The Principle of Tribocracy (Part 2)

Posted: February 16, 2015 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Editorials, Featured Articles, PaanLuel Wël, Philosophy
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Power-Mapping of Ethnicity in the Republic South Sudan

By PaanLuel Wël, Juba

In the life of every person there comes a point when he realizes that out of all the seemingly limitless possibilities of his youth he has in fact become one actuality. No longer is life a broad plain with forests and mountains beckoning all-around, but it becomes apparent that one’s journey across the meadows has indeed followed a regular path, that one can no longer go this way or that. The desire to reconcile an experience of freedom with a determined environment is the lament of poetry and the dilemma of philosophy.– Opening Sentence, Henry Kissinger’s Undergraduate Thesis, Harvard University, 1949.

Celebrating the Fruition of the CPA

Celebrating the Fruition of the CPA

I

February 16, 2015 (SSB) — On 4 January 1934,[1] a young economist delivered a report to the US Congress that eight decades later still shapes the lives of everyone on this planet. His name was Simon Kuznets—a Belarusian-American Jew—and the report he delivered was entitled, “National Income, 1929-32”. Kuznets’ report is the foundation of how we judge the economic success of all countries in the world today, and is known as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). GDP has defined and shaped our lives for the last 81 years.

For us to understand how the GDP came to dominate our lives, we must remember that Kuznets’ report was delivered at a moment of economic crisis. The US economy was plummeting into the Great Depression and the policy makers on Capitol Hill were struggling to respond to that crisis—struggling because they didn’t know what was going on. They didn’t have data and statistics on the US economy. Therefore, what Kuznets’ report gave them was reliable data on what the US economy was producing from 1929 to 1932. And armed with this information, policy makers at the US Congress were eventually able to find a way of out the Great Depression. And because Kuznets’ research and principle were found to be so useful, it quickly spread around the world and today every country produces its own GDP as a measurement of economic success.

Like the US at the height of the Great Depression, South Sudan (and much of the Sub-Saharan African region) is at a crossroad. It is in political turmoil. Democracy has failed. Economic development and social prosperity is a distant mirage. We live on a continent where the specter of civil strife haunts everyone from infancy to grave. The African race, marching to the drumbeat of self-destruction, has become an engine of misery and destitution unto itself. We need a better system of governance to manage our society: an inclusive and effective, fair and equitable system of governance based on the real sociopolitical and cultural context of real African people.

I believe we are living in a desperate era where we have nothing to lose by going back to our roots. We have tried alien religions such as Christianity and Islam and foreign political philosophies like democracy and socialism and communism. Nothing but sheer social depravity, political confusions and economic impoverishment have we gained from their full adoption and fervent espousal. By all the imaginable indexes of human social progress, the humble African graces the bottom of the human race.

II

In Part One of this article[2], I have defined tribocracy as a political system where representatives of a particular ethnic group hold a number of government posts proportionate to the percentage of the total population that the particular ethnic group represents in order to promote and achieve fair and equitable political representation across all ethnic groups comprising that particular nation. In other words, tribocracy is a system of governance in which equality in political representation in the national government and/or at the state level is achieved through the principle of equitable and fair tribal representation.

If South Sudanese people can devise and institutionalize an inclusive system of governance, which, in word and practice, could be seen as fair, just and equitable for all the ethnic groups of South Sudan, then the fight against tribalism will be won and South Sudan will avoid the pitfalls of her fellow post-colonial African countries by becoming a successful, new, prosperous nation because a political system where representatives of a particular ethnic group hold a number of government posts proportionate to the percentage of the total population that the particular ethnic group represents will promote and preserve peace and harmony among all the ethnic group of that nation.

In the second part of this article, I am going to use the blueprint of tribocracy to demonstrate, in a logical and effective way, how power-mapping of ethnicity in South Sudan can enable us to address the mortal threat of tribalism to our national existence. Hopefully, with more honest, constructive and reflective national discourse, we can put together a coherent leadership and unity framework to manage and achieve the proverbial “unity in diversity” across Africa.

Sadly, Africans have skirted around this issue of tribalism for decades, refusing to take the bull by the horns, but instead preferring to bury their head in the sand of complacency. Therefore, any argument about the elimination of tribalism in Africa, if it is to be honest and effective, must commence with tribocracy because nothing would make us more secure and stable than a fair and equitable sharing of power among different ethnic groups through a tribocratic system of governance.

III

According to the record of Hon. Isaiah Chol Aruai, the commissioner of the South Sudan’s National Bureau of Statistics and Census, the current population of the Republic of South Sudan, based on the May 2008 Sudan fifth population and housing census, stands at approximately 8.26 millions. In order to determine whether representatives of a particular ethnic group in South Sudan hold a number of governmental posts proportionate to the percentage of the total population that the particular ethnic group represents, we must look at the available hard data for guidance.

But before scrutinizing the raw numbers per county, we must first clearly define some terminologies encompassing political forces prevailing in our republic. The first is political caucus—the dominant political force or group that inhabits that particular county, while the second one is political constituency—the sub-group of the dominant political force in that particular county. The third is Mukaji, an acronym for Murle, Kachipo and Jie, the ethnic communities that inhabit Greater Pibor area, currently known as the Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA) under the leadership of the renegade militia leader, David Yau-Yau of SSDM/A—Cobra Faction.

Secondly, the 2010 census was based on residency, not birth, and therefore does not reflect the exact numbers of political caucuses shown below. For example, Dinkas who were living abroad (USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand etc.) or in the neighboring countries (Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Khartoum etc.) or in cities (Juba, Malakal, Wau, Torit, Kapoeta) or in the various military barracks and displacement camps across South Sudan, were not counted and are consequently not reflected in the analysis of their respective political caucuses and constituencies. This picture is as true for the Nuers as it is for Equatorians and the Minority groups.

Lastly, there are few counties that are shared by more than one political caucus or constituent. The Rek Dinka (Wau-Makwei-Akech) and the Fertit/Luo communities, for instance, inhabit Jur-River County in Western Bahr el Ghazal state. In most counties, however, this is an exception rather than the rule.

Below is the comprehensive breakdown of the raw numbers by counties:

Table I: Raw Numbers per County

State County Political Caucus

Political Constituency

Population (2008 Census) National Percentage
Jonglei Twic East Dinka Boor Dinka 85,349 1.03%
Duk Dinka Boor Dinka 65,588 0.79%
Boor Dinka Boor Dinka 221,106 2.68%
Pigi Dinka Padaang Dinka 99,068 1.19%
Akobo Nuer Lou Nuer 136,210 1.65%
Ayod Nuer Phow Nuer 139,282 1.69%
Fangak Nuer Phow Nuer 110,130 1.33%
Nyirol Nuer Lou Nuer 108,674 1.32%
Pibor Minority Group Mukaji[3] 148,475 1.79%
Wuror Nuer Lou Nuer 178,519 2.16%
Pochalla Minority Group Anyuak 66,201 0.80%
Upper Nile Baliet Dinka Padaang Dinka 48,010 0.58%
Kodok/Fashoda Minority Group Shilluk 36,518 0.44%
Longochuk Nuer Jikany Nuer 63,166 0.76%
Nasir/Luakpiny Nuer Jikany Nuer 210,002 2.54%
Maban Minority Groups Buny 45,238 0.55%
Maiwut Nuer Jikany Nuer 79,462 0.96%
Malakal Minority Group Shilluk 126,483 1.53%
Manyo Minority Group Shilluk 38,010 0.46%
Melut Dinka Padaang Dinka 49,242 0.59%
Panyikang Minority Group Shilluk 45,427 0.55%
Renk Dinka Padaang Dinka 137,751 1.67%
Ulang Nuer Jikany Nuer 85,044 1.03%
Unity Abiemnhom Dinka Padaang Dinka 17,012 0.21%
Pariang Dinka Padaang Dinka 82,443 0.99%
Guit Nuer Liech Nuer 33,004 0.39%
Koch Nuer Liech Nuer 74,863 0.91%
Leer Nuer Liech Nuer 53,022 0.64%
Mayendit Nuer Liech Nuer 53,783 0.65%
Mayom Nuer Liech Nuer 120,715 1.46%
Panyijar Nuer Liech Nuer 50,723 0.61%
Rubkona Nuer Liech Nuer 100,236 1.21%
Lakes Awerial Dinka Agaar Dinka 47,041 0.57%
Cueibet Dinka Agaar Dinka 117,755 1.43%
Rumbek Center Dinka Agaar Dinka 153,550 1.86%
Rumbek East Dinka Agaar Dinka 122,832 1.49%
Rumbek North Dinka Agaar Dinka 43,410 0.53%
Yirol East Dinka Agaar Dinka 67,402 0.82%
Yirol West Dinka Agaar Dinka 103,190 1.25%
Wulu Minority Group Jur-Bhel 40,550 0.49%
Warrap Abyei Dinka Padaang Dinka 52,883 0.64%
Gogrial East Dinka Rek Dinka 103,283 1.25%
Gogrial West Dinka Rek Dinka 243,921 2.95%
Tonj East Dinka Rek Dinka 116,122 1.41%
Tonj North Dinka Rek Dinka- 165,222 2.00%
Tonj South Dinka Rek Dinka 86,592 1.05%
Twic Dinka Rek Dinka 204,905 2.48%
NBG[4] Aweil Center Dinka Rek Dinka 41,827 0.51%
Aweil East Dinka Rek Dinka 309,921 3.75%
Aweil North Dinka Rek Dinka 129,127 1.56%
Aweil South Dinka Rek Dinka 73,806 0.89%
Aweil West Dinka Rek Dinka 166,217 2.01%
WBG[5] Jur River[6] Minority Group Jur-Chol/Rek Dinka 127,771 1.55%
Raga Minority Group Jur-Chat, Fertit 54,340 0.66%
Wau Minority Group Fertit, Jur-Chol, 151,320 1.83%
WES[7] Ezo Equatorian Western Equatorians 80,861 0.98%
Ibba Equatorian Western Equatorians 41,869 0.51%
Maridi Equatorian Western Equatorians 82,461 0.99%
Mundri East Equatorian Western Equatorians 48,318 0.59%
Mundri West Equatorian Western Equatorians 33,975 0.41%
Mvolo Equatorian Western Equatorians 48,134 0.58%
Nagero Equatorian Western Equatorians 10,077 0.12%
Nzara Equatorian Western Equatorians 65,712 0.79%
Tambura Equatorian Western Equatorians 55,365 0.67%
Yambio Equatorian Western Equatorians 152,257 1.84%
CES[8] Juba Equatorian Central Equatorians 368,436 4.46%
Kajo-Keji Equatorian Central Equatorians 196,387 2.38%
Lainya Equatorian Central Equatorians 89,315 1.08%
Morobo Equatorian Central Equatorians 103,603 1.25%
Terekeka Equatorian Central Equatorians 144,373 1.75%
Yei Equatorian Central Equatorians 201,443 2.44%
EES[9] Budi Equatorian Eastern Equatorians 99,234 1.20%
Ikotos Equatorian Eastern Equatorians 84,649 1.03%
Kapoeta East Equatorian Eastern Equatorians 163,997 1.99%
Kapoeta North Equatorian Eastern Equatorians 103,084 1.25%
Kapoeta South Equatorian Eastern Equatorians 79,470 0.96%
Lopa Equatorian Eastern Equatorians 106,161 1.29%
Magwi Equatorian Eastern Equatorians 169,826 2.06%
Torit Equatorian Eastern Equatorians 99,740 1.21%
 

