Freedom of Association Healthy for National Dialogue and Commonality in South Sudan

Posted: December 6, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

Many Questions- Too Many! For the Conscious Jenuubeen!

Acuil Malith Banggol, Juba, South Sudan

Role of Traditional Authority, by Acuil Malith

December 6, 2017 (SSB) — Let us praise and celebrate our multiculturalism as Peoples of South Sudan. Let us celebrate and enjoy that we are free to genuinely be reflective and inclusive of our Jenuubeen cultural identities. It feeds well to Jenuubeen Cultural Identity and Commonality. What is your view? Should we discourage association via community or should we encourage egoistic selfishness and individualism. Let South Sudan enjoy the freedom of association that holds individuals accountable to his/her culture, community from, age group, peer, friends, the family, extended family, cultural group and the entire South Sudan.

Jenuubeen community should ensure that an individual is accountable to the closest community and the Jenuubeen Community?  Let us praise and be exemplary reflecting the good face of our community, village, boma, payam, county, state and the nationwide. What is your view? Do we share the same values as Peoples of South Sudan? Are we reciting archaic and irrelevant slogans or are we confused to extend that we are now repeating similar mistakes then committed in Old Sudan that adopted misidentified identity of Arab monoculturalism?

It forced some of us to bleach! That was expressed in jehawiya that tends to make individuals to feel ashamed of self-expression as showing the best of their cultures. What is your view? Old Sudan misidentified its cultural identity evidenced in contradicting its form content and context resulting into socio-polity and cultural disintegration with separation of South Sudan and the ongoing chronic disharmony that may lead to further fragmentation and chronic disharmony of misidentified in remaining Sudan.

What is your view? In South Sudan, let us not repeat mistaken identity like in Old Sudan who mistakenly identified itself to be a hegemonic mono-Arabo-Islamic culture with utopian tendencies of fiasco assimilation of other discrete 500 cultural diversities in the country. What is your view? It is utopian to make a slogan of “One Nation! One People!” instead let us use an inclusive South Sudanese commonality under slogan Unity in Diversity! What is your view?

The correct South Sudanese identity is a multinational, multicultural and multi-religious legally framed and scientifically established society of commonality integrated on mutuality amongst all cultures not assimilation. What is your view?

I am reacting and engaging in good faith and in accordance with our Jenuubeen commitment to National Dialogue to the opinion of Kenyi Wani. I would like to contribute to his request to look into question his four questions. (1) Look at the issue of this tribal army need to be discussed. I am here to discuss. I have posted my views on looters, selfish and egoistic oligarchs claiming representing their tribes or those who misidentify them as belonging to any of our beloved 72 tribes.

I prefer to call them nationalities. Those enemies of Jenuubeen Peoples are actually looting their tribes and all Jenuubeen alike. But if Kenyi shares erroneous idea that Sudan People’s Liberation Army ((SPLA) is tribal by being dominated in the past and now by Dinka then I disagree and shall make my view clear. This dominance is a legacy because. It came as a natural selection and was encouraged by our cultural values that we Dinka youth at age of sixteen are bound by our values to timely response to national call to volunteer to fight without waiting for those who might have then have second thoughts.

I left professional basketball to pick a gun instead of a ball to fight. I could not wait. Instead I was expecting others to come enemas. After heroic job well done in response to a national call there was no way to turn others away because they are more while they have volunteered to give the ultimate for the sake of Jenuubeen liberty! Even under normal circumstance numbers from any of our beloved nationalities should be corresponding with the ratio of population in accordance with level of dedication.

This is legitimate as we need to abide by article 33 of SSTC 2011 mandating ethnic and cultural communities shall have the right to freely enjoy and develop their particular cultures. Members of such communities shall have the right to practice their beliefs, use their languages, observe their religions and raise their children within the context of their respective cultures and customs in accordance with this Constitution and the law. It shall be unfair to just dismiss others because they have delivered.

It is unfair to blame the past and present but the process of DDR should be based on agreed strategic plans to abide by articles 33 and 36(4) of SSTC 2011. Practicing nepotism should be punishable. South Sudan National Dialogue should provide these solutions. But the future of SPLA or whatever name accepted should be abided by article 34(4) of SSTC 2011 mandating that the composition of governments shall take into account ethnic, regional and social diversity in order to promote national unity and command national loyalty.

There is a need for guiding principles on next recruitment to ensure inclusivity and fairness. I disagree on issue number (2) the group of tribal elder that are turned be advisor of the President should be avoided. I shall explain myself bellow on need to respect freedom of association and rights of communities to organized for the common purpose.

I wish also that the President or Presidency is listening and having fair time to listen to our Jieng Council of Elders, Nuer, Chollo, Anyuak or the federations of council elders. If they practice sectarian chauvinism then this should criminalized. But allowing yourself to be misled that seeing communities and cultural groups associated and recognizing their categories like women, youth and professionals mandating by their cultural values to serve Jenuubeen is not positive. It is not inclusive enough to just exclude elders.

Jieng Council of Elders or any other Council of Elders should be respected and made accountable to be accountable and being Jenuubeen. It is misleading to exclude any Council of Elders. After all they should start as a building block towards the nationhood as Jenuubeen. I agree on issue number (3) that federal system of governance needs to be implemented. I have extensively written on this and this loved through all my senses. I stand to tell that in Twic State we should remain a federal state even if the rest of Jenuubeen would want to form a single federal state. They should abide by principles of Federalism.

