The Making of Jiengs out of the Equatorian Community (Part 1)

Posted: October 24, 2016 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Columnists, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers, Thiik Mou Giir

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.  Proverbs (KJV)

By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia

October 24, 2016 (SSB) — There is a profound wisdom in this biblical verse.  Since the outbreak of violence until this day, people continue to die and suffer.  No one knows whether there will be accountability.  No one knows whether people who have caused this turmoil will be brought to court where justice (law) will be allowed to take its course.

It is important for people to ask questions because, as one philosophers said, “the unexamined live is not worth living”.  We must examine and learn from this oblique situation.  Perhaps the answer to the following questions may assist us to reach a more positive conclusion as to what has got us this low and how we can rise again.

  1. Do South Sudanese leaders have a vision that they have not spelt out clearly to the people?
  2. Have the leaders conveyed the vision, but the vision has failed to inspire and to capture the imagination of the people?
  3. Do the leaders have a vision and people know of it, but the vision is outdated?

People are perishing daily not just in South Sudan, but also in Diaspora.  There are many forms of death, but let us bear in mind that our people are dying physically as well as morally.  Physical death is self-evident, but moral death needs an explanation.  Moral death is our inability to love each other, as we should.  Some of the ingredients that have created these kinds of death include the following:

  • Sudan’s Civil War forced many Jiengs to flee with their cattle from their ancestral lands to Equatoria and their cattle destroy crops that belong to Equatorians;
  • After South Sudan became independent, corruption and greed on a massive scale have occurred and continue to occur;
  • Complains of land grabbing;
  • Calls for federalism;
  • Provocative language in use in social media and other forms of communication: the expression ‘you (Jiengs) are violent and intimidating’ vs. ‘you (Equatorians) are cowards;’
  • The rebellion;
  • Relentless criticism of Jieng Council of Elders;
  • Propagandists, through social media, blowing everything out of proportion;

These ingredients have affected every South Sudanese.  The co-existence of Jieng and the Equatorias in Equatoria Region has caused an undesirable social friction.  This fact has been highlighted by the selective attacks on traveling Jiengs on the roads in Equatoria.  As the result, so many Jiengs have expressed their feelings openly on social media.  Some of them are calling for retaliation.  We are living in a dangerous time.  Things may get out of hand.  What we all call our homeland, the land we all belong, is approaching a precipice.  Something has gone wrong from the beginning.

Jieng people have lived in Equatoria for a long time – for decades – and that time could had been long enough for them to bond together with the locals.  They could have become part of social fabric in those areas.  There could had been time when Jieng woman had gone to her Equatorian neighbour and asked for salt and vice versa; their children must had been in the same school as the Equatorians children were; Jieng could had attended Equatorians’ weddings and funerals and vice versa; they could had selectively learned things from Equatorians’ culture and vice versa.  That is human nature.  This is a picture of a beautiful side of human nature.

Had it been like that, the news of the brutal attacks could had been so intense among the Equatorians that they could had been the first, first even before Jieng themselves who live in other parts of South Sudan, to lead all South Sudanese in condemning the barbaric killing of traveling Jieng on the roads.

But the wheels of this side of the beautiful human nature have not been turning as fast as they should.  Instead, the wheels of hatred, the wheels of resentment, the wheels of bitterness, and the wheels of intolerance, have been turning fast, faster have they been since the outbreak of violence in 2013.  The fire that this friction had produced killed Jiengs on the roads.  When Jiengs became furious, their fury was met with Equatorian silence.  The voices of those Equatorians who spoke up to condemn the killings were drown in dead silence of the majority of Equatorians.  Their silence spoke louder than a spoken word of those Equatorians who stood together with Jieng to condemn the brutal killings.

This means only one thing – the majority of Equatorians are sympathizing with those who have committed those acts of killing.  The Equatorians have put up with many things and they have been expressing their grievances for so long.  The thrust, the force, which led in transforming the once peaceful Equatorians into becoming Jieng-like warriors who are capable of committing the alleged crimes that we have heard about in recent months must had been constantly strong.  Their brutal killing of Jiengs signaled their breaking point.

This does not meant that the Equatorinas are the only ones who have been suffering; Jiengs, too, have suffered.  However, they have not reached their breaking point as yet.  If nothing tangible is done quickly and the killing of innocent Jiengs continue, some members of Jieng tribe will reach their breaking point too.

The forces that have acted upon the Equatorians are not only emanating from wrongdoing and radical Jiengs only, but also emanating from radical non-Jiengs as well.  These have affected Equatorians as well as Jieng themselves.

A method that will lead to a solution will only come by understanding all the things that have led Equatorians to resent Jiengs’ presence in Equatoria.  Both sides of the equation need to sit down and dialogue.  Having said that, perhaps it is necessary for us to revisit Jieng and Equatorian character dispositions.  This is the basic thing to do.  I will try to shed light on both characters in my next articles.  My next article will be on Jieng’s character disposition.

You can the author, Thiik Mou Giir, via his email:

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing.

  1. David says:

    you got it. Peace full dialogue is most welcome approached. Consequences of violence is more in-humans than you could imaginable.


  2. peter chol says:

    This is very educative analysis


  3. james Juma says:

    telling a story to win on one side of ur jieng cannot help how long had u been killing equatorians….it is just of the 21 civilians killed by mathiang anyor to incite u to turn for equatorian now…will still not help, the people will soon break the silence ur saying then we go the same way n direction u will….


    • Thiik Giir says:

      Be patient and wait to hear the rest of the story. Please, in the future try not to approach my writings with prejudices just because I’m a Jieng. I’ll try to be as objective as I could be and say what I perceive to be the truth. I promise you. If you wish, give me some feedback, positive or negative. I support a dialogue 100%.


  4. Dengda says:

    Thiik Giir you such a fair minded and impartial person, I like the way you balanced it and highlight the root cause of the disproportion in our society. Add on, it selfish politicians and undisciplined soliders who are to be blame for breaking well known bond and strong social fabrication.


  5. Thiik Giir says:

    Thank you for appreciation, brother Dengda


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