A citizen’s Letter to the South Sudan’s Youth

A citizen Letter to the South Sudan’s Youth Organization for Social Development (YOFSD) and the SPLM Youth League (SYL): The South Sudanese Youth and their Roles in Mitigating the Current Conflict

BY: Abraham Deng Lueth, RSS, FEB/16/2014, SSN;

Dear fellow citizens,

The current crisis, no doubt, is as a result of the SPLM power wrangling. It then slightly changed to ethnic targeting by both sides of the conflict. Therefore, the social capital of our nation has been heavily, terribly and uniquely broken and it continues to bleed helplessly.

Moreover, it is undoubtedly clear that both leaders, President Kiir and Dr. Riek, have a hand in the creation of the conflict. How can the Youth, the future generation of the country, choose a side in this conflict and expect to build a united, loving and prosperous nation in which justice reigns?

To The South Sudan’s Youth Organization for Social Development
It seems like Social Development is one of the key words in your organization’s name. As a result of this conflict, the social fabric of the country has been terribly disturbed and that should be of a major concern to you as an organization.

How can it be re-amended? Is its rebuilding possible when you know the side you are taking has some serious contributions to the conflict?

There is nothing wrong with side-taking but with a situation such as what happened within the SPLM where two leaders, Kiir and Riek, decided to turn violent, they must be disowned, condemned and urged to stop the violence immediately and return to the table to negotiate out their differences.

To The SPLM Youth League
The SPLM has been terribly troubled and its solidarity is uncertain. What can you do to maintain its coherence and rebuilding of its damaged image to set it up to win national approval over other political parties in the country again?

The SPLM Youth League that is cheering up the government must know that they are not being nationalistic.

They are not being the country’s or people’s Youth but President Kiir’s Youth. This position is irresponsible.

Given the nature of the conflict and how it started, this is not a good position for the SPLM Youth League if they want a good future for the SPLM and the nation.

Are you encouraging the way the SPLM leadership has been handling the party leadership crisis that led to the current war in the country?

To all Youth in South Sudan and particularly, in Juba
Last time when the UN compound incident in Bor Town, involving the minister of information occurred, the Youth took to the streets and condemned the UNMISS representative; it was irresponsible.

The Youth have held several events lately where they missed the opportunity to condemn both sides of the conflict and the atrocities that have surfaced as a result of the conflict; that is irresponsible.

The Youth continue to miss the opportunity where they can present themselves as the real advocates for peace, unity and support measures that return the country back on the path to peace and development and this is again, irresponsible.

Any South Sudanese Youth entity needs to take a neutral or central position so that it can see all the irregularities on both sides of the conflict and condemn them. That is a position that will be good for the country.

The Youth should push the government to release the remaining 4 detainees (they have not participated in the coup if there was one, at all and their release will not only build confidence and trust in the peace process but they will have important contributions to make as well).

Their case is no different from the other released seven. Playing politics to continue to keep them is not in the best interest of the nation we want to build.

The people who have rebelled against the state (whether enforced on them or not) are those who ran away and are currently leading the rebellion.

The Youth can condemn these individuals and urge them to lay their guns down and join the talks to resolve their political differences.

They, too, should be allowed to explain themselves and contribute to the peace process as soon as possible.

The Youth should call for unwavering support from the regional and international bodies to help South Sudan, not one side of the conflict, to get out of this mess.

The Youth should urge all South Sudanese leaders (governors, commissioners, civil society leaders, church leaders, members of parliament, members of cabinet and more) to prioritize peace, “truth and reconciliation.”

South Sudan belongs to us all.

Do not become the Unfortunate Youth
I call on all the South Sudanese youth to avoid becoming what I referred to as unfortunate youth.

It is important that young people’s position in this conflict is based on the truth and principles that are of a nationalistic stand.

Doing anything contrary to this stand is unfortunate. After the conflict, our nation will have a daunting task of “truth and reconciliation” that will be very challenging due to the extent at which this conflict has disturbed our social capital (trust).

The Seeds Youth
This is a group that our nation needs right now. This is a group of Youth that does not shy away from telling president Kiir that he has a hand in the conflict.

Therefore, he needs to stop lobbying negative support (that causes him to think that he can continue to fight Dr. Riek to the finish).