We can infer, from Table I, the approximate percentage proportion of each of the reported 64 ethnic communities of South Sudan. For example, the Taposa tribe is about 4.20% of South Sudan’s national population; Shilluk about 2.98%; Rek Dinka about 19.86%; Nuer about 19.33%; Anyuak about 0.80% while Boor Dinka about 4.50%. What this means is that if government positions were to be allocated base on the percentage proportion of each tribe of South Sudan, then the Taposa ethnic group would receive 4.20% of the national government in Juba; Shilluk about 2.98%; Rek Dinka about 19.86%; Nuer about 19.33%; Anyuak about 0.80% while Boor Dinka about 4.50%, to mention but just a few.

Each representative of these particular ethnic groups in South Sudan would hold a number of government posts proportionate to the percentage of the total population that each of these particular ethnic groups represent. Arguably, this would be a free and fair system of governance, and justice would be seen done because each ethnic group would be allocated nothing but its fair and rightful share in the national government as predetermined by their population size. In other words, no ethnic group would feel unjustly marginalized in the political, economic and social benefits accruable from being part and parcel of the national government. Political stability would ensue; peace and national development would flourish and the evil of tribalism that has been bedeviling Sub-Saharan African (SSA) region would be greatly blunted.

However, with about 64 ethnic groups in the Republic of South Sudan, it would be a daunting task to satisfy each and every tribe in the country with a seat at the national government. Therefore, taking ’64 tribe’ as the defining unit of tribocracy would render it impractical when it comes to actual implementation and governance. Although ethnicity is the strongest indicator of identity politics[10] in South Sudan, we must discard the concept of ‘64 tribes’ as the basis of power sharing in a tribocratic government because it is impractical and thus ineffective.

IV

If ‘64 tribes’ cannot function as an effective and useful basis for determining a power sharing formula in South Sudan, then it would be tempting to consider regionalism. Table II shows raw numbers and the proportionate percentage share of each region relative to national population according to the 2010 census.

Table II: Raw Numbers per Region

Code Region Capital City Population (1983) Population (2008) National Percent (2010 Census)
01 Greater Upper Nile Malakal 1,657,576 2,908,756 35.21%
02 Greater Bahr el Ghazal Wau 2,265,510 2,722,987 32.96%
03 Greater Equatoria Juba 1,006,181 2,628,747 31.82%
  TOTAL   4,929,267 8,260,490 100%

There are three major regions in the Republic of South Sudan, namely the Greater Upper Nile region—comprising the three states of Jonglei, Unity, and Upper Nile—with about 2.91 million people; the Greater Bahr el Ghazal region, which is made up of the four states of Warrap, Lakes, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, and Western Bahr el Ghazal, with around 2.72 million people, and the Greater Equatoria region, composed of the three states of Central Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria and Western Equatoria, which house about 2.63 million inhabitants.

Thus, from the total population of 8.26 million citizens of the Republic of South Sudan, 35.21% of them reside in the Greater Upper Nile region; 32.96% in the Greater Bahr el Ghazal region, while 31.82% live in the Greater Equatoria region. Tribocratically speaking, it means that in term of an equitable and fair political representation in the national government in Juba, the Greater Upper Nile region would get 35.21% share of the national government; the Greater Bahr el Ghazal would take home 32.96% share of the national government, while the Greater Equatoria region would pocket the remaining percentage of 31.82% of the national government.

