Daniel Zingifuaboro (10 minutes)

  • This intervention will discuss the relevancy of the idea of federalism to the current situation in South Sudan.

4. Second Discussant: Mr Augustino Ting (10 minutes)

  • This intervention will discuss how federalism will contribute to nation-building and management of diversity.

5. Third Discussant: Dr Jaafar Mori (10 minutes)

  • This intervention will provide the general public opinion about federalism based on the statistical data gathered from students at University of Juba.

6. Fourth Discussant: Justice Deng Biong (10 minutes)

  • This intervention will conclude with the legal and constitutional process necessary for building and effecting the national consensus around federalism

7. Comments, Questions and Answers:

John Adoor Deng, Australia

The choices of words continue to add insults into the already worsen situation in South Sudan. All we hear daily are people saying that, dinka is a bad community, Nuer community is bad, murle community is worse and even generalise that Equatorians (combination of multiple groups) communities are obnoxious just to name a few. However, not only did these culprits stop from there, they mouthed that Dinka community is the enemy to Nuer community, murle community is the enemy to dinka, and so are Equatorian and Shilluk communities enemies to both dinka, Nuer and murle and ver -versa and the list is endless.

Thus, a foreigner who is fed with this vague information could realistically see no sense of cohesion and hope of a united country. Some of the bad fed foreigners go to their countries to project bad image of our country. Off course, this piece is here to demystify such fallacious. Day and night I argue that no community is the enemy to other community, and there is no such thing as absolute community collective enmity towards other groups.

Indeed, I do not disbelieve that there are conflicts that in some cases partially involve the above communities, either in the forms of cattle raiding, child abduction or recently politically motivated conflicts. However, the correct definitions of such conflicts are intrinsic motivation of individuals wanting to achieve certain ambitions or goals. Arguably, these communities to some extend are collided by few elements that waged assaults to achieve not community collective goals but their individual interests. For example, the cattle raiding initiatives are concocted by young people outside their communities’ conventions, in other words, community opinion leaders do not play a part in such acts. The chief in murle, for example, deal with cases of his chiefdoms, priests in murle deal with his evangelistic ministries and both have nothing to do with cattle raiding if the case of cattle raiding was launched by elements of murle youths.

In politics, some actors used the communities as their shields and cover to achieve their goals. In recent conflicts, there was no need to massacre innocent civilians in juba who has nothing to do Riek Machar or the detainees. Also, the massacre in Bortown was baseless as those civilian killed in Bor had nothing to do with Kiir Mayardit and his inner circles in specific terms. These elements who killed civilian on both sides of the conflicts has this fallacy in minds that, “they are Nuer, and we are dinka we must kill them, they are dinka, and we are Nuer we must kill them.” All these acts were done outside of communities’ conventions. Apparently, the Dinka community and Nuer community continue to work together socially; they intermarry each month despite these conflicts. In Juba and Australia and elsewhere marriages between Dinka, Nuer, Murle and Equatorian are taking place. No community is the enemy to any community, and the choice of words must change in order to delimit the context of the conflict.

We cannot afford to be referred to as enemies to one another. We are naturally placed on one piece of land religiously, conditioned to work together as brothers and sisters inhibiting this proudest land of Cush, South Sudan. The word choice of words and the demonic generalisation of conflict must be rid away from those brothers and sisters who only, unfortunately, found comfort in talking, inciting conflicts between our blessed communities.

The Author is John Adoor Deng, BA, BTH, MPRL, MPPP(current) and director of South Sudan Support Foundation. He is reachable by emailing: