By J. Nguen
May 27, 2013 (SSNA) — In South Sudan, stakes driven highly by tribalized political ills are high. As such, the morale of good conscientious beings in my own country is severely challenged, tested and suppressed to its honest defeat. While the weak minded, the heartless opportunists, particularly some tribalized old guards of the SPLA/M, who accidentally found themselves in position power through the virtue of their commanderships in the bush but far from merits and qualifications and are now in desperate soul searching for means to degenerate Republic of South Sudan into tribal lines and total disappointing collapse.
Above all else, this is a senseless voyage and unacceptable intellectual insult to late Dr. John Garang’s sacred soul and his unquestioned sacrifices. It is a hopeless insult to countless martyrs who died in the course of our struggle for us (South Sudanese) and our next generations to be totally independent and free at last. It is a regrettable betrayal and deplorable trend to unselfish scarifies of the “Red Army” or the Jesh el Amer or the “Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan,” whichever one called them, these little heroes who joined the movement (SPLA/M) at young age and who can’t afford to see South Sudan disintegrated into pieces. It is an insult to the same poor young souls, men and women, who fought and died in the most difficult terrains in Sudan to offset marginalization, enslavement and injustices. Lastly, it is a heartbreaking adventure for Jesh el Amer & all South Sudan youth who have been promised time and time again, and then believed wholeheartedly that the future of free South Sudan belongs to them.
Truth hurts, but it is unfortunately true that the disintegration of the SPLM is very much so in our door steps. It is true that all the departed souls in the bush, widows and orphanages have grossly been forgotten, given what happened and where the nation is heading. It hurts to see a once revered zonal commander in personality of Paul Malong Awan is mindlessly in a gruesome leg of tribal groupings pursuit. A pursuit perfected and aimed to sink South Sudan into deep tribal feuds.
Not for any good sincere reason but simply to keeps South Sudan backward at its current primitive state, where merits and qualifications doesn’t matters but lineage and kinship with or without any kind of qualifications matters. Not for any good reason but to encourage abject coercion and intimidation. Not for any good reason but to give free leeway to crooks and useless personalities to dictates good citizens against their wills. Not for any good reason but to maintains unjustified Dinka Hegemony of RSS sensitive government organs. These are example of horrific consequential of unlearned war veteran acts. A fellow who never traveled in the globe to get a sense of how the world works and why other nations prospers while others are locked up into nonsensical unwinnable battles.
In so far, it appeared anyone who intended to speak the truth, moral codes and ethical principles in order to help weed out corrupted cronies and Dinka hegemony in the RSS to further enhance uncorrupted collective people progress and good governance beyond tribal lines is considered disloyal and perfidy of high degree in South Sudan.
In the past four months for example, effort to establish unbiased rules of law within the SPLM party has prompted unwarranted and mindless political bickering. And such continued to wobbles the foundation of the SPLM as a party. As a result, SPLM is currently on a shamble and high road of anarchy. It is in a survival mood and desperate verge of collapse to say the least.
This brings me to the question why I am writing this article. The uncertainty which showcased that 2013 -2014 will either confirm the unwelcome demise or revival of the SPLM. At the core of my own party, uncertainty is high and no one knows what the future holds for this great party. At the centre of it all is of course Governor Malong’s recent statement, the lashed out of Governor Nyadeng Malek for abandoning her tribe man high and dry. Governor Paul Malong against all abject odds and watchful eyes of President Kiir or blessing, Malong has chosen tribal alliances over nationhood and idealism.
Based on this disappointing fact, as a party aspirant, I am disturbed but not defeated. I however resorted to the most effective mean to provoke public awakening. I write to enlighten my readers, my fellow countrymen and women, in order to help them clearly understand what a blinded statement ought to engender. Thus, I am of course referring to the Governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, Paul Malong Awan’s infamous tribalized statement toward Nyadeng Malek, the Governor of Warrap state. On May 15, 2013, Sudan Tribune reported that Governor Paul Malong made this divisive statement,
I am disappointed that I am being left to move around when actually Nyandeng should have been the one doing all these activities and then we come in with the support she need. Instead of doing that, she is supporting other candidates. This is unacceptable. She should not try to stand in these coming elections. She should leave the young ones like Achol Achier to takeover if she is not willing to support the president.”
What a man! What a poorly crafted statement! I wondered. Considering Mr. Malong’s stance and uncivilized lash out of Governor Nyadeng’s nationalistic position (if alleged is true), I have the following points to make:
First, Governor Malong’s position is not only tribally motivated but coercive and dangerously unfit in a sense that it preaches and encourages tribal groupings. It clearly gives no slightest room to other tribes’ men and women who pledged supports to President Kiir’s bid for presidency comes 2015 elections. On the slip side, Malong’s statement has consolidated tribal candidates regardless of their visions and mission for the nation. Above all else, Mr. Malong’s statement has indirectly called for the somalization of South Sudan on tribal based politicking.