Firstly, this would be free and fair, equitable sharing of the national cake. Justice would be done because each region has been allocated nothing but its fair and rightful share in the national government as predetermined by their proportionate population size. In other words, no region would feel unjustly marginalized in the political, economic and social benefits accruable from being part and parcel of the national government. Political stability would ensue; peace and national development would flourish and tribalism would be blunted.

Secondly, there is a perceptible association of regionalism with identity politics in South Sudan. During the regional government—the High Executive Council (HEC)—of Justice Abel Alier Kwai and Gen. Joseph Lagu Yang’a, regionalism was the game in town especially in the politics of Kokoraism championed by Gen. Joseph Lagu. Their self-defeating political tussling gave rise to the birth of the three greater regions of South Sudan—Upper Nile, Bahr el Ghazal and Equatoria, courtesy of President Gaafar Nimeiry.

Although regionalism was more pronounced in Equatoria than in Upper Nile or Bahr el Ghazal during the regional government of the 1980s, it later became handy to Commander Salva Kiir in 2002 when Riek Machar returned to the fold after his futile political adventures in Khartoum. When Riek Machar returned to the SPLM/A in 2002, the general understanding—dating back to the days of inter-factional peace talks in Nairobi, Kenya, mediated by Church leaders—was that Dr. John Garang would retain his position as chairman and C-in-C of the SPLM/A while Riek Machar would become his deputy.

Commander Salva Kiir, however, successfully argued that both Garang and Riek hail from the Greater Upper Nile region and cannot therefore be allowed to occupy the two topmost positions of the Movement. The deadlock was broken when Commander James Wani Igga volunteered his number-three position to accommodate Riek Machar for the sake of unity and reconciliation among South Sudanese and for the cause of the marginalized people of South Sudan.

In the ongoing IGAD-led South Sudan’s peace talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, regionalism has once more become a handy tool for Riek Machar to push for the position of the first vice president over and above the current occupant, James Wani Igga. Riek Machar and his supporters assert that Equatoria, represented by its three states and governors, is not one tribe and that the Greater Upper Nile region where Riek Machar hails from is greater than the Greater Equatoria region that is purportedly represented by James Wani Igga.

Thus, one can reasonably advocate that regionalism can act as a blue print for power sharing in South Sudan not only because of its historical roots but also because of the emotional cord it invokes among the people of the Greater Equatoria region. However, regionalism is less of a political force in the Upper Nile and Bahr el Ghazal regions. Although Riek Machar may claim to represent the Greater Upper Nile region in his quest to unseat James Wani Igga, the non-Nuer ethnic communities of the Greater Upper Nile region such as the Dinka, Shilluk, Murle, Anyuak, etc. would undoubtedly contest such political characterization.

Hence, although regionalism is the strongest indicator of identity politics in the Greater Equatoria region, it is much less conspicuous in both the Upper Nile and Bahr el Ghazal regions. Therefore, we must abandon regionalism as the basis of power sharing in a tribocratic government because it is contested and thus ineffective.

V

If either ‘64 tribes’ or regionalism cannot function as an effective and useful basis for determining a power sharing formula in South Sudan, then it would be tempting to consider state-ism. In Table III below, we can see the population size of each of the ten states of South Sudan plus their proportionate percentage share relative to the national population according to the 2010 census.

Table III: Raw Numbers per State

Code State Capital City Population (1983) Population (2008) National Percent (2008 Census)
01 Jonglei Bor 797,251 1,358,602 16.45%
02 Upper Nile Malakal 549,283 964,353 11.68%
03 Unity Bentiu 311,042 585,801 7.09%
04 Lakes Rumbek 504,468 695,730 8.43%
05 Warrap Kuajok 794,231 972,928 11.78%
06 Northern Bahr el Ghazal Aweil 746,358 720,898 8.73%
07 Western Bahr el Ghazal Wau 220,453 333,431 4.04%
08 Eastern Equatoria Torit 81,683 906,161 10.97%
09 Central Equatoria Juba 565,442 1,103,557 13.36%
10 Western Equatoria Yambio 359,056 619,029 7.50%
  TOTAL   4,929,267 8,260,490 100%

There are 10 states in the Republic of South Sudan (see Table III above). What this means is that if cabinet and other high profile government positions were to be allocated based on the percentage proportion of each state, then Jonglei state would get about 16.45% of the national government; Central Equatoria state about 13.36%; Warrap state about 11.78%; Upper Nile about 11.68%; Eastern Equatoria state about 10.97%; Northern Bahr el Ghazal about 8.73%; Lakes state about 8.43%; Western Equatoria state about 7.50%; Unity state about 7.09% and Western Bahr el Ghazal with about 4.04%.

