“The game of eye for an eye, will only leave a blind country”
April 24, 2013 (SSNA) — It is a privilege I will never regret to be a south Sudanese, and if I were to choose between south Sudan and one of the developed countries—say America—I would definitely choose south Sudan and if someone asked me to produce a reason for my choice, I would write a book. My dear readers, I have got an issue of concern to share with you and in fact I am expressing this idea in a very deep sorrow for I know we will face a lot of obstacles in the morrow, if we don’t turn to the right path.
My conscience tells me that south Sudan has lost tract of social coexistence and there is no doubt this has manifested itself in many a forms. The practice of tribalism fueled by lack of political ethics among the politicians, with their naive believe to know more than they really are, has led this nation astray. The issue of these war-weary politicians alone would not bother me because their grey hairs symbolized their short fall, but my fear is that these traditional politicians will make disciples among the youth and will sow the seeds of hatred instead of peace. This is a concern I believe every patriotic citizen of this fragile nation would put into consideration.
Youth are the heirs of the past, co-owners of the present and owners of the future, but we need to be very careful of what we should inherit and what we should not. The long civil war has corrupted our past and our present, because through the bush live, we have adopted a new culture of war which was not there during the time of our ancestors. Our ancestors during their time lived together, share water points, grazing land and cultivate together without any significant conflict. The same spirit applied to our soldiers when they were fighting for our freedom, they fought irrespective of tribes.
Presently, employment in all public institutions is based on tribal affiliation, a kind of "technical know who" has replaced "technical know-how". Tribalism has been the slogan of the current government and this has signified itself in employment and settlement around Juba which based on tribal clustering. The introductions of al-Qaeda style of killing—slaughtering a human being—which had never happened in the history of south Sudan, now happening in Juba. This is a grotesque present which I don’t think the youth can co-own. The future is too blurry but there is always a way out for an optimists.
Now that it is crystal clear that the past is neither worthy inheriting nor does the present worthy co-owning, what do we do? Will we pass through this pitfall the liberators passed through? NO! We are the future of this nation; therefore, we have to leave this path of tribalism. I want us to understand that our diversity is our strength but we should not regard it as a factor for our division. Change will never come to us as a miracle but we the youth must accept changes by standing up and say no to divisive politic in a way that is self-expression rather than politic. Let’s leave politic to politicians because it blow us is division, "us against them" kind of politic.
Humankind has been a primitive segregator of what God the creator has put together; when God created human being, He did not segregate them into tribes or races. He created them in His own image and I guess He must be very proud of them, but because of the divisive nature of man, they clustered themselves into groups which became an impediment to peace and co-existence today. And now that this has proved itself to be the most problem facing us, we tend to escape the problem by finger-pointing at others that “they did it, not us” but this will not help in any sense because a problem get solved only when you accept it as your fault and seek alternative way forward.
The fact that you are born of one particular tribe should not be an excuse to pay your loyalty only to that tribe and despise the rest. I believe that even if I were not born of my tribe, I would have been born of another tribe within south Sudan because south Sudan deserves me and I will still be proud of being a south Sudanese, so why should I be proud of my tribe instead. One tribe cannot make a nation; it is our diversity that makes us look beautiful. Take an example of a rainbow, it has seven colors but if you removed one of them will it still look beautiful as it used to be? I believe not. I know all of us are patriots and have love for this country, but the only thing we have forgotten is that when we don’t love ourselves, how can we claim to be patriots to our country? This means we don’t also love this country.
Last, but not least, I need to advise my friends, the journalists who hold the sole responsibility of enlightening the citizens of this country. I always read all your articles but I think one principle of journalism must be missing. The principle of neutralism is missing among most journalists, though there are still qualified ones. It is not so interesting to a nationalist like me that you are using your tribal or personal interest as a watermark to your articles. An example of these are from the citizen newspapers, those who beat the drum of the truth should beat a drum they have first confirmed to be the drum of the truth, otherwise, they may end up beating the drum of tribalism. Media is very important and we should not join it with a prime objective of protecting the reputations of our tribes, the author is very much concerned about what we post in the media. Media messages affect more than any other things, therefore, we need to furnish our words in making sure that they will not draw negative attitudes in the minds of the public. If the writers could not abide by this principle then it would be better for the media organizations to reject some of the messages that they deem negative in the social set up.
The success and failure of this country is in our hands, especially we the youth. We need not only to depend on the information provided; we also need to refine our own. Politicians normally brings us messages base on their interests, and if we pick it bare, we are no longer neutrals. Let the spirit of fairness and honesty guides this nation, and most of all, may peace and co-existence prevail in abundant.
If my article harms anyone, please I am sorry! I just want to point out what I think can bring us together as youth because we have a lot of things ahead which call for our togetherness, otherwise, thanks for your time.
The author could be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org