Changing the Name of the Unity State to Western Upper Nile Need a Referendum

By Peter Gai Manyuon

September 9, 2013 (SSNA) — Based on my own findings and view as an individual person not all people of LICH (Bentiu Community) are agreeing with the proposed names by the newly government of Unity State which is too ambitious. Let me say, many people are saying the best name Could have been (LICH State) that defined the originality and actual identification of the Naath Community (NUER) in particular because no one will tell me since the originality there were some inhabitants before Nuer who were in Bentiu or LICH at that time. Dinka of Parieng and Abiemnoum (Padang) just migrated recently some years back after most of the Nuer people crossed to Malakal where we are having GAJAK, GAJIOK and GAGUONG Nuer as well in Upper Nile State.

Furthermore, some Nuer when to Jonglei other start settling in Greater Pagak where there are GAWAR, LAAK as well as Greater AKobo  who are known by the name (CHIENGBORCHAR) Lou Nuer.

Since the originality of the Naath Community in nineteen centuries, all Nuer people originated from (Tharjiath Lich) which mean all Nuer were created under the tree that is up to now is still there in Koch County in the Central part of the State, for those who always travel using (Tharjieth) they might have seen that tree with their necked eyes unless otherwise people are not telling the facts.

Coming to the point, I am proposing for the Referendum to take place in Unity state, people should not be intimidated or influenced to accept certain names due to the issue of making balancing in the state. The Issues to do with state naming need choices or consultations from the citizens; because it will be the people who will be affected in one way or the other.

Everyone knows the history very well only those people who are trying to divert from the reality because in the Republic of South Sudan people do not want the reality but believing on things that might not take people to the good choice or destiny.

I have read through various media Institutions like online news, Electronic Media like Radio, Television (TV) even in the Print Media that Government of Unity State have set up the committees that came to juba to advocate for the changing of the name from Unity to Western Upper Nile State, which to me is malicious and vogues to be pronounced by the people if that very committees have the sense of Intellectuality and maturity in them. Actually my point of argument is not because am not agreeing with the changing of the name from Unity to Western Upper Nile State but the right name is LICH suppose because that very word, defined Naath Community (NUER), I believed no one will disputes that because that name clearly define the originality of Nuer Ethnicity.

I have had rumors that, some people within LICH known by the adopted name Unity State, are saying we should use Western Upper Nile instead of Unity because we have Dinka who are with us in the State. To me that is baseless and unacceptable to be pronounced in public because people cannot put aside their original name because of the interest of two to three people that are manipulating the state politics and what so ever. Is good to stay with our brothers from other side of the Republic but we should not be blindfolds by a clicks of people due to reasons known to them.

Logically, this issue of yes without realizing the effect of certain things, will not take us anywhere in the Republic of South Sudan but rather, will take us backward and backward always my dear countrymen and ladies.

What I have realized is that most of the Nuer people are trying to forget their story by adopting some name that does not belong to them or names that are coming to change the already existing names to the name that even has no meaning at all.

We all know that, the name Unity came after the time when we were with the Khartoum and it was because of the wealth’s that are there especially the oil that government of South Sudan is using for now and fulfilling issues to do with corruptions and stilling.

When you viewed that intellectually and psychologically, you fine that, there is no good meaning for the name “Unity State” but we cannot blame because we were with Arabs that time, hence since we have gained our Independence as the South Sudanese people, we should right now come up with our names that define our originality as the South Sudanese communities not the adoption of the names that does not carry meaning at all.

If I may ask, what does Western Upper Nile mean? People only mean that, since River Nile have divided most of the Nuer and other tribes in Upper Nile Region, therefore that name can be given which is not logic enough. How can we give name base on Rivers and Lakes in South Sudan? Does it mean that, we don’t have the right names that can change the colonialism, imperialism and divide and rule policy that is affecting most of the African Countries?

Analytical points to be taken seriously;

I think the Government of Unity State under the caretaker Governor should refrained from the names that does not define the actual identity of the people of the LICH people, the proposed names should be put aside for the mean time because they don’t carry meaning to me as the person, and I hope to the entire people of LICH have observe this scenarios.

The issue of diverting from the reality should be put aside this time, this is the time for the truth and factual stage that does not need crashing like what the newly Government are trying to do in the State.

People of LICH should be given an opportunity to go for referendum so that, they can agree on the best name to use for the identification of the people from Bentiu, the perceptions and attitudes and cultural name should not be put aside at this time because we need clear Country without manipulations.

The Author is the Independent Journalist who wrote series of articles extensively for Juba Monitor as Columnist, you can contact him through;[email protected]

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