Why Tribalism and Nepotism are Prevalent in South Sudan

Posted: June 2, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

 By Daniel Deng Mario, South Sudan


Bentiu, UNMISS Camp

June 2, 2017 (SSB) — Societal denial is common even to those who practice it. Many South Sudanese live with this and none wishes to even comment about it because those who practice it will easily label the one talking about it as the one who does it.

It’s that social tragedy where many try to shun away from it. As we strive ahead as a society, the more we are getting divided. Many of the politicians and the cultural leaders emanating from all corners of our society are simply fearful of even commenting about tribalism and nepotism.

They silently keep quiet but in reality they practice the same. Sometimes when they are coming up with their cultural and friendship cabinets, you start hearing issues to do with who are the real parents, and the great grannies of the person appointed for a certain post.

Even when they are selecting their loved ones such, relatives, son in laws and beyond, they must always come up with one who is of the same tribe. Much of that has been undone by the increased intermarriages, we shall keenly unpack this to you so that, the society gets to know it.

In the early 2005, these tribal and sectarian comments started to come up especially from the politicians. They started claiming that, the big vehicles or monsters as popularly known; leaders in the SPLM regime drive all head to one direction at the end of every working hour.

They categorically said, “These are Liberators.” This has affected the many tribes in South Sudan. It’s only in South Sudan were you mention your name and be denied a job.

All the appointment lists indicate these sectarian tendencies and even the leaders never observe it! It has grown with time and the moment one goes for a job interview, they are even scared of mentioning their own names especially when you are from the other alienated tribes.

In all ways, two-thirds of the nominations made are always encompassing people from within the family of the President or people who are close to the president can give the recommendation.

These days, it’s no longer on merit but rather who do you know in which office or the tribe of the boss. The sad news to this is that, many companies, government authorities and institutions are decaying based on the fact that those who are given jobs or head such institutions match it up with their tribesmen. Isn’t that a social tragedy ahead?

Look at the example of Managing of Nile PET. He was recommended by mother in-law so-called Awut Deng Achuil, fearlessly, the Managing Director fenced up his office with relatives who are failing the public office. Many of the these guys are  appointed on basis of intermarriages  and blood relations prefer giving jobs to their brothers, sisters and people of their tribes other than merit.

No one of us has ever asked why the successful ones have thrived through regimes! They are the smallest portion though. The point here is that we have people who think they only need their tribes or clan members to survive yet we are living in a global world where things are moving at the fastest lane.

We can draw a common example from Thelweng Mathiang Rok, MD of Nile PET Co-operation. All Agar people are seeking for justice and fairness. Agar community did not send any congratulatory message when Mr.Thelweng was appointed as the managing director of Nile PET. This tells the Citizens that such act pronounces nepotism and sectarianism in this context.

The question asks, is the Nile PET family entity? Should we all marry from the “Big Elephant’s family’’ in order to have a silver plate on table? If there is no answer, then where is the way through BIG GATE? With already alienated opinions and indeed judgments over what exactly happened.

The point here is that, it has been a disaster on all media platforms. Many have jumped on the tribal aspect where the family only celebrates victory others are seriously defending their tribe against the rest in support of justice if found guilty.

This is a blanket accusation even though we feel hurt whatsoever. Is it sensible for the family’s comments emanating from all corners because office manger and other relative employees to Thelweng come from Rok’s family or the rest blowing the trumpet of tribalism is disaster to our society?

It’s true that the current SPLM regime has somehow acted reckless or in other words appointed the president’s tribesmen into bigger offices but as well many other tribes have benefited. When you put that in context, you ask one question, what will happen to any future president or government of sorts?

The laugh industry which you call comedy is now more tribal condescending than ever. This is common to those doing stand-up comedy. It’s no longer comedy at that without a comedian throwing in a barb about a certain tribe!

Many comedians have made a name and shot to greatness in the country using derogatory remarks over tribes. It’s the new way of understanding people and astonishingly abusing them.

On the dimension of tribal conflicts; increased hostilities in some States have sprung up! Western Lakes with the Eastern Lakes and the others, it’s becoming a major problem with time for them to co-exist. It has been worsened by the politicization of everything in all aspects.

Many people prefer to be represented against the fact of being the needed social services. In the cluster of States, it is one example where tribalism has continued to bite. Western Lakes within itself is one case of the Wulu County in Western Lakes against the peaceful Eastern Lakes tribe or the vice versa. This is so strange that we look on and think that we are all South Sudanese first.

One other thing, which is of course the last one, is the case of intermarriages. Many of these have happened socially but they have not yet solved the problem. Many have different version of experiences where even in the inter-tribal marriages one of the partner is asked to marry another wife or vice versa of their tribe. Many divorces have ensued and many cannot see the reason of such an increase.

By the way, even our cultural leaders are prone to this vice. Many of them culturally are not allowed to marry from other tribes in order to have the heir to the throne. The heir to the throne must be from the same tribe other than a wife the leader loved.

If that’s not cultural tribalism then your answer suits a different argument. Be blessed as you strive to make a better South Sudan, by kicking out tribalism, nepotism and sectarianism.

The writer is a South Sudanese he can be reached via mariodeng88@gmail.com/0956518990/0920393139

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 from.

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