Archive for the ‘Columnists’ Category


By Apioth Mayom Apioth, North Dakota, USA

Peter Biar Ajak is a South Sudanese PhD student of politics and world affairs at Cambridge University in the UK; he was detained by agents of the national security at Juba International Airport on his way to Aweil for the celebration of Red Army Day.

Peter Biar Ajak is a South Sudanese PhD student of politics and world affairs at Cambridge University in the UK; he was detained by agents of the national security at Juba International Airport on his way to Aweil for the celebration of Red Army Day.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018 (PW) —– When a government has everything going well for her; it shouldn’t worry about criticism. Criticism is a toothless biting mouth whose venom become obsolete when the said government/institution is feeding her subjects with euphoric and joyous things to celebrate for their dear lives. The more a government does well for her subjects, the less criticism the government faces in the long run.

Even if there is a throw of criticism here and there, and the political sentiment in the nation is ripe with prosperity and happiness, then any sort of criticism thrown at the government shouldn’t matter, would it? I ask the government and the leading security agencies to release Peter Biar Ajak from the jaws of injustice labeled against him. We have to start a brand new era of respecting the views of other people that may be different from us!!! The time is ripe to embark on that journey now!!!

No matter how brilliant and bright Peter Biar Ajak is in charting a brand new path for our people to be the sole custodians of their rights and freedoms; it is hard to see how his efforts are going to translate into real substantial results. Salva Kiir is beginning to open up to work with different political organizations, but we are not so certain about how things are going to span out in the long run. (more…)


By Pal Chol Nyan, Juba, South Sudan

Cantonment of forces

Monday, May 21, 2018 (PW) — The disconcerting news coming and reaching us from Addis say that there is a little progress in the ongoing talks. The warring Parties failed and are failing to reach any consensus on the key issues; thus rendering chances slim for peace to be concluded.

Commander Michael Makwei, the government spokesman and the spokesman of the government negotiation said they have agreed only on cantonment of forces and on an inclusivity. It sounds ambitious because nothing was elaborated further as to what that inclusivity is or will be and for what.

The religious leaders headed by the South Sudan Anglican Primate, in an exercise of divine powers, took over the talks in a bid to convince the warring parties but they have also failed to make the parties agree on a common ground to ink a deal. I don’t know what they will tell God now that their prayers went unanswered.

Definitely, they will not pray for the negotiators to die. It is only them who know the feedback they will give to the Creator of the suffering people of South Sudan on whose behalf peace is searched. (more…)


By David Mayen Dengdit, Denver, USA

Arop Madut Arop's book

Monday, May 21, 2018 (PW) — I must begin with assuring my good Uncle Arop Madut Arop that my respect for him as an elder (not just a maternal uncle) is firmly rooted in that glaring aspect of our Dinka (indeed all African) culture which gives maternal Uncles a special; almost divine status among their nephews. In fact, Uncle Aropdit knows that he has been a role model for me personally and has earned our respect in the family due to his own personal attributes and long principled life experiences.

 I must admit that, given my long family and professional relations with him in which respect for him is a natural order, I may have stepped a certain cultural boundary by responding to his article, even though I (and those whose names were cited by him) may still be right to feel uneasy to be included in an article where “respect for elders” was the main advice. Hence, he has trapped me in those two coexisting uneasy conditions of right-wrong. It feels like that proven physical state of “cold-hot” which certain objects may possess at the same time.

It is not so long ago that my good and close friend Isaiah Abraham (whose name I have given my son) and many writers in South Sudan were killed by known gunmen just because of that unwarranted perception of disrespect in a political arena where they were equal citizens and stakeholders, not just young(er) men. Taking precious life has been the price of disrespect for President Kiir (real or perceived), and what a price it has been! (more…)


By David Mayen Dengdit, Denver, USA

Salva Kiir

President Kiir paying his last respect during the public viewing of the body of the late Gen. James Ajonga Mawut, chief of general staff of the SPLA

April 25, 2018 (SSB) — Last week, in reference to opposition demands that you step down, you responded that you would not do it because “nobody can do it.” You were quoted as saying: “what is my incentive in bringing peace if it is the peace that I will bring then I step aside? Bashir did not do it when we were fighting with him.”

