Tribes are our Diversity; Greedy Politicians are our Common Adversity

By Philips Al-Ghai

If the ancient proverb still holds true, at least in the 21st century, then it ought to be that ‘A fight between grasshoppers is a joy to the crow’.

May 9, 2013 (SSNA) — Literally, this is the painful truth that S. Sudanese are destined to live through. The rulers seem to plot strategies that would send the public helter-skelter, pointing accusing fingers at their respective tribes.  With innocent citizens sensitized and craved to swallow each other, the trouble instigators [some call them politicians, others leaders….I call them rulers] grin with satisfaction that they can now manipulate and exploit their weakened subjects comfortably.

How does anyone find it logical to superimpose the national menace onto certain tribes? If we truly have functional visual systems, we would see –quite conspicuously –that citizens who paid the heaviest price toward the liberation of S. Sudan are still hunted by hunger and curable diseases down there at the nether of food chain in the villages. Absolutely, none is better than the other –whether they reside in Unity, Jonglei, Warrap, Eastern Equatoria etc. Albeit these are the very men and women who [generously] contributed their sons –the fallen heroes –during the two decades of liberation struggle. While the unburied bones of their sons lay meekly in unknown bushes, they are left to spectate in horror as the greedy morons at the apex of food chain in Juba continue to spend lavishly on sex and beer. As audacious as it is, they comfortably execute their normal business with impunity: shuttling the excess of grabbed fortunes to Kampala, Addis Ababa, Nairobi, and even Khartoum [well, for former traitors who are still maintaining their double-standards with the North], and the rest used to fund the silencing of a few who keep revisiting the question of “Where are we going?” as in the assassination of Isaiah Abraham. These poor exploited S. Sudanese define the tribes political lunatics keep pointing fingers at. Do they really know anything about tribal hatred the rowdy literate youths and their politicians seem to champion in towns? No. Absolutely no. Still they stand right at the receiving end of all kinds of political mess, notwithstanding their genuine innocence. So, why do we often fail to vent our anger on the right targets? It is a mystery.

Hands up if there exists any differential regional development [in S. Sudan] to support the calls that Dinka, Nuer, Lotuko, or Didinga edges other tribes. Unfortunately, all phrases that carry the word ‘development’ in S. Sudan seem limited to the back pockets of the titans. The only time I hear about money allocated to certain imaginary ‘developmental projects’ is when the big-pocket pick-pocketers –call them ‘secondary thieves’ if you like –cheekily use their inadequate expertise to hijack the pockets of their bosses. A recent theft “around” His Excellency’s premises presents a perfect example. Poor things. They will have to face the music –whether it is Rock, Blues, or Bongo. Not gospel music anyway. One would be forgiven to think that the timid judicial system, that is yet to tell the public about the stolen $4 billion or the demise of Isaiah Abraham, would be red-hot on their tails. Maybe because:

It is in the interest of the supreme caucus. Predictably if the profiles of the culprits are low and so are not subject to the famous “defamation” that most bosses dread.

It is a good opportunity to blackmail the public that the transparent justice truly exists!

Can the chicks expect fair justice when hawk is the judge? Whatever your take is, hold onto it. The other day I heard justice Gatwech swearing by his ancestors that they will “leave no stone unturned.” Well, I could sense trouble brewing and I assume the culprits know it. That is how ugly it can be when you opt to purloin from a purloiner. Whether the robbed S. Sudanese public would dub them ‘local heroes’ is solely your take. But you would pity them, wouldn’t you? Let’s pray they don’t get crucified before Easter next year. That aside.

In any event, there is only one tribe that S. Sudanese should not only point accusing fingers at, but also demand what rightfully belongs to the neglected S. Sudanese in villages: Bloody Robbers within the SPLM government!

Make no mistake, these are the men who witnessed their comrades fell at the front-lines; they are the living heroes we expect to instill the spirit of nationalism in the generations to come. S. Sudanese expect the best service from them. Yet, breathtakingly, they have taken the heroes-to-zeroes’ turn by using tribal qualms to their selfish gains. Their non-ideological lame-sort-of politics is turning the impoverished S. Sudanese against themselves. They have earned themselves a perfect opportunity to exploit and kill when they want simply by keeping S. Sudanese tribes engaged in the old fashioned politics of “them vs us”. They are at it. Attend a social media sermon about S. Sudan, one of these days, and you will be, exceedingly, bored! All are conducted in only one language: Tribal Hatred! It transpires that many people easily grow allergic to honest criticisms by other members of the public –not on the basis ideological differences, but on the grounds of tribal affiliations! How weird everyone look desperate to relinquish their constitutional rights to the advantage of thieves! One always wonders whether S. Sudanese youths are too fatuous to learn from the past. It just doesn’t add up.

For heaven’s sake, we should start realizing that the parasites sucking the life out of S. Sudan are not those tribes we frequently keep pointing fingers at –neither the majority we see begging on the streets nor those who are still tilling the land with stone-age tools in villages. They stroll right in the corridors of the parliament buildings in Juba, discussing when to put the next iron yoke on the necks of the poor to ensure they remain subdued! Yes, they want us to blame ourselves for our problems when they are exactly the problem. If we need to change the painful history of S. Sudan and rescue the interests of the common S. Sudanese then we must choose to stand together against these bloody flukes, lest we all perish in the aftermath of tribal politics and the rest becomes history.

Philips Al-Ghai can be reached at [email protected]

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