Synonymy of governments with tribes: The case of South Sudan

By Wani Tombe Lako

February 10, 2013 (SSNA) — When some rulers of Third World Governments (TWG) embarked consciously, and purposefully, to fill all major and minor government constitutionals, civil, and parastatal positions with their tribesmen and women, they inadvertently, forgot that, the other tribes are silently watching until what started as a discrete conduct, overwhelms the system, to the extent that, it is then regimented as the norm. 

This is especially true when you see some embassy Consulates of some TWG such as that of South Sudan. I want to be honest with myself, and with all members of the human race who see what is happening. I am going to call a spade a spade, not because I am against any single tribe, but because, I am going to describe the obvious which is open for every human person with eyes to see.

The government of South Sudan (GoSS), for some good reasons known to itself, is committing a grave mistake, in the name of the Dinka nation. The GoSS is creating a problem for all the tribes in South Sudan, by making the other tribes to develop feelings of hate and resentment against the Dinka tribe for the wrong reasons. The overwhelming majority of Dinka women, men, and children are victims just like those other tribes who are now considering themselves as victims of the few Dinka rulers, who want to create chaos in South Sudan.

In the Name of God the Almighty, is there a single good reason why some of the Consulates of the Republic of South Sudan (RoSS), resemble foreign office associations of the Dinka tribe? Can any reasonable person justify this ugly fashion of parading tribalism at the international level? Those of you; who make the various selections for these positions, are you not conscious that, this type of conduct shall boomerang? How do you just make the other tribes of South Sudan feel that they belong, in South Sudan, by conducting yourselves in this fashion? Is there a policy behind this kind of appointments? Or, is it just, mere tribalism gone sore?

Are the unwarranted difficulties, faced by some South Sudanese, who do not emanate from the Dinka tribe, and who almost find it impossible, to acquire nationality and passport documents, in some Consulates of the RoSS, got something to do with these types of appointments? I pray to God the Almighty that, this may not be the reason, for, if it is the reason, then, we are digging our collective graves in South Sudan. I am aware that, some people will willfully misunderstand this article, and turn it into an incitement article against the Dinka tribe in South Sudan. With or without this articled, the other tribes of South Sudan are already unhappy and restless in terms of what is happening in South Sudan.

I am against anything to do with tribalism, where tribalism is used as a means for comprehensive negative discrimination against the citizens of South Sudan, to the extent that, the majority of the people in South Sudan are made to believe that, tribalism and tribes are the basis of citizenship; and therefore, you acquire goods and services on the basis of your tribal identity. This is wrong at all levels of laws; and it is culpable by all counts. I am calling upon all Dinka intellectuals, academics, army and police generals, of goodwill, to reign on those few rotten Dinka generals and others in the army, and other institutions of government in South Sudan, so that we may have peace in South Sudan.

It is now obvious that, for reasons which I do not want to know, it is clear that, the Dinka control the economy, the judiciary; the finance; the army; the police, the intelligence, the legislature, the executive, and all vital State apparatuses. Therefore, after all this, is it not then, expected of you that, you should devise the most amicable and functional methodology of ruling in South Sudan? I am sincerely, and extremely, confused by the behaviour of those of you, who control the government, and at the same time, work very hard, to make the same government, unstable, by means of, extremely unreasonable, and blatantly unconscionable conducts.

For example, what is the reason of barring all non Dinka junior officers from carrying pistols, while their Dinka colleagues are issued with pistols and AK47 rifles; regardless of their responsibilities? Not only that, but, they are allowed to keep these weapons at home. Now, what kind of message are we trying to send to the other tribes; whose sons and daughters are in the army of South Sudan? Can you expect such a treatment to cultivate and nurture a feeling of nationalism and unity in the hearts of these excluded army officers? Are we not building some feelings of resentment and hatred for reasons based on tribalism, and the making of the government of South Sudan, and dangerously the South Sudan; as being synonymous with a tribe, or tribes who control the government?

Let us not rummage for reasons of disharmony as among us in the RoSS, in other political quarters. We must know that, even the international community, including the USA and some European countries and governments which, we think that, shall stand by us through thick and thin, these governments are now aware of the danger which some Dinka rulers are building in South Sudan. I do not understand, how some people in the government of South Sudan, continue to believe that, the peoples’ support for what they are doing is absolute and limitless. This is a very dangerous assumption. You cannot just expect the other tribes to share the South Sudan with the few of you as paupers. You cannot expect that the other tribes in South Sudan shall continue to enjoy sharing the South Sudan with you as hungry others; or terrorised others, or raped others, or thirsty others, or bankrupt others; or walking others, while you cruise around in expansive and expensive four-wheel vehicles. These other tribes in South Sudan are seeing all these, all these goods things; however you define these goods things. These good things are seen with the Dinka only. Do you get my drift?

