Junubeen: For how long shall we continue to fight and kill ourselves in South Sudan?

Posted: November 16, 2016 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Featured Articles, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

To embrace the concept of nationality among ourselves, we must learn to condemn individuals and not their ethnicity. We must learn to punish individuals and not their relatives or clan people

By Reuben Mayen Garang, Canada


November 16, 2016 (SSB) — Yes, we are from the 64 different ethnic groups plus. Yes, we do not always get along well even within what we deem as one group.  Yes, our leaders from all the political rivalries have failed our country.  Still, we cannot accept to break into nations or bear further bloodshed in our country.  For that reasons, we all need to embrace each other and promote what is positive in the face of this tribally motivated uncontrolled carnage.

Tribalism of course is the state of being organized in, or an advocate for a tribe.  Tribalism may also refer to a way of thinking or behaving in which people are excessively loyal to their own tribe or social group. Or people using tribal influence to harm others socially, economically, politically.

Currently, such negative aspects of tribalism have become established in South Sudan. Those who are advantaged by it are taking advantage of those who are disadvantaged.  In turn those who are disadvantaged see their oppressors as other tribe not the system hence similar reverse tribalism takes place.

The spread of tribalism into politics has spilled over into armed groups resulting in an increase of undisciplined armed forces and militias from all sides of the political spectrum.  These armed groups target and kill innocent people solely because of their ethnic groups. Not one, but many ethnic groups are guilty of rampant and horrible killing of others.

Many of my Dinka brothers and sisters ask me why the other ethnic groups are turning against our innocent civilians who have nothing to do with the government. Why? That is the same question the non-Dinka groups ask. Why are the Dinka armed men who come in the name of the national army turning against our civilians who have nothing to do with the rebellions?

One thing is crystal clear and that is all South Sudanese, regardless of their ethnicities, are the victims of all the madness going on in the country. Our leaders—rebels or government officials have failed, so citizens must step up to change the current hostile social and political situation   in their own small ways.  Little things do add up. So do what you are just able to do.

In July, when war broke out again in Juba, a Dinka woman saves a Nuer girl who was trapped in the conflict in Juba. It happens the young girl is Emmanuel Jal’s sister. Jal is the child-solider who turned rapper.  This what Jal wrote on his face book page on July 16:

 “A South Sudanese Dinka woman risked her life today and made a good lie that saved my sister’s life.  She told the security that my sister was her daughter, and she is sending her to school. I want to give a big shout out to all the invisible Angels out in South Sudan who are helping their fellow citizens.”

This woman though what she did was not reported on news, she have the heart of a mother and that of a real citizen. She is more national than then those who are armed from both side of the conflict.  Emmanuel posted a picture of his sister with tears of gratitude wetting her feet.

We must disengage in crimes against our fellow citizens. With rights comes responsibility. Although all have and deserve the right to protect ourselves, that right does not extend to exacting revenge against innocent people just because they are from other groups.  We all must gang up against targeted killing of innocent people from all ethnicities and all over the country.

We must rust not the government, and trust not the oppositions.

Whether new or old they are the same because all use negative tribalism in launching and sustaining their platforms. Thus they incite this vicious cycle of killing. We must trust them only when they show true leadership with measures in place to protect all people regardless of their ethnic backgrounds or economic status.  We must accept each other and work for our collective good as one people. We must accept we are innocent and victims despite which group belong.

To embrace the concept of nationality among ourselves, we must learn to condemn individuals and not their ethnicity. We must learn to punish individuals and not their relatives or clan people. It is not the fault of the Dinka, the Nuer, Madi, the Murle, the Chollo, the Fertit or any other tribe.  It is the fault of individuals, most of whom are our leaders that has brought the country where it is today.

We must avoid chauvinism or blind support to our group without examination of the facts.

The belief that members of another ethnic group could all be bad or that your group or my group is composed of all angels is a fallacy

Negative tribalism has taken a toll on us and our country. Let us challenge and change the current status quo. The Dinka woman who put her life at risk to save a young Nuer young girl is a true national.

More like her need to step up to neutralize this rampant killing of innocent civilians. There must be more like her protecting their fellow citizens to defeat criminals and pitiless politicians. You can do it. I can do it. We can do it

Reuben Garang is a peace advocate South Sudanese Canadian. He can be reach @ garangmayen@yahoo.com

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 paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing.


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