The question that pops into our minds would be: can a lucrative exit package be an acceptable incentive? What of an internationally and continentally brokered guarantee of temporary exile (only during the interim period), head of state level covered expenses, and no prosecution agreement?

My motive behind writing this notes is not cynical by any means, I am my own master of my conscience.  My motive is to draw the attention of president Kiir Mayardit, who I would want to be proud of as a citizen of South Sudan, to the fact that: aside from the presidency there are many other incentives that have made other African presidents quit. (more…)


By Apioth Mayom Apioth, Washington State, USA

kiiriek

KiiRiek

April 20, 2018 (SSB) — It has become commonplace knowledge that both Salva Kiir and Riek Machar are political liabilities and unfit to steer South Sudan toward a new dawn of bountiful fortune. Salva Kiir’s promiscuous personality would never allow him to stick to any consistent strategic policy formulation. After the breakout of the war in December 2013, he allowed himself to be controlled by two hardcore ethnic chauvinists in the name of Paul Malong Awan and the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE), and to a certain extent by a group consisting mostly of former Khartoum politicians, whose political allegiance is questionable at best.

Paul Malong Awan’s infamous greed for everything is well known. He wants to have more wives than everyone else. He wants to be the wealthiest person in history that ever lived at the expense of the taxpayers’. He is rumored to have two mansions in Uganda and Kenya: one in Kampala and another in Nairobi as we speak. On his last SBS Radio’s interview dated April 10th, Ateny Wek Ateny stated that” during his time in office as army Chief of General Staff, banks were opened at night for General Malong to take the money and he squandered a lot of money that time.” (more…)


The failures of SPLM give a crying nation in pain, griefs, anger, and suffering of citizens

By David Matiop Gai, Juba, South Sudan

Information Minister Michael Makwei Lueth in full old SPLM/A military uniform

Information Minister Michael Makwei Lueth in old SPLM/A military uniform

April 6, 2018 (SSB) — What to do and who is to be blamed for? On the political playing ground, newcomers are to be blamed for hijacking the SPLM systems and ruling principles. Too many promises during liberation struggle for twenty-one or twenty-two years and high expectations of citizens from their government afterward, if SPLM/SPLA won the war against Khartoum which had happened in 2011 would have not been tolerated, and how hijackers used the party for their own purposes?

In reality, forms of unwanted different direction in SPLM objectives which people take the organization for granted resulting in replacement of unwanted advertisement at the international ground folds of the existing error page are what settings programmes the party needs inclusively of the party rebirth and redeeming system for better performances.

However, the SPLM/SPLA too many promises during the liberation Struggle to Citizens, and the transit forces failures of SPLM to go to different destination whereas SPLM had made many promises in liberated areas of Southern Sudan during the wartime consigned SPLM programmes which included the deviated list of SPLM objectives: Unity, peace, justice, liberty, and prosperity.

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Was The Political Wrangling In The Ruling SPLM Party The Root Cause Of The Current Crisis In South Sudan?

By Hon Arop Madut Arop, Oxford, UK

fighting in juba

fighting in juba, 2013, 2016

March 19, 2018 (SSB) — In this article, I will attempt to answer one basic question as to whether it was political wrangling in the Ruling SPLM party was to blame for the December 15th 20013 crisis or something else. This is important, because some people, both South Sudanese stakeholders and most members of the international community who are making efforts to resolve the on-going crisis appear to have lost sight of the fundamental causes of the said crisis. This oversight was clearly demonstrated when many stakeholders called upon the IGAD led HLRF to resolve the root causes of the crisis first before effort were made to revitalize the 2015 controversial peace deal.

Their request to resolve the root causes before the actual crisis could be addressed presupposes that other social and political ills: like bad governance, tribalism or corruptions were responsible for the crisis. Although these social and political ills are undeniably part of the problem, they are not the root causes of the problem per se. According to medical science, one has to diagnose the causes of the disease suffered by a patient before one can be able to prescribe right medicine to cure it. It is in the same vein that in order to solve the current conflict in the young nation, it will be instructive to discuss the main contributing factors to the current crisis in the hope that those engaged in an effort to bring peace to the world youngest nation would benefit from it. Bear with me.