It should urge the President to focus on finding viable solutions (releasing the 4 detainees, reducing Ugandan soldiers to important installations and prioritizing peace) to the conflict.

On the other hand, these Youth need to send Dr. Riek a clear message that says, NO to bullets and yes to negotiations.

Dear fellow citizens, if we have done what I have just narrated on day one and continue to do it today, we would have peace by now. Cheering up either side pushes more for war.

Please, let me end by quoting these nice statements by one South Sudanese Youth.

“You fanatics of backroom designed constitution for the dictator and authoritarian state, I and many like-minded individuals will tell the other side you don’t want the world to know. You believed the white lie that there was a coup; we will keep saying there was no coup at all. Our misguided president made it up to purge his political opponents.

Your state’s ministers go around stonewalling the international community to know the whole truth about the foreign Ugandan’s troop’s presence in SS, we will say yes, they are here fighting and killing our own people we brotherly disagreed with politically.

You preach ethnic hatreds and play our majority ethnic card as a winning political strategy to say Riek and his loyalists are pure evil and a source of our problem, ought to be physically eliminated, we say no. They are not!

Nuer and supporters are simply people just like us who want to seek their political interest. If you sit down with them and discuss politics civilly without attacking them first, they will not fight back.

In our severely divided society and violence-prone, it is only our innocent peasants living across our villages who come to pay heavy prices in human and material costs.

Our political power elites’ families don’t suffer. They don’t feel any pain. Their immediate families live abroad in million-dollar mansions.

All our leaders in SS on both sides are human vultures. They live off trading and selling human bloods for their material selfish needs.

They are all doing it. But then, the smart ones holding power don’t want to share any part of the blame.

They believe they’re living political saints. Their exceptional holiness attitude is beyond belief. They only want the praises, not the blame for their own mistakes. Social conformity is a rule of the game.

Well, until they somehow fairly get it right, we won’t stop thinking they are also hypocrites!

Call me a rebel, disloyal, traitor, and what have you. I’m perfectly fine with it. It is time to tell the truth as we know it. If it will cost us such labels, then so be it!”

You may not agree with most of it but it is actually a test of nationalism.

If you find most of it true, then you are a nationalistic youth, especially, when you are a Dinka.

If you find most of it negative, then you must check your stand because I am afraid, you are irresponsibly siding and you are not helping this conflict.

Do not be unfortunate youth who is just thrown around as needed. This piece challenges those who cheer up the government without recognizing its irregularities.

Remember, Dr. Riek must be urged to put down his guns and so is the government to stop pursuing the rebels. Both must respect the cessation of hostilities they have signed and work on the peaceful resolutions to the conflict.

So, my fellow citizens, revisit your activities and align them with the future you want to see for our nation.

The politics of victimizing opponents and barring them from political opportunities is a clear sign of tyranny that we should not entertain. END

6 Comments

  1. Tyson says:

    What a shamble of SPLM Youth Organization! This is a collection of Warrap boys and idiots from Greater Bahr Ghazal. They are in Juba to look for their survival. The SPLM is deformed beyond repair. It should disappear.

  2. Kidepo says:

    EXCELLENT!

    You wrote as if you are not dinka!

  3. Hurry Robert says:

    Dear Deng,

    Thanks alot for this wonderful piece of writing and I agree with you 100%.The timing of the so called Youth league meeting or rallies are wrong and as worse of all the information they are passing to the nation are wrong and misleading and people should not take it atall.The small groups of youth under self-proclaimed leaders such as Akol Kordit are not representative of the Youth of South Sudan.They are just paid by the current regime to mislead the World that the situation in the country is under control and thus election can be conducted next year.Where were they when pro reform group of the SPLM where pushing for the reform of the SPLM in readness of election?Why talk about election after they and their uncles and fathers forced the pro-reform leadership of SPLM in to rebellion?Where were they when the government secuirty forces were killing innocent civillians in Juba?Akol and his group should shut up and simply enjoy the money from their thieving uncles for they do not represent the interest of the Yoputh of South Sudan.SPLM has collapsed with the majorty of its leaders either arrested,forced to rebellion or under detension so SPLM no longer exist since Akol’s uncle even disolved its leadership structure and dismissed its top leadership.Without interim government therefore there will be no peace and if those of Akol thinks they can hide in Juba or Equatoria, the Equatorians will send you