By Kuir ë Garang
January 11, 2016 (SSNA) — To argue that the 28-States proposal is what the people of South Sudan want is to be opportunistically dishonest. Learned people always make decisions based on empirical studies that can be independently verified. In South Sudan, the learned ‘elders’ are an authoritative, opportunistic clique that hides behind the president under the banner of Jieeng community.
In a society where people support everything the leadership decides, the people can’t be the best judges of what’s really good for the country when presented with face-value importance. The pros-and-cons of the proposal need to be discussed and adequately addressed with the people before the consideration of such an unfortunate, segregational proposal.
What’s the rush? The rush is meant to derail peace and prolong the people’s suffering! How can a leader, a learned elder, just assume something will work without it being subjected to the needed scrutiny? This speaks volume about why things are going wrong in South Sudan. Decisions are made on a whim!
South Sudanese rely on the learned to make their decisions, unfortunately, the elders they trust don’t have the interest of the citizens at heart. People need peace not slicing up of the country into tribal enclaves.
Even when the Juba-JCE knows very well that the proposal could jeopardize peace in South Sudan, they went ahead and coerced the president to go ahead with it. Peace is obviously not one of these ‘elders’ wish.
Western nations are plagued by discrimination and racial hatred because of the racial segregation imposed by economic and class differences and the not-admitted subconscious view of others as inferiors. Children grow up in racially homogeneous neighborhoods with the view of racial others as different and inferior. Since they [children] don’t meet racial others to personally ascertain the claim of ‘inferior others,’ they grow up believing that false assumption.
The 28-States proposal will do exactly that. It will keep South Sudanese apart and limit the crucial interaction that reduces tribal animosity. To say that keeping people apart in their ethnic states will bring peace and harmony is a parochial, naïve thinking not worthy of a learned, 21st century African elderman. Tribal states were created by colonial administrators to help them control the ‘natives’ as they called us then. Those states were created in the interest of His Majesty not the colonized subjects. For the Juba-JCE to argue that these tribal divisions were good for us is ignorant.
I wished my dad were alive. I would have asked him if this is the nature of Jieeng; or if this is how Jieeng elders acted in the past.
It’s crucial for you [Jieeng] elders and leaders to remember that we are the ones to appraise your deeds and achievements once you’re gone. You’ve destroyed President Kiir Mayardit and his legacy and it’s time for you to remember that history will judge you in a very unkind way. President Kiir now says ‘Order number 36’ doesn’t violate the peace agreement. But what part of the agreement allows it?
We’ll not write ‘facts’ you’ve not presented. You’re living like immortal beings. A man is as good as his legacy; something Juba-JCE is denying president Kiir.
You’ve showed how you disdain inter-tribal unity. You’ve shown how little you care about the well-being of the average South Sudanese except the size of your wallets. You’ve shown how little you care about peace in South Sudan and that’s why you support a controversial decision that could derail peace and keep the nation in a perpetual state of insecurity and instability (political and tribal). And you’ve shown how little you care about the future of South Sudan because you’ll never be in it.
And you’ve shown how little you care about the national constitution and that’s why you had to help the president make an unconstitutional decision. Once you realized that you couldn’t bully Mr. Kurbandy, who’s fortunately not a Jieeng man, you had a recourse to constitutional amendment.
What exactly will you do when the new constitution is written based on the peace agreement? Since SPLM-IO, SPLM-FPD and other political parties reject 28 States, the writing of the new constitution will be a sticky issue that’ll threaten peace. That’s what you want, isn’t it?
You are the very reason why other tribes hate us! But you are living in an insular fantasy so you don’t care what other tribes think of us. You’re stuck in the past that any thought that a future free of tribal parochialism is possible evades you. I’m ashamed of you.
I want a South Sudan in which Gatluak is a minister in my state, Ajullu a mayor of my state capital, and Deng a head of state inter-tribal council of elders. I know mine is a beautiful dream that’ll not materialize because I happen to belong to a tribe in which the wisdom of our village elders has been rejected and replaced with the political opportunism of the callous city dwellers masquerading as ‘elders.’
Kuir ë Garang is a South Sudan poet and author currently living in Canada. For contact, visit his website on www.kuirthiy.com