As we start to discuss the contributing factors to the current crisis, it will be important to recall that, after the independence of South Sudan, all the existing political parties that were registered in accordance to the ancient regime’s constitution, including the SPLM, automatically became illegal entities. The political parties, the old and the new, were then expected to have their parties registered in accordance with the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2011 before the function as political entities. Basically, the SPLM, as the lead party should have also been registered afresh. This would have been followed by the calling for third-party national convention in order to approve the party’s basic documents namely, the manifesto and the constitution. Other procedural regulations could have also been revised and approved by the third party national convention.

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What Does Dr. Riek Machar Confinement In South Africa Means To The High-Level Peace Revitalization Forum?

By Longar Mathiec Wol, Juba, South Sudan

South Sudan in Turmoil

South Sudan in Turmoil, courtesy of the Gov’t, IO, G-10, other opposition groups and UNMISS

February 9, 2018 (SSB) — When the war broke out in December 2013, and the two camps emerged one supporting the government and other one supporting Dr. Riek Machar turn Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO). That painful division caused indiscriminately ethnics target and killing suspected to be on both sides. It is a war that caused South Sudan pain, the hope that we were independence state seems to have been chattered and look like a dream; people got back to the struggle they recently emerged out of and they dark days returned.

People with spinelessness starting dubitating themselves why they voted for independence state. To tell you, you made no mistake you are a hero or heroine because you made the independence of South Sudan possible; the one that we had been fighting for almost 50 years. 9th July 2011 was the day millions of South Sudanese were longing to see, the day they have never dreamt of has come during your lifetime. You should be proud of being part of that historical moment in the history of our country.

Whatever happened, our leaders took us back to that closed dark chapter of war and suffering. When August 2015 peace was signed, it cooldown the conflict of 2013. The two camps signed the peace agreement; H.E general Salva Kiir Mayardit and the opposition led by H.E former first vice president Dr. Riek Machar respectively signed the agreement in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. That hope was almost washed away when the other war broke out at president palace 2016. Another challenging moment in the history of our country emerges again. Dr. Riek Machar left the country with some of his troops till he appeared in DRC in one month and a half later.

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Why protecting women’s rights and promotion of their rights is the best way of promoting economic development in South Sudan

By Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda

Lost boys wives photo

Lost boys wives of Colorada, USA

February 4, 2018 (SSB) — Before I joined Makerere Law School in 2010, I used to view women like any other men. What comes to the minds of many men whenever they see women is sex. This objectification of women is the product of culture. Men are culturally oriented to look at women as sexual objects that are available for men to satisfy their lusts whenever they want.

It is in relation to the above, majority of South Sudanese men and especially, men in cattle keeping communities do not see women as human beings who can contribute positively to the welfare of the society. But they only see them as sexual objects that can be turned around at any time as they wish and if they refuse they have to be raped or forced to have sex with them.

It should, however, be noted that even though men in the abovementioned communities view women as sexual objects, it is not their faults. Their way of looking at women is culturally predetermined, and just finds themselves culturally directed. Thus, the way women are viewed in our communities is the product of culture as it puts men above women.

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South Sudan Hinging Between War and Peace: Will The High-Level Revitalisation Forum (HLRF) Meeting Salvage The War Situation In South Sudan? Part Two

By Hon. Arop Madut Arop, Juba, South Sudan

IGAD plus President Kiir, 25 July 2017

IGAD plus President Kiir, 25 July 2017

January 30, 2018 (SSB) — In accordance to the timeline set by the IGAD led High-Level Revitalisation Forum (HLRF), during its December 2017 inaugural meeting to discuss peace in South Sudan the second talk is expected to reconvene possibly during the first week of February 2018. In the December meeting, two items were discussed and resolved. These were the cessation of hostilities among the warring parties and access to humanitarian delivery to those behind the rebel controlled areas. In the February 2018 encounter, the Forum is also expected to discuss other two main items on the agenda: the signing of the permanent ceasefire and a search for the type of governance that will suit the people of South Sudan; predictably once sustainable peace is achieved.

