Keep distance boy, Tonj is not your dumping grounds for your disposed wastages

Posted: November 1, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Ustaz Abraham Mabior Rioc, Juba, South Sudan

Tonj Youth Union, Kenyan-Chapter

Chairperson with Tonj Youth Members, kenya; Tonj Youth Union, Kenyan-Chapter

November 1, 2017 (SSB) — Tonj is one of the geographical that came into existence following the mapping and reorientation of the physical environments by God. It has been existing and hosting its populace and the neighbors since time immemorial in a peaceful and non-threatening environment. Notwithstanding, Tonj communities are known for peace, unity, patriotism, nationalism, just as like other South Sudanese communities.

With God in action, He blessed Tonj with tangible natural resources and unique people which made Tonj popular up to these days. Following the spread of western and Islamic education, few of the sons and daughters of Tonj went to schools and got the sound education along with their fellow south Sudanese from other regions and states. As such, the civilization was brought by two education systems that later came with the development of practical skills and competencies acquired through the formal and informal education. This education was (still is) to modernize and transform society politically, economically, and socially.

With that reasonable education acquired, people of Tonj got that opportunity to associate well and coexist with the rest of the world in a manner that does not encourage tribalism, segregation, narrow-mindedness, agitation, just to mention a few. Among few personalities who studied in Tonj and treated well include Dr. John Garang de Mabior, Dr. James Wani Igga, among others. This was done in the gesture of goodwill and love people of Tonj towards their brothers and sisters in and across the country.

As far as the liberation of South Sudan was concerned, communities of Tonj joined hands with their fellow South Sudanese to wage a just war that led to the independence of our Republic of South Sudan. Not only that, they could also join hands with other intellectuals within the marginalized Southern Sudan region to lobby the international community to help them in their political and military struggle for the independence of our beloved South Sudan. Indeed, South Sudanese people from all works of life were united and driven by nationalism and patriotism to take up arms against the Khartoum-based oppressors and dictators.

At this juncture, the South Sudanese politics is taking a U-turn shape from being a just politics to being a tribal politics. I call it tribal politics because the politicians are using their tribemates to campaign against other innocent tribes and communities. This is a cheap politics and unbecoming behavior which will never work and take the country to its desired end in all contexts. It has become evidence these days that people talk and pinpoint fingers to certain communities as people who have controlled the government and its resources.

As far as this article is concerned, I accidently met one of my friends few days ago in Juba town. The guy was from the neighboring states of Tonj. We exchanged greetings as usual and the guy looked very exhausted and absent-minded. In fact, from his physical appearance and mood of the day, the guy lacks perseverance and courage in the context of the political and economic crises.

As we converse, he told me that he was so broke and that he could not afford to buy tea these days. He forgot the fact that don’t tell your problems in the public since the same problems you have are the same problems everybody is facing in anywhere. I decided not to silent as I didn’t want him to elaborate to him my endless list of my problems. I told him that things in South Sudan have been negatively affected by the current conflict and ethnic tensions. However, people should pull up the socks and tighten the bells as we pass through this critical time of political and economic crises.

As we wound up our friendly discussion, the silly boy looked around and lost his mind and said that you people of Tonj are better because you are the one controlling the government and meagre resources. I was shocked and became speechless when one of my best friends started badmouthing innocent people of Tonj including me due to his personal anger and frustration. I had wanted to slap his face nevertheless, the gesture of good will and harmony people of Tonj have towards their fellow South Sudanese reminded me to call for constraints.

Being a learned person and having developed good public human relations, I took it simple and politely asked him to prove his statement with evident. However, he failed to support his useless statement and felt very sorry and tried to apologize to me eventually. Anyway, I controlled my temper and tried to lecture to the poor boy that bad mouthing other sections or tribes in South Sudan cannot and will never solve our current political and economic crises. The economic depression is a national issue of concern which has affected all South Sudanese people from all works of life.

In that moment, I decided to offer myself as a counselor of the day to the desperate and disobedient boy. I told him that what you said is not true and it is a complete nonsense. I challenged him that if people of Tonj are the ones controlling the government and its resources, why Am I loitering on the streets with a Master’s Degree? Why Tonj remains one of the underdeveloped states in South Sudan with only two networks operating in limited areas?

Why tangible services like roads, health, and educational facilities, mention them, are not rendered to the people of Tonj? Why some of the brilliant Tonj graduates are loitering in the streets of Juba without being employed by the government and Non-Government Organizations, including private sectors?

I told him that in your area, there are people who have accumulated wealth and they had never set foot in the class leave alone primary leaving certificate. I proved my argument with by mentioning Mr. X, Y, Z, and so forth and so on. In fact, some of the people who sat next to us were so ashamed and started leaving us one after the other. The truth started disturbing them and the poor boy who attacked me verbally became speechless and embarrassed. The truth hurts when it is told in the face of the doubting person.

All in all, some of the educated elites in South Sudan have brainwashed their fellow tribemates and sectional communities this has so far damaged social structures of all South Sudanese.  In fact, this perception has led to mistrust, hatred, segregation, self-fulfilling prophecy among others. What I know now is that all South Sudanese regardless of tribes, political, religious, and geographical affiliations had one heart, one love, one patriotism, and one nationalism during the war of liberation. However, this is not the case today as tribemates are building self-fulfilling prophecy against other tribes.

Indeed, this is a very dangerous move and will continue to press hard our country against the wall of hatred and segregation.  There are even tribemates and communities who went far and claim to have divine qualifications that qualify them to work with Non-Government Organizations while others have no rooms. The fact remains that we must accept ourselves as South Sudanese who have equal rights before the law, access equal educational, health, job opportunities without segregation and tribalism.

The writer is a South Sudanese scholar and teacher by profession. He is reachable at

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 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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