This would be a free and fair system of governance, and justice would be done because each state would be allocated nothing but its fair and rightful share in the national government as predetermined by their population size. In other words, no state would feel unjustly marginalized in the political, economic and social benefits accruable from being part and parcel of the national government. Political stability would ensue; peace and national development would flourish and tribalism would be blunted.

Nonetheless, state-ism is not a viable basis for power sharing in South Sudan because hardly any section of the South Sudanese society readily identifies with their state as much as they do with ethnicity across the nation or regionalism among the Equatorians. Therefore, we must reject state-ism as the basis for power sharing in a tribocratic government because it is irrelevant and thus ineffective.

VI

With ethnicity, regionalism and state-ism being no basis for an effective power sharing mechanism in South Sudan—either because they are impractical (ethnicity) or contested (regionalism) or irrelevant (state-ism)—there is an exigency to establish a new, effective and relevant basis to allocate and share power among our people. In my opinion, this should be what I called political caucus and constituency. A political caucus is the main dominant political group with the most influential political force in the country, while a political constituency is the sub-group of the main dominant political group with the most influential political force.

Therefore, in our case, political caucuses are the most influential political force in the Republic of South Sudan. On the one hand, there are four major political caucuses in South Sudan, namely the Dinka, the Equatorian, the Nuer and the Minority Group (see Table VI). On the other hand, there are about seventeen political constituencies (see Table V).

Table IV: Raw Numbers per County

Political Caucus Political Constituency Ethnic Group County Population 2008 Census National Percentage
Dinka Boor Dinka Twic Mabioordit Twic East 85,349 1.03%
Boor Dinka Boor Boor 221,106 2.68%
Boor Dinka Nyarweng, Hol, Duk 65,588 0.79%
Padaang Dinka Paweny, Rut, Thoi, Luach Pigi 99,068 1.19%
Padaang Dinka Aloor, Abiemnhom 17,012 0.21%
Padaang Dinka Panaruu Pariang 82,443 0.99%
Padaang Dinka Abiliang, Dongjol Renk 137,751 1.67%
Padaang Dinka Ageer, Nyiel, Melut 49,242 0.59%
Padaang Dinka Ngok-Lual Yak Baliet 48,010 0.58%
Padaang Dinka Ngok Abyei (Jook) Abyei 52,883 0.64%
Agaar Dinka Aliab Awerial 47,041 0.57%
Agaar Dinka Gok Cueibet 117,755 1.43%
Agaar Dinka Agaar (Kwei, Ruup) Rumbek Center 153,550 1.86%
Agaar Dinka Agaar (Aliamtooch) Rumbek East 122,832 1.49%
Agaar Dinka Agaar (Pakam) Rumbek North 43,410 0.53%
Agaar Dinka Ciec Yirol East 67,402 0.82%
Agaar Dinka Atuot Yirol West 103,190 1.25%
Rek Dinka Apuk-Giir Gogrial East 103,283 1.25%
Rek Dinka Awan-Chan, Awan-Mou, Aguok, Kuach Gogrial West 243,921 2.95%
Rek Dinka Thiik, Luach-Jang, Luach-Koth, Akook, Jal-Wou, Tonj East 116,122 1.41%
Rek Dinka Konggoor, Noi, Atok, Abiem, Abuok, Nyang, Leer, Awan-Parek, Lou-Ariik, Lou-Paher, Apuk-Padoch Tonj North 165,222 2.00%
Rek Dinka Yaar, Thony, Apuk-Jurwiir, Muok, Tonj South 86,592 1.05%
Rek Dinka Twic Mayaardit Twic 204,905 2.48%
Rek Dinka Malual-Giernyang Aweil Center 41,827 0.51%
Rek Dinka Abiem Aweil East 309,921 3.75%
Rek Dinka Malual-Giernyang Aweil North 129,127 1.56%
Rek Dinka Ajak, Buoncuai, Kongdeer, Aweil South 73,806 0.89%
Rek Dinka Malual-Giernyang Aweil West 166,217 2.01%
Equatorian Western Equatorians Zande Ezo 80,861 0.98%
Western Equatorians Zande Ibba 41,869 0.51%
Western Equatorians Moru, Avukaya, Mundu, Baka Maridi 82,461 0.99%
Western Equatorians Moru, Mundri East 48,318 0.59%
Western Equatorians Moru Mundri West 33,975 0.41%
Western Equatorians Jur-Bhel, Moru Mvolo 48,134 0.58%
Western Equatorians Zande, Balanda Nagero 10,077 0.12%
Western Equatorians Zande Nzara 65,712 0.79%
Western Equatorians Zande, Balanda Tambura 55,365 0.67%
Western Equatorians Zande Yambio 152,257 1.84%
Central Equatorians Bari, Nyangwara, Lokoya Juba 368,436 4.46%
Central Equatorians Kuku Kajo-Keji 196,387 2.38%
Central Equatorians Pajulu Lainya 89,315 1.08%
Central Equatorians Kakwa, Keliko Morobo 103,603 1.25%
Central Equatorians Mundari Terekeka 144,373 1.75%
Central Equatorians Kakwa, Pajulu, Avukaya, Yei 201,443 2.44%
Eastern Equatorians Buya, Didinga Budi 99,234 1.20%
Eastern Equatorians Lang’o, Logir, Dongotano Ikotos 84,649 1.03%
Eastern Equatorians Taposa, Nyangatom Kapoeta East 163,997 1.99%
Eastern Equatorians Taposa Kapoeta North 103,084 1.25%
Eastern Equatorians Taposa Kapoeta South 79,470 0.96%
Eastern Equatorians Lopit, Pari, Tenet Lopa 106,161 1.29%
Eastern Equatorians Madi, Acholi Magwi 169,826 2.06%
Eastern Equatorians Lotuho, Horiok Torit 99,740 1.21%
Nuer