Second, Governor Malong Awan’s statement justified tribal governance in the Republic of South Sudan (RSS). More so, the statement has indicated a serious political immaturity and pure sheer ignorance on his part as a governor and once revered war veteran. Irresponsibility and poor judgment in this juncture is one thing. While thinking that Governor Nyadeng Malek would blindly support President Salva Kiir Mayardit’s presidency ethnically is another serious political error.
Third, Mr. Malong’s statement placed pockets of South Sudanese who might be supporting the president at a disappointing position, especially the none Dinka, and the marginalized Dinka who might not be from Warrap state. For instant, the statement squarely placed these individuals or groups as puppets or heartless betrayers of their own tribal men and women even though they might be supporting the president profoundly on the national grounds. In closing this point, Governor Malong’s statement clearly indicated that RSS’s governance is based on tribal lines, which in my view is an intellectual insult to us the living and those who died for this country in course of our struggle.
Fourth, if Governor Nyadeng Malek’s alleged position of supporting other South Sudanese candidates from other tribes is “unacceptable” according to Governor Malong, why should any other tribe men or women including the systematically marginalized and targeted Dinka continue to supports Kiir’s bid for Presidency? If what it takes for anyone ascend to presidency is to mobilize his own tribes’ men and women according Governorn Malong Awan. For my readers and fellow citizens, this is how dangerous and unhealthy Governor Malong’s statement is for the interest of our nation.
Finally, Governor Malong’s statement also revealed a bigger problem and more so to the Dinka’s politicians and intellectuals. For example, the statement clearly revealed that the Dinka’s politicians and intellectuals nationwide are constantly being spies on and intimidated at will. This is indeed a new disturbing trend to none Dinka and even to some Dinka who might not be aware of this primitive expedition. An evident to prove this hopeless voyage was Governor Nyadeng Malek’s recent visited to Juba where she was accused of holding “series of meetings with allies of Pagan Amum."
To say the least, this is a serious character assassination of the Dinka people. It surely undermined their long stand sensible logic of nationhood and idealism. Hence, it is unacceptable undertaking however, the sole responsibility to submit to this newly founded political intimidation and trickery rest solemnly on the Dinka’s shoulders.
Beside Governor Malong’s statement is, the just concluded Bahr el Ghazal regional’s conference and its adopted position to supports President Kiir’s bid for presidency comes 2015 elections and beyond. Though such regionalized conference is not first of its kind in South Sudan, it is however the only first regional conference that categorically adopted its position as a bloc.
As a result, the question is whether such position is good for nation building or it is a “new beginning” to divides South Sudan into regionalism or tribes for that matter? The latest is true. It is the new beginning of regional grouping that reckons and encourages tribal politics with flying colors. In my honest opinion, the Bahr el Ghazal as a region has unconsciously committed an irreversible political blunder out of emotions. Surprisingly, it is a gaffe copycat of 1970s when South Sudan was erroneously divided into three regions by Arabs to further weaken our political stance.
Without any doubt, such stand will haunt South Sudan for many years to come and it will encourage broader political misunderstandings based on region, tribe and even clanism. To say the least, both Governor Malong’s tribalized statement and the Bahr el Ghazal region’s newly founded regional alliance surely prepared a disappointing harmonious ground for total collapse of the SPLM party and rocky roads for President Kiir’s government.
In this fashion, the Bahr el Ghazalans and the Equatorians have conducted their regional conferences though the Equatorians’ position was well centered and more nationalistic than that of Bahr el Ghazal region. Therefore, the region that has not conducted any conference in South Sudan at this stage is the Upper Nile. This far, the Upper Nile has never and is not preparing for any regional conference for the sake of national unity. The argument in this regard is South Sudanese did not take arms against Khartoum’s rogue regiments in order to scramble South Sudan into regional blocs after independence. In my view the region has taken a nationalistic position and must continue to refrain from madness and premature acts meant to further divides South Sudan into tribal lines and regional groupings.
In conclusion, I must stress that Governor Malong Awan’s statement and the Bahr el Ghazal regional conference’s position were misplaced and deplorable to say the least. Such positions are tribally oriented, unjust, divisive and more importantly, meant to destabilizes SPLM party and South Sudanese’s unity. It also meant to erode and chisels out our youth’s instilled hope for better tomorrow. These positions must not go unchallenged or deplored. If such occurred, the doers might wrongly think they are indeed doing the right thing when clearly they are not.
J. Nguen is a concerned South Sudanese citizen living in Canada. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org