A Protest is a Natural Reaction to Injustice

Posted: May 13, 2019 by aljokd in Junub Sudan

Malith Alier, Perth, Australia

Monday, 13 May, 2019 (PW) – A protest may mean complaint or objection against something one feels is not right. A protest can be carried out through demonstrations on the streets such as we recently witnessed in Algeria and Sudan leading to ousting of long-term dictators; Bouteflika and Bashir.

Ordinary people in those countries felt that the two leaders no longer had what it takes to remain at the apex of those countries going forward. On the other hand, the two presidents wanted to perpetuate themselves contending that the problems at hand in those countries can’t be solved by anyone else but themselves. This was their thinking despite acute national or international failures under their watch.

The social media or Facebook has been hatching a possible protest in South Sudan come May 16 2019. May 16 of 1983 is the well-known rebellion date celebrated since 1984. Major Karbino instigated a deserving mutiny in the town of Bor on that very day leading to the formation of the SPLM/SPLA shortly thereafter. One of the objectives of the SPLM/SPLA was to fight for freedom for the whole country. This objective, proved elusive even after the country ending up divided along original north/south divide. Neither the north nor the south is free today.

A suspected protest makes politicians livid in the region especially if it comes at the backdrop of successful Sudan and Algeria ones. That’s why in Juba, the SPLM led government eardrops day and night for such prohibitive developments.

In 2016 such news of protests led to the rolling of tanks on to the streets to pr-empt the would be demonstrators. Both the police and the army tanks sealed off roads in the Amarat neighbourhood and the ministries complex to protect the power! The few daredevils who ventured on the herculean task were rounded up and disciplined for engaging in a cardinal sin. Come 2019 and the same happened – tanks deployed in case of outbreak of marches of dissatisfaction.

The people of South Sudan have been patient enough with the politicians from day one despite knowing full well that something is utterly wrong in the system. Needless to talk about corruption long normalised and has matured.

What about war and destruction wrought by the very people who claimed a mantle for liberation of the country? Displacement, famine, and mass deaths the consequences of political miscalculations.

On this very day (12.5.2019) the proposed government of national unity was to be formed but, because of reasons only known to the same politicians, it’s postponed for another six months. Who knows after six more months it might be called off again? The only thing this does is perpetuation of the same old tired politicians in power for much longer than planned.

Strong South Sudanese nationalist have every reason to protest this kind of injustices. Politicians instigate war ordinary people die. They perpetuate themselves in power no elections held. They obstruct the course of justice; ordinary people bear the brunt for life.

A protest is not a single action as some of us may think. A protest manifests in variant degrees every day. If some people leave the ruling party and form their own party it’s a form of protest. If you voters ceased voting, it’s a kind of protest. if refugees leave their own country for another, sometimes known as voting with your feet, it’s a protest. to extreme cases, if a group of people takes up arms against their government it is also a disapproval for that government. A sabotage is also a protest.

You realise that some of the protests are extreme and have the force to change governments that became out of touch. This is only possible when the government refuses to listen to legitimate demands from the governed. Revolutions are like tides. Kings, emperors, presidents, prime ministers, sultans have been willy nilly removed through protests from time immemorial.

The reason why we have constitutions is that, without them, the failure of the rule of law is not a possibility but a certainty. And even with constitutions in place, a lot of things still go astray. This is why protests are enshrined in the constitutions. However, protests don’t have meaning if they do not result in the change desired. Protests aimed to change or reverse a certain situation. If that situation can’t be altered then there must be something else perhaps a ruler who prevents that from happening. The ruler becomes the obstacle against those seeking change. That’s why rulers are changed to change the detrimental situation at hand.

Protests are as old as humans. Protests come about as a result of certain situations. A protest is not a single act. It is manifested in various forms, including demonstrations, sabotage, civic disobedience, exodus, and armed struggle.

Protests are not aimed at removal of a sitting government to start with. It’s the way the government/authority reacts to the protests that determines the outcome. If people feel strongly about the grievances, no amount of coercive power might prevent them from achieving their objectives. We have witnessed that in Ethiopia, Sudan and Algeria in recent times. The Arab spring got rid of perennial rulers who had fortified themselves with insurmountable military fire and man power.

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 Media (PW) website. If you want to submit an opinion article, commentary or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website do reserve the right to edit or reject material before publication. Please include your full name, a short biography, email address, city and the country you are writing from.


  1. manmadejonne says:

    Change is the normal thing if people want but shouldn’t be force nowdays we understood who better for us to rule


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