 

Lou Nuer Chieng-Dak Wuror 178,519 2.16%
Lou Nuer Gatbaal Nyirol 108,674 1.32%
Lou Nuer Moor Akobo 136,210 1.65%
Phow Nuer Gawaar Ayod 139,282 1.69%
Phow Nuer Laak, Thiang Fangak 110,130 1.33%
Jikany Nuer Gajaak (Chieng-Wau) Maiwut 79,462 0.96%
Jikany Nuer Gajaak (Thiang) Longochuk 63,166 0.76%
Jikany Nuer Gajook (Chieng-Lang) Ulang 85,044 1.03%
Jikany Nuer Gajook (Chieng-Nyilieth), Gaguang Nasir/Luakpiny 210,002 2.54%
Liech Nuer Bul Mayom 120,715 1.46%
Liech Nuer Jangei Koch 74,863 0.91%
Liech Nuer Dok Leer 53,022 0.64%
Liech Nuer Hak Mayendit 53,783 0.65%
Liech Nuer Western Jikany Guit 33,004 0.39%
Liech Nuer Nyuong Panyijar 50,723 0.61%
Liech Nuer Leek Rubkona 100,236 1.21%
Minority Group Shilluk Shilluk Kodok/Fashoda 36,518 0.44%
Shilluk Shilluk Malakal 126,483 1.53%
Shilluk Shilluk Manyo 38,010 0.46%
Shilluk Shilluk Panyikang 45,427 0.55%
Buny Buny Maban 45,238 0.55%
Mukaji Murle, Jie, Kachipo Pibor 148,475 1.79%
Anyuak Anyuak Pochalla 66,201 0.80%
Luo Jur-Bhel Wulu 40,550 0.49%
Luo Jur-Chol Jur River[11] 127,771 1.55%
Fertit Balanda, Jur-Chat Raga 54,340 0.66%
Fertit Balanda Wau 151,320 1.83%
TOTAL 8,260,490 100%

Table V: Raw Numbers per Political Constituency

Political Caucus Political Constituency Ethnic Group Population (2008) Political Caucus % National % (2008)
Dinka Rek Dinka Tonj Dinka, Aweil Dinka, Gogrial Dinka 1,640,943 52.02% 19.86%
Agaar Dinka Agaar, Aliab, Atuot, Ciec, Gok 655,180 20.76% 7.93%
Padaang Dinka Panaruu, Thoi, Ngok Abyei, Luach, Ageer, Paweny, Rut, Aloor, Nyiel, Ngok-Lual Yak, Abiliang, Dongjol, 486,409 15.41% 5.88%
Boor Dinka Bor, Hol, Nyarweng, Twic Mabioordit 372,043 11.79% 4.50%
Nuer Liech Nuer Leek, Nyuong, Dok, Bul, Hak, Jangei, Western Jikany 486,346 30.45% 5.87%
Jikany Nuer Gajaak, Gajook, Gaguong 437,674 27.41% 5.29%
Lou Nuer Moor, Chieng-Dak, Gatbaal 423,403 26.51% 5.13%
Phow Nuer Laak, Gawaar, Thiang 249,412 15.61% 3.02%
Equatorian Centralers Bari, Mundari, Kuku, Pajulu, Kakwa, Keliko, Nyangwara, Lokoya 1,103,557 41.98% 13.36%
Easterners Latuko, Buya, Taposa, Madi, Acholi, Lango, Didinga, Logir, Lopit, Pari, Tenet, Horiok, Nyangatom, Dongotano 906,161 34.47% 10.99%
Westerners Zande, Mundu, Moru, Balanda, Baka, Jur-Bhel, Avukaya 619,029 23.54% 7.48%
Minority Group Shilluk Shilluk 246,438 27.99% 2.98%
Mukaji Murle, Kachipo, Jie 148,475 16.86% 1.79%
Anyuak Anyuak 66,201 7.52% 0.80%
Maban Buny 45,238 5.14% 0.55%
Fertit Balanda, Jur-Chat 205,660 23.36% 2.49%
Luo Jur-Chol, Jur-Bhel 168,321 19.12% 2.04%
TOTAL     8,260,490 100% 100%