Seen by observers, the key to the success of the up-coming February meeting will largely depend on how HLRF will harmonise the two positions held by the government and the opposition in effort to forge a mid-way approach to the settlement of the elusive conflict.  But as we proceed with our discussion, it will be important to comprehend adequately the positions of the warring parties. On the first hand the Transitional Government of National Unity, would want to revise or rearrange the clauses of the August 2015, ARCSS document, whose implementation has been frustrated by a number of co-related issues. The opposition groups on the other hand, would want to renegotiate the said peace deal resuscitate it.

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By Makwei Achol Thiong, Hunan, China

Jacob Zuma and Salva Kiir, 21 Jan 2018, Juba

President Jacob Zuma and President Salva Kiir, 21 Jan 2018, South Africa

 

January 30, 2018 (SSB) — We’re not represented but we can make a presentation if we accept to dialogue. Not all of us are good but all of us are affected. We cannot agree on all but the need to access Facebook, WeChat, twitter, etc, in a village in South Sudan. This is internet Century! When you quarrel with your darling, type how to save a dying relationship and Google will be there for you. If you’re a girl-shy type, the internet is your most trusted brother to find you one. You struggle with your assignment/research, Google intervenes. In fact, Google is too sympathetic that it infringes on academic redlines sometime. This is why we are Netizens. So, what do we’ve for our Delegation to present?

Unity in the search for Peace! Our leaders should intensify and extend the hunt for peace to social media. Pres. Trump, Pres. Museveni, Pres. Kagame, Pres. Uhuru, (& Raila), all are our colleagues here. Coincidently their countries seem to be doing so well. Congrats to Suzzane Jambo and Dr. Majak D’Agoot, they’re here too. Not sure about Pres. Bashir statuses! In fact, social media is leaders’ forum. We miss it the very instant we view it wholly as a propaganda tool. Maybe we need to open up a little. Search for answers to our problems on Google ourselves through our research institutions. We’ll find something relevant to our case, build, value and own it.

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By Sunday de John, Yirol, South Sudan

 

Malong

Governor Bor Wutchok with Gen. Paul Malong in Yirol, Eastern Lake state

 

January 29, 2018 (SSB) — Dear my immediate ex-governor, despite the fact that I have been stopped by my brothers not to actively participate in writing until later dates, I can’t withhold penning something as you exit Eastern Lakes state and so my apologies to them.

Dear Sir, when you were appointed, I was in Kampala, Uganda. While there, I wrote a short piece in this same space expressing my gratitude and a few words of advice to you. The key words in my then piece were, “murder no one, loot no one” and listen to all before you decide. Exactly you responded to my few words in a manner devoid of arrogance.

Indeed, you are a listener, am proud of you. I don’t regret having supported you for these bountiful virtues and hence I will always support you. You have no victim. You only have happy subjects. You have looted nobody, you were not establishing a monolithic kingdom. You served with revered respect for all. You are not an oppressor and you dictated nobody.

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By Deng Kur Deng, Pennsylvania, USA

John Garang wih the family of Jambo

John Garang with the family of Jambo

January 28, 2018 (SSB) — Have you witnessed the recent wave on social media projected by Susanne Jumbo? Hopefully, you have seen some of the uplifting messages she shares with many South Sudanese. Yet, there were negative counterattacks on her character and ideas that were purposely meant for the benefit of South Sudanese people. Those who had mixed reactions were motivated by a combination of both sexism and tribalism, but these harsh realities created a bitterness that almost sidetracked Suzanne. This is not an assumption, because of the intensity of language presented on social media and other websites.

Unfortunately, I differ with her on one thing—rushing to the conclusion to form her political party, which I feel has mysterious components that are negative to the expansion of the party. Oddly, many are saying that her party is a political wing for NAS, but that doesn’t translate into the popularity she just gained by acknowledging the South Sudanese desperation for peace.

What we don’t know is whether there is the connection between NAS and Suzanne’s party. Concluding that the two are connected would be premature, however, any clandestine link, without findings in place wouldn’t help us understand her intention; therefore, her party may need to be fully investigated because our people must know the truth if two are connected.