To all reasonable Dinka intellectuals and others; you and all of us, from the other tribes in South Sudan, must not bury our heads in our tribal and political sand, and think that, these ordeals shall just vanish of their own accord into thin air. We are steadily walking towards our political and other abysses, and it is our duty of care to rescue our people from this definite danger. It is sad that one is reduced to this level of addressing issues of State building via tribalism, but we have to do it. We do not want to be forced as a human society in South Sudan, to resort to tribal confrontations, as a way of life in South Sudan. The South Sudan will not be a safe place for all of us, and our tribal numbers ought not to mislead us into thinking that, numbers alone shall guarantee our survival.

I am one of those South Sudanese who despise tribal violence which is perpetrated against others for violence sake. I want it to be understood that, this is not an attack against the Dinka nation, nor is it an incitement of hatred against the Dinka people. This is simply a statement of fact that, the other tribes in South Sudan are of the opinion that, some of the Dinka rulers are constant and permanent sources of danger in South Sudan. I want my Dinka brothers and sisters to know this. It is a genuine dialogue that I want to establish. It ought to be known that, many tribes in South Sudan do not understand the logic of baseless violence which appears to have become a norm in South Sudan. The Bari people of Central Equatoria for example, these people are extremely peaceful others and they are just baffled, and confused, by the intensity of violence unleashed against them, by some tribes in South Sudan. It is not that they are cowards. They are just socially, culturally, morally, religiously, legally, and politically reasonable. They were created like that, and they want to stay that way in South Sudan; because, that is what being human is all about. That is, being reasonable.

For example, there are many sons and daughters of South Sudan, from the other tribes, who see their Dinka colleagues, and some of these Dinka colleagues, were their academic laggards and some were their juniors, but, because of reasons known to the king makers in South Sudan, these Dinka colleagues, are now their bosses in various positions in the RoSS. Not only that, within the SPLM as a political party, there are many non Dinka political carders, who have been left by the party political roadside, and a kind of cherry-picking exercise has been conducted; to select those who are deemed as desirable. These are facts. I know Dinka colleagues who were not SPLM members, and have nothing to do with the SPLM; however, they are now among the rulers, just because they are Dinka by tribe and nothing more. These facts are known by all people in South Sudan. The explanations these peoples of South Sudan give for these various discriminatory conducts are that, it is the government of Dinka, and therefore, the best qualifications you can hope to get, is to belong to the Dinka tribe, and the rest is history. This sounds simplistic, but, tell that to the other tribes in South Sudan, whose sons and daughters are unemployed in South Sudan because they do not belong to the Dinka tribe.

We are building a nation from the scratch as it were. So, if that is the case, all these issues which do not allow us to build this nation, from the scratch, in a better fashion, must be interrogated. Anybody who does not want these issues, which work against the fundamental interests of all the peoples of South Sudan, to be discussed, is an enemy of the entire peoples of the South Sudan. Any Dinka man and woman, who does not want these issues to be discussed, so that the good name of the Dinka nation is preserved, is against the interest of the Dinka nation and people in general.

The RoSS must be synonymous with all of us herein, and not just one single tribe. Some of us in the RoSS ought not to behave as if the RoSS is a company registered in their sole name as a tribe. The fact that people do not speak about these issues in the open, ought not to make the rulers of the RoSS believe that, everything is in order. For example, the place is awash with rumours about how junior or deputy ministers in the RoSS, and who emanate from the Dinka tribe, do not respect, and do not obey the constitutional directives of their senior ministers, just because, they are Dinka by tribe. These other ministers are made to feel as if their junior or deputy ministers are there to keep an eye on them, and not to work under them. This is not a sound working political environment. This kind of thinking must change. This feeling of a landlord in some of us, where some of the South Sudanese are considered as tenants is dangerous. It must change. All of us must work towards this positive change.

The feeling that others died more than the rest in the liberation war is not the right way to appreciate and celebrate the glories of our fallen martyrs, heroines and heroes. No heroines and heroes or martyrs are better than others. Every heroin and hero was a daughter and a son, and so on and so forth.

The Author can be reached at [email protected]

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