 –

Table VI: Raw Numbers per Political Caucus

Code Political Caucus Political Constituency Population (2008) National Percent (2008 Census)
01 Dinka Boor, Agaar, Rek, Padaang 3,154,575 38.18%
02 Equatorian Easterners, Centralers, Westerners 2,628,747 31.82%
03 Nuer Lou, Jikany, Liech, Phow 1,596,835 19.33%
04 Minority Group Shilluk, Fertit, Mukaji, Buny, Anyuak, Luo 880,333 10.65%
  TOTAL   8,260,490 100%

Based on Table VI, I would argue that there are only four major tribes in South Sudan—Dinka, Equatorian, Nuer and Minority Group. The Dinka tribe is divided into four major political constituencies: Rek, Agaar, Boor and Padaang Dinkas. The Equatorian tribe is made up of the following political constituencies: Central, Eastern and Western Equatorians. The Nuer tribe consists of four major political constituencies, namely, the Lou, Jikany, Liech and Phow Nuers. The group of minority tribes is composed of the Shilluk, Fertit, Mukaji, Buny, Anyuak and the Luo.

Whereas a political caucus is a viable tool to share power horizontally among these four tribes of South Sudan, political constituent is an effective mechanism to allocate power vertically within those tribes. Using a political caucus as a defining unit of power sharing among the 64 tribes of South Sudan under a tribocratic dispensation, we can divine the approximate percentage proportion of each of the four political caucuses in South Sudan.

For example, the Dinka caucus is about 38.18% of South Sudan’s national population; the Equatorian caucus about 31.82%; the Nuer caucus about 19.33%, while the Minority Group is around 10.65%. What this means is that if government positions were to be allocated based on the percentage proportion of each political caucus of South Sudan, then the Dinka caucus would receive 38.18% of South Sudan’s national government in Juba; the Equatorian caucus about 31.82%; the Nuer caucus about 19.33%, and the Minority Group around 10.65%.

Again, using political constituency as a defining unit of power sharing within the four political caucuses under a tribocratic dispensation, we can divine the approximate percentage proportion of each of the seventeen political constituents in South Sudan. For example, within the Dinka caucus, the Rek Dinka would take about 52.02% of the 38.18% of South Sudan’s national government, which is around 19.86% of the national government in Juba; the Agaar Dinka about 20.76% of the 38.18% of South Sudan’s national government, which is around 7.93% of the national government in Juba; the Padaang Dinka about 15.41% of the 38.18% of South Sudan’s national government, which is around 5.88% of the national government in Juba, and the Boor Dinka about 11.79% of the 38.18% of South Sudan’s national government, which is around 4.50% of the national government in Juba.

Within the Equatorian caucus, the blue print of political constituency would guide us to arrive at the following conclusion: Western Equatorians would get roughly 23.54% of the 31.82% of South Sudan’s national government, which is around 7.48% of the national government in Juba; Central Equatorians would get roughly 41.98% of the 31.82% of South Sudan’s national government, which is around 13.36% of the national government in Juba, and Eastern Equatorians would get roughly 34.47% of the 31.82% of South Sudan’s national government, which is around 10.99% of the national government in Juba.

For the Nuer caucus, the Lou Nuer would receive approximately 26.51% of the 19.33% of South Sudan’s national government, which is around 5.13% of the national government in Juba; the Jikany Nuer would receive approximately 27.41% of the 19.33% of South Sudan’s national government, which is around 5.29% of the national government in Juba; the Liech Nuer would receive approximately 30.45% of the 19.33% of South Sudan’s national government, which is around 5.87% of the national government in Juba, and the Phow Nuer would receive approximately 15.61% of the 19.33% of South Sudan’s national government, which is around 3.02% of the national government in Juba.

Lastly, within the Minority Group caucus, the Shilluk would get about 27.99% of the 10.65% of South Sudan’s national government, which is around 2.98% of the national government in Juba; the Mukaji would get about 16.86% of the 10.65% of South Sudan’s national government, which is around 1.79% of the national government in Juba; the Fertit would get about 23.36% of the 10.65% of South Sudan’s national government, which is around 2.49% of the national government in Juba; the Anyuak would get about 7.52% of the 10.65% of South Sudan’s national government, which is around 0.80% of the national government in Juba; the Luo would get about 19.12% of the 10.65% of South Sudan’s national government, which is around 2.04% of the national government in Juba, and the Buny of Maban would get about 5.14% of the 10.65% of South Sudan’s national government, which is around 0.55% of the national government in Juba;

The same process can be applied and used to allocate and share power within each and every ethnic group of the political caucus of South Sudan. For example, within the Boor Dinka ethnic community, which is composed of Boor, Twic Mabioordit, Hol and Nyarweng communities, we can further infer that the Boor Dinka community would get about 59.34%[12] of the 11.79%[13] of the 38.18%[14] of South Sudan’s national government, which is around 2.68% of the national government in Juba; the Twic-Mabioordit Dinka community would get about 22.94% of the 11.79% of the 38.18% of South Sudan’s national government, which is around 1.03% of the national government in Juba, and the Nyarweng and Hol communities of Duk county would get about 17.62% of the 11.79% of the 38.18% of South Sudan’s national government, which is around 0.79% of the national government in Juba.