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The Exigency of an indigenous, detribalized, middle-class cates for nation- and state-building in South Sudan

By Hon. Peter Wal Athiu Madol, Kampala, Uganda

Gen. Wal AThieu posted with Defence minister and other generals during the launching of second phase construction of Bor-Juba road 29th January 2015 Picture by Mach Samuel

Gen. Wal Athieu posted with Defence minister and other generals during the launching of second phase construction of Bor-Juba road 29th January 2015 Picture by Mach Samuel

January 27, 2018 (SSB) — The people of South Sudan have been embroiled in a deadly civil war since December 2013, barely two and half years after the independence in July 2011. Thus, war has crippled the young nation in all aspect of lives, being politically, economically and socially. And we, the former liberators and the current ruling elites, are caught in a moral dilemma for what we have to say to our beloved people of South Sudan. We have failed ourselves and we have failed our own people – for the aspirations of the liberation struggle and the promises of our independence have come to nought.

Today, South Sudan is in the deepest sense of the words, in hope and despair. “Everything seems equally meaningless, equally hopeless.” The horror of war is eroding the noble traits of its people. The excessive mental suffering, just as excessive physical suffering. Alas, the people are only there on sufferance, because it is the land of their forefathers. It is shameful to be indifferent towards another simply because of racial or tribal distinctions. Each wants to wipe out other, from the face of the earth, and each is at another throat. We need full development of our sentimental attitudes, instead of persistent antagonisms.

Yet, it is no secret that the conditions necessary for the inevitable state failure in South Sudan were evidently present on the eve of independence in 2011. The spirit of the new era was negated like a closed book, not read up to date in order to know or understand what mission the SPLM has to fulfil after the independence.

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By David Matiop Gai, Juba, South Sudan

Baak Valentino Wol

Ambassador Baak Valentino Wol, undersecretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

January 27, 2018 (SSB) — South Sudanese people are dying day and night under the external pressures and internal interests. With internal interest, South Sudanese politicians are divided and allow external interest exploiting the young country in the name of concerning about the lives of citizens. Really, when and how? I say no, and nobody who is concerning about the lives of South Sudanese citizens outside there.

Those of Nikki Haley who always saying this statement lying to themselves. If you are concerning about somebody’s life, and you feel the pain of your fellow human being and hardship is going through, you don’t add anger, you don’t insult, you help and find solutions. That is the right spirit of somebody who is concerning the pain of others.

Us is said to be a long friend to South Sudan, and US government is always hampering people of South Sudan indirectly or impede the progress of peace process by lack of funds. In the latest 1990-1991, US government was supporting rebellion within SPLA movement and withdrawn their support later after Nasir faction committed genocide in Bor.

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By Deng Kur Deng, Pennsylvania, USA

Marial Wel

Marial Wel who shot dead his wife in front of the kids in the USA, January 2018

January 25, 2018 (SSB) — First, before I go any farther, I would like to acknowledge and appreciate Awan Kuol Awan and those who have invested so much of their time to ensure our youth are protected, irrespective of what they have done. Your openness to involvement is crucial, even when there are complexities associated with the issues around the concerns of our youth. Believe me, I am aware of the difficulties involved in dealing with youth in the western world, which is known to be tough because there are limits per the law and resources.

However, any strategy that is deemed to foster good citizens and self-value is essential. Among those who have shown leadership and devoted their time is Mr. Awan. Mr. Awan spearheaded how to deal with youth—especially their emotions and their differences that were triggered in their homes.

The language presented by Mr. Awan’s words resonates with an average person; therefore, it is needed by the youth on the streets. It appeals not only to them but to those who are willing to share their time to help. Mr. Awan’s method can work if it is turned into a mentoring program, to purposely reach youth and give them a reason to reorganize their lives. This allows them to deliberately build self-awareness and self-reflection in the process while enjoying privileges granted to them by the Australian government. This could also create room to thrive through the influence of adults and peers who are well informed about others who are experiencing difficulties in the community.