I have coined a word in my thesis called Traditional Communal Federal Systems (TCFS). Historically, culturally, administratively and demographically, South Sudan ceded federation model is perceived within South Sudanese geopolitical understanding, values, norms, beliefs and mutual collaboration expressed and exercised in form and content of Greater Regions, states, counties, payams, bomas and Extended families in Greater Homelands of 72 Peoples and a federation or union of community elders, gender or youth or profession.

I call each TCFS as Wut in Dinka, Ringara in Azande, Jur in Bari, Cheng in Nuer, Kal in Chollo and Dhok Hot in Acholi just to mention but a few. Read further in my book:

I disagree on issue number (4) too many commanders creates a lot of problems. This is vague. I am a commander. I am not a problem. It should not be generalized. We should be praised having joined the army and for over two decades we promised to give the ultimate at no cost other than our ultimate. I need to be decorated as a commander. Do not dismay us otherwise Jenuubeen would have not got the right to referendum in golden plate without commanders’ dedication to the cause of Jenuubeen.

But to be fair with your views, I disagree with those who leave SPLA to go to JEBEL LADO or go on road sides to kill innocent Jenuubeen with a hope that International Community shall one day come to mediate and dictate the instructive solution of balance of forces or power sharing that I term looting sharing. Those commanders are real problem to Jenuubeen. But specific for sake of me and my comrades the Commanders! We are ready to give it all should then need demands.

Earlier on I promised to give some highlights on communities. Here it is:

Community: Community, it is to be noted, is a word that interchangeably used to define a state or a nationality in South Sudan. Community’s Elders or Community Committee are recognized. The word ‘community’ is derived from the Old French communité, which is derived from the Latin communitas (cum, ‘with/together’ + munus, ‘gift’) meaning with togetherness. Community as a word or perception is defined in dictionaries as a united body of individuals such as in a state or commonwealth, with common interests, common policy or with a common history or common location.

It symbolizes collaborative and societal desire leading to General Will.  Community has become a broad term for fellowship or organized society serving its members and others through collaborative dialogue and consensus for mutuality. Community is a togetherness created to explore united existence for collective learning and strategic navigation to explore opportunities and promote collaborative ownership.

In natural science, community means a group of living organs that populate a specific ecological space with a dominant pattern. Socially it means individuals or groups of entities who share a societal desire and live for a purpose, connectedness, share values and social networks that go beyond the biological kinship with their identical views of interdependence, mutual recognition and emphatic relationship that creates social capital.

Under our current epoch of information and communication technology has enhanced community beyond geographical limitations. In South Sudan communities have served as societal desire that should be recognized and engaged in process of achieving unity in diversity. It is not a threat as being misleadingly suggested by some. But is a foundation stone, constituency, for nationhood building on unity in diversity.

French Revolution 1789: Awakened the self-actualization and revolt against the then archaic systems of feudal monarchic systems of governance that shook France (1787-1799) but also this rise influence the neighboring communities that were feudalist states like the most renounced democratic federal system of Switzerland that has integrated four major linguistics (Italian, German, French and Lombard), the Catholics and Protestants Peoples and several communes federated into Cantons systems of governance.

Swiss Democracy has benefited from the French Revolution and therefore has factored in the element of Direct Democracy of plebiscite at national, regional and Cantons where Peoples perceived linguistically, religiously or geographically in Cantons are recognized to vote directly on any matter of national and local needs so long the minimum signed up number of citizens has been attained.

This gives me an opportunity to write about Peoples of South Sudan and not People of South Sudan. Peoples- jargon is an ideological jargon used ideological, system of governance, noun, counting and race…etc. Peoples (Ideology): (plural of people). Political jargon denoting equality, inclusivity and mutual recognition amongst 72 nationalities in South Sudan. In SPLM view, each nationality is recognized as a People.

Example Anyuak People, Murle People and Dinka People. In this perception, Peoples denotes integrated diversity. Each of the 72 nationalities owns a living language and many dialects with its many communal groups. Hence SPLM party ideologues use the jargon Peoples to replace the impolite words ‘tribe’ and ethnicity, which were politically used by Sudan xenophobes to denote South Sudanese Peoples as tribes suggesting only one People- The Arab People in contrast of to use of the word tribes in reference to any African People considered with no identities but who should be assimilated to Arab Culture to protect the a South Sudanese nationhood.

I disagree with the slogan One Nation! One People that was blindly copied from the Arabic slogan Umma Wahid! Shaabun Wahid! One Nation! One People! This One Nation! One People! Is a colonial jargon copied from racist and chauvinist Arabs! Let us avoid it! It was coined as the solution to instill a fear from celebrating South Sudanese diversity so it was suppressed under slogan: One Nation! One People!

It should be replaced by the correct slogan: One Jenuubeen! United in Diversity. Or United Jenuubeen! United in Diversity!

We Jenuubeen should be proud because we are better off than Europe, USA and Asia who suffers acute discrimination against the colored. I mean none white. If you doubt me then click here: difficulties ethnic minorities face getting their voice heard in the corridors of power. In South Sudan we should not attempt to waste our energies to discriminate!

Acuil Malith Banggol is the author of “The Roles of Traditional Authority Leaders in South Sudan” and can be reached via his email: Acuil Malith Banggol <>

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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