VII

What this mean is that each representative of the ‘64 tribes’ in South Sudan would hold a number of government posts proportionate to the percentage of the total population that each of these particular ethnic groups represents. Arguably, this would be a free and fair system of governance, and justice would be done because each ethnic group would be allocated nothing but its fair and rightful share in the national government as predetermined by their population size. In other words, none of the 64 ethnic groups would feel unjustly marginalized in the political, economic and social benefits accruable from being part and parcel of the national government. Political stability would ensue; peace and national development would flourish and the evil of tribalism that has been bedeviling Sub-Saharan African region would be greatly blunted.

Most importantly, the four categories of political caucuses are integral part of identity politics in the Republic of South Sudan. It is not unusual to hear people talking of ‘Dinka domination’ of the national government in Juba, of the chronic ‘Nuer rebellion’ year in year out, of the pervasive neo-Kokoraism mindset among the Equatorians, and of the utter marginalization of the minority groups in South Sudan, the consequence of which was the recent establishment of the Greater Pibor Area Administration to address the purported marginalization of the Murle ethnic community in the administration of Jonglei state.

With political caucus as the formula for power allocation and sharing in South Sudan, the problem of Dinka domination, of Nuer rebellion, of Kokoraism sugarcoated as federalism among the Equatorians, and of political and economic marginalization of minority communities can be addressed and solved. Although there is no particular political group that advocates for the interest of the minority groups in South Sudan, it is the case that most South Sudanese readily identify with the Dinka, Equatorian, and Nuer identity politics.

Thus, we can proclaim that tribocracy would act as a blue print for power sharing in South Sudan because, with the help of the political caucus and constituency mechanism, we could reasonably satisfy each and every tribe in the country with a seat at the national government. Tribocratic dispensation is therefore a viable—practical, relevant and effective—basis for power allocation and sharing among the citizens of South Sudan in particular and Africa in general.

PaanLuel Wël is the Managing Editor of PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB). He can be reached through his Facebook page, Twitter account or email: paanluel2011@gmail.com

[1] Michael Green’s TED Talk (2014), “What the Social Progress Index can reveal about your country.”

[2] PaanLuel Wël (2015), “The Principle of Tribocracy, Part One”.

[3] Mukaji is an acronym for Murle, Kachipo and Jie, the ethnic communities that inhabit Greater Pibor area, currently known as the Greater Pibor Administrative Area under the leadership of the renegade militia leader, David Yau-Yau

[4] NBG represents Northern Bahr el Ghazal state (Aweil)

[5] WBG represents Western Bahr el Ghazal state (Wau)

[6] Jur-River County in Western Bahr el Ghazal state is shared by the Rek Dinka (Wau-Makwei-Akech) and the Fertit/Luo communities.

[7] WES represents Western Equatoria state (Yambio)

[8] CES represents Central Equatoria state (Juba)

[9] EES represents Eastern Equatoria state (Torit)

[10] According to Rationalwiki.org, identity politics is a political style that focuses on the issues relevant to various groups defined by a wide variety of shared characteristics, including, but not limited to, race, social class, religion, sex, gender, ethnicity, ideology, nationality, sexual orientation, gender expression, culture, currency, shared history, medical conditions, profession, and other of the many ways in which people differ from each other, and into which they may be classified or classify themselves.

[11] Jur-River County in Western Bahr el Ghazal state is shared by the Rek Dinka (Wau-Makwei-Akech) and the Fertit/Luo (Jurchol) communities. For the sake of this study, I am going to allocate 100% of the population to Jurchol, just to simplify my calculations and to elucidate my point of argument. Interested parties should go to the ground to ascertain the official numbers for each of the two communities for themselves.

[12] 59.43% is the proportionate percentage of the Boor Dinka community within the three counties of the Greater Boor Dinka community: Boor, Twic East and Duk County.

[13] 11.79% is the proportionate percentage of the Greater Boor Dinka community within the entire Dinka community: Rek, Agaar, Boor and Padaang Dinka

[14] 38.18% is the proportionate percentage of the Dinka political caucus in the Republic of South Sudan

Comments
  1. David says:

    I think our dumb thinkers brothers are trying hard to destroy Garang legancy. Garang foundation is a right thing to be formed, but it is on the hands wrong people who don’t know how to convey their message to other people. All that come out from these groups mind is warning all the times. what is wrong with you people? there is no filtration in your brains that tell you this is wrong message to be put out? If the one who wrote the above narration is not correct and then please come out with the correct instead of warning.

    Like

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