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By Simon Yel Yel, Juba, South Sudan

President Kiir's speeches after independence

Salva Kiir Mayaardit: The Joshua of South Sudan. Grab your copy at Amazon.com

January 24, 2018 (SSB) — I would want to prologue this article with a few remarks. A society that doesn’t stare the truth in the eye and call it by its correct name will perish. Such a society is always packed up under the burden of intellectual knavery and two-facedness. This is the exact situation that niches our society.

As Mr. Ahmadou Kourouma wrote in his book, “Waiting for Beasts to Vote”, “The world is for clothed peoples. We can’t enter this world unless we clothe ourselves unless we abandon our nakedness,” he writes. And so we dress up the truth in lies.

That is our problem. We dress up the truth in lies. We are economical with the truth. We shy to call things by their names. The way the current squabble over Union leadership is explained exhibits A.

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The Politics of living in Hotels and Keeping Families in Foreign Lands is the reason for our Dying Economy

By Ariik Atekdit Mawien, Gogrial, South Sudan

minister

Sabina Dario Lokolong, deputy minister for humanitarian affairs and disaster management, Nov 2011

January 23, 2018 (SSB) — For years now our politicians live in hotels to satisfy their desires and feel falsely important to the people and the nation they are intending to deceive. For so long the nation and its citizens have become victims to the system they have supported for quite a longer period, even at the time the elites had nothing to spend for life, since the days they were in the bush.

The South Sudanese peasants and cattle keepers took care of the SPLM/A liberators during the bush’s days but when the very liberators arrived in Juba and other cities – the liberators dashed into hotels’ rooms, closed the door behind them to stop us from coming in to give them pieces of advice which could help them to govern the country.

The friendship that flourished among the liberators and local villagers for the last two decades got faded out and elites deserted our villages running way in V8 brand luxurious cars and they became very important persons to approach. The elites put on their VIP cards wearing the English gentlemen coat and ties at the necks, and no more did our peasants and cattle keepers manage to greet them at the hand check of the African style.

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By Atem Yaak Atem, Australia

Atem Yaak Atem

Atem Yaak Atem is the former deputy minister for information, the founding director, chief editor, and trainer of Radio SPLA, and the author of  “Jungle Chronicles and Other Writings: Recollections of a South Sudanese“, a four-volume memoir, of which Jungle Chronicle is the first installment.

January 22, 2018 (SSB) — Thanks to you and the rest of your colleagues who have written those flattering remarks. It’s always good and encouraging to be appreciated for what one has done or said. However, it should not be forgotten that anyone who is engaged in sharing public knowledge or information and not motivated by a desire to be admired, must do that as a duty and not a means to earn adulation or endorsement.

In a sense, if for example, such a role happens to earn them displeasure and scorn from any individual or circles, one shouldn’t be surprised or disheartened.

The other factor worth taking into consideration in this aspect is the assumption that my generation or the one before our own has the monopoly of knowledge and that they are more and better informed than our younger siblings or our own children. That claim or thinking is wrong because it ignores the factor which late Dr William Kon Bior called “historical advantage”- having been there before others.

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The Impact of the Culture of an Injury to One, Is an Injury to All

By Hon Arop Madut Arop, Nairobi, Kenya

museveni's quote on leadership

January 15, 2018 (SSB) — As representatives of South Sudanese stakeholders, both in the government and in the opposition are expected to converge in the Ethiopian Capital, Addis Ababa; probably in the first week of February, members of international community, on the top the IGAD countries are pestering and lashing on South Sudan leaders to accept the hard fact that the on-going war, which has brought untold hardships and ruins to their country; must be brought to a speedy dead end.

Hopefully, if peace descends in our country, there will be an urgent need for all the peace-loving compatriots in our young republic to rethink and look critically at some of our cultures that might have directly or indirectly been the cause of continuous instability among our people for centuries. This is necessary if we are to stop future wanton killing among our people. But in order to bring about sustainable peace, we must try by all means, it would be important to inform ourselves what the word culture is all about. We will then discuss them as to how we can promote good ones, modernize some and discard those that appear to stand on our way to sustainable peace, the unity of purpose and progress of our people.

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