South Sudan: Don’t Tribalize Everything

Posted: August 3, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Nhial Bol Aken, Juba, South Sudan

Nhial Bol Aken1

Nhial Bol Aken is the former Chief Editor of the Juba-based Citizen Newspaper

August 3, 2017 (SSB) — When I cautioned fellow citizens not to waste their time on tribal politics it is because all our 64 tribes that formed this nation are victims of the current situation. I wrote this article, the story of “domesticated monkey” in good faith and not in support of any group.

The argument is simple, we are victims but for some reasons of misinterpretation in the usual way of ethnicizing my argument, the choice of getting our country out of the current crisis is in our hands. IGAD or western countries will not provide any solution to the crisis we are in.

The fact of the matter is that we are divided and atrocities of 2013 and 2016 justified these divisions among our communities but the question is how do we get out from these divisions? Will the solution come from the mediators or we can craft our homemade initiated solution?

The war had engulfed the country, the majority of our people are displaced from their homes and they are in the refugee camps, others are internally displaced in the country? Are these not a concern for some of us to talk about issues that will bring the solution to the crisis? Miracles never resolve political divisions.

Instead of tribalizing me because of peaceful argument, please focus on the fate of our country. It is high time for you fellow citizens to change your minds set and work for genuine peace and stability of the country. Hoping for IGAD to bring peace is a dream which is not achievable.

IGAD experts and leaders whom I met described our war as a war between Dinka and Nuer, which is not true. Others told me it is a war between President Kiir and Dr. Riek but some of us have the belief that the cause of the war is around the issues of governance.

Some argue that President Kiir has a tendency of dictatorial policies but, no, I have the belief that Kiir does not have the inclination to be so for anybody wishing to become a dictator, one needs ideology and vision to protect the dictatorial regime.

I have rarely seen that in Kiir’s style of ruling. What I have observed in him is his decision to divide the ten states into smaller states such that he has unfortunately and potentially touched on ethnic issues.

His action in empowering communities to become surveyors in internal borders of the states has spread insecurity in some parts of the country.

As for those who argue that Dr. Riek is a leader of Nuers, well it is the choice of Nuers to claim if they want to shed their blood in vain for a man not representing them. Riek is closer to Dinkas in practices but he always exploits the emotions of the Nuers for political mobilization.

When the current FVP Taban Deng Gai arranged for me to meet Dr. Riek in his residence in Jebel, I was welcomed by the Dinka generals notably Gen. Achok Kulnyin, Gen. Mathew Awojong, Gen William Elario, and Elijah who told me he is from Ngok Lual Yak and many others.

The Nuer generals were deployed to sit outside the fence. If a Nuer leader is being protected by the rival tribe then we need to watch out.

My experience about our politics is our leaders need people to take them to power by all other means, violence, food or peaceful means. The part is that if Dr. Riek is a Nuer leader, how possible did he manage to transport war from Nuers lands in Upper Nile region to Equatoria and Bahr El Ghazal regions?

My observation of Dr. Riek is that he is a good architect of anarchy whereas President Kiir is not but a good distributor of crisis without realizing.

With this little explanation, the two principals can both be unpredictable if we fail to employ techniques. I am of the view that we campaign for pretty pensions to our leaders instead of using force. South Sudan will remain hostage for many years to come if we don’t mobilize for pretty pensions meaning retirements with benefits and kind of respect.

As of now, let us focus our debates over issues of governance and possibilities of federal autonomous regions. We have to come to the open and suggest to them what is in our minds so that we are helped.

Most politicians, particularly from Upper Nile and Equatoria regions, talked of Federal republics autonomous as a system of governance to end the crisis whereas the majority of Bahr el Ghazal politicians argue for the highly centralized system. All these are not discussed in the formal forums.

South Sudan will never be the same, the old argument that we are one people is no longer popular slogan as it used to be. The new slogan among the elites is that we are people of one destiny, not one people. We must come with a proposal for distributive justices by either the proposed federal republics within united South Sudan or initiate policy of affirmative action to protect minorities.

Instead of killing innocent citizens, let us come to open and demand autonomous states to the three regions that formed South Sudan: Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria, and Upper Nile regions.

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is 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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