GOK COMMUNITY MEMBERS: CAN WE AVOID DIVISIVE POLITICS IN OUR STATE?

Posted: February 13, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël in David Deng Chapath, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By David Deng Chapath, Kampala, Uganda

hate speech

February 13, 2017 (SSB) — Before I comment on the title of this work, I would like to take this quote from Negotiating the Nonnegotiable by Daniel Shapiro that was published on April 19, 2016, by Viking. The quotation is—

“Our democracy already allows for a more integrative vision, and it guides us to a powerful example. As politicians once did in Georgetown, our politicians must be willing to come to the table and see their role as representing one umbrella nation within a democracy of parties.

They must have an eye toward making the compromises necessary to extend values outward rather than projecting them inward for the sake of blind loyalty. They must be willing to sustain something greater than their own egos, their own survival, their own faction, for their own people and their own interests. Otherwise, we will all continue to fall prey to what I have come to call the Tribes Effect.

It will take work to resist the intoxicating temptation of our corrosive politics. To do so, we must recognize that we have the ability to identify those dynamics and resist the enticements of the warped psychology that the politicians are selling. We have the power to discern the values put forward by the many groups in our own society and to work to fit them to a shared vision of democracy”.

The above quotation from Negotiating the Nonnegotiable fit in the topics I am shortly going to comment on it, which is the divisive politics. Such a politics is corrosive politics so blind that it does not see the needs of Gok people and that of the State in general.

What Gok people need is unity and development. Sadly, instead of eliminating such divisive and corrosive politics, there are young politicians who project themselves to be nationalist yet in reality, they are tribalists covered in the blanket of nationalism who are specializing in such dead politics.

The readers of this article may be wondering what a hell I am talking about. As I have already pointed out above, this article is an appeal to those who use divisive politics to divide the people of Gok State on arbitrary ground but though I would have not told them, they at least have a clue of what I am talking about in regard to our state: the beautiful Gok State.

To go straight to the point, Gok State like South Sudan has some local regions called Lietnhom and Toch. Lietnhom begins from Abiriu to Malou Pech while Touch begins from Duany to TiapTiap. In other words, Lietnhom in Gok State begins from South East to South to West and then Northwest while Toch begins from East to Northeast to North to Northwest of Gok State. That is one feature which distinguishes the two regions.

Another feature that clearly distinguishes Toch from Lietnhom is the fact that whereas there is high level of development in Lietnhom but in case of Toch, it is highly under developed as there is no good road in accordance with the standard of South Sudan.

Such contrasting features have now given some individuals who claim to be politicians a pretext to use the divisive language in order to create division between the people of Toch and those of Lietnhom.

The politicians as I have just mentioned above are using tribal language in claiming that the people of Toch are being marginalized: a darling term used by many opportunists. They say that people of Lietnhom have marginalized “us” and that is why the there are no good roads in Toch.

Those politicians have failed to understand the fact that the present discrimination as indicated by the imbalance in term of the development was not the making of the people of Lietnhom but it was created by Arabs as it was based on convenience and how cheap the construction of the road was. It was therefore cheaper to build the road from Rumbek to Cueibet and then to Town and to Wau.

Hence, the whole project was not deliberately planned by the people of Lietnhom to discriminate against the people of Toch but rather it was done out of the economic consideration by the previous Arab rulers and other colonial masters.

Having explained the source of imbalance, I would like to tell those politicians that they should desist from dividing people. What I wanted to tell them is the fact that Gok State is a new State which needs unity for it to achieve peace and development. This means that to achieve that all of us must have an eye toward making the compromises necessary to extend values outward rather than projecting them inward for the sake of blind loyalty.

The politicians must be willing to sustain something greater than their own egos, their own survival, their own faction, for their own people and their own interests. Otherwise, we will all continue to fall prey to what I have come to call the Tribes Effect.

Young politicians of Gok State who have specialized in tribal or divisive politics when campaigning for the leadership of the State should know that such politics is dirty and Gok people such not vote for such leaders.

In my understanding, there is nothing like people of Toch or Lietnhom in Gok State but all are people of Gok State, whose, some of their areas are not developed.  I come from Toch but my understanding of Gok State what I have just stated in the foregoing sentence and young politicians must know that the only way the unity will prevail and resources can be shared equitably is to be objective and just in governance.

Equitable sharing of resources means giving more resources to those who have less while maintaining the same ratio they used to have for those who already have. This will help in avoiding the politics of digging a hole to fill a whole, i.e. by taking away all the resources from those who have to give them to those who do not have and again later take them away from those who have and return them to those who do not have.

If that is the case then Gok State will never develop because the conflict will remain constant as leaders are disenfranchising citizens.

In summary, I am appealing to our politicians to avoid divisive politics but instead work with fairness and in that way everyone in Gok State will not lack of anything.

NB//: the author is South Sudanese Students staying in Uganda and can be reached through: dengchapath66@gmail.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, city and the country you are writing from.

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