By Daniel Machar Dhieu, Juba, South Sudan
December 13, 2016 (SSB) — South Sudan was meant to be great. That was the dreams of our forefathers but sadly the South Sudan we have today is anything but the dreams of our forefathers. This is not the South Sudan our fathers had in mind when the lay down their lives for the Good and unity for our nation. When our fathers pressured Khartoum government for independence the plans they have for this country was of unity and greatness. Sadly many years later we are still struggling to be united talk more of being great. How can we be great when we are not united?
Those of us born in the late rebellion of SPLM/A will agree and understand with me when a say as a child in those days we belong to nobody but we belong to everybody. We were not trained by our parents alone, the whole community trained us. (In some cases more than our parents) it doesn’t matter your tribe or religion if u misbehave any elderly person around there have the right and moral responsibility to correct you and even discipline you. And our parents will thank them. But today the case is very much different.
The level of tribal hate and power struggle I see in this forum alone is enough to give a man of 25 years high level stroke. It bleeds my heart when I see the level of tribal and power struggle hate displayed on this forum alone by our supposed leaders of tomorrow. Even with the high level of intermarriages and co-existence between the Nuer and Dinka over the years, the level of hate and miss trust between this two tribes is a course of concern to any well-meaning person.
Instead of us blaming each other for the problems we face as a nation is it not better we forgo our prides and come together. Put our houses in order and look for how to make this nation great again. Are you not tired of judging people base on their tribe or religion rather than their character and personality?
Indeed, getting into power in my country is based not on your ideologies or a good campaign strategy but rather which tribe you were born into. A man is most times not judged by his skill set or character but rather the tribe in which he was born into. Belonging to a certain tribe killed a lot of people in 2013, 2016 July and worse of it, is what is going on now. Thousands displaced and left a country picking up its pieces trying to get back on its feet after taking a massive fall.
This is not only limited to my country as it is happening all over Africa. Politicians have perfected the art of divide and conquer. The ongoing conflict within my country for example, did you know that even at the UN refugee camps the two ethnic groups are being kept on separate sides for security concerns; the Dinka are on one side and the Nuer on another. Our country has greatly failed in many directions and the most challenging practice is the killing of common citizen across the country base on ethnicity which is meaningless.
This troubling issue got me thinking. Why are we so prone to manipulation on such terms? Are we stupid, ignorant or just plain naïve? Or is tribalism an inherent quality that is hard and impossible to fight?
As a scholar of my opinion, I am ideally inclined towards ideology based on my acquired habit of rationalizing issues. This would therefore mean that if I take away my scholarly disposition, I will act in whatever way comes naturally although not in all aspects.
The fact that most elections in African nations are most of the time based purely on tribe rather than issues or ideologies is most of the time viewed as being naïve. Well, it is to some extent because it is the cause of bad governance and the continued turmoil of the continent that we are eventually the victims of it as South Sudan.
But if you critically evaluate the cause of the situation you realize it is a matter of nature being reinforced by nurture. Most young South Sudanese who have not had the chance to leave their villages grow up in a society where all the people they know belong to their tribe; they get very little interaction with people from outside this affiliation.
When such a person gets to university, before he can be able to shed off the one thing he has grown up knowing: very old-age dogs and new tricks! He most likely gets educated and fails to learn. He then goes ahead and carries the habits forward.
As human beings we are all naturally subjective when it comes to family or friends. We act in favor of those we are familiar with or those we can relate to even if it is remotely. This makes it easy for someone without any academic training to get manipulated when someone appeals to their emotional conditioning. This is what politicians and rebel leaders take advantage of: they manipulate young minds and parade them up for war.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not justifying or defending actions of those people who are killing and maiming other human beings based on their tribal affiliation. I am well aware of the effects that tribalism or ethnicity can have in a society; I have felt the impacts first hand. What I am putting across is a perspective on this issue that people mostly ignore. We need to understand our nature if we are to change it! And make analysis to these questions as mention below;
Are you not tired of calling entire tribe cowards simply because they are highly respectful and accommodating to all that comes their way? Are you not tired of being use and dump by our politicians, traditional rulers and religious leaders to promote hate and violence just for their selfish interest?
Are you not tired of the high level of tribal hate and religious fanaticism in this great nation of ours? Are you not tired? Are you not tired of hating your fellow human simply because he/she is from another tribe or religion? And not because that particular person have offended u in anyway. Are you not tired?
As for me am tired. Even my unborn children are tired. I so much long for the day I can visit both my friends and brothers in some part of my country because of fear and entirely people can’t sleep in their houses freely; eat their food with fear and being afraid of their lives.
I look forward for the day when my fellow South Sudanese people will see the gorgeousness of this nation and put the development of this nation as the first priority through subtracting the policy of tribalism and nepotism.
I look forward to the day when the Respect and kindness shown to the nation starting from the leadership to the entire civil population of this nation and let the respect of this nation remained the policy or agent of getting into leadership and should not be misinterpreted as a weakness.
Please let us lean to love and respect each other irrespective of their tribe or religion. We owe it to ourselves but most importantly we owe it to our children and the future of this great nation.
God Bless South Sudan. God bless our president and elected officials. God Bless the youths. God Bless our Elders. May the sacrifice made by our fathers for the Good and Unity of this Nation be not in vain. And may the souls of all our forgotten heroes rest in peace. Amen.
The writer is the student at South Sudan Christian University of Science and Technology (SSCUST), Juba South Sudan. You can reach him via his email: Daniel Machar Dhieu <email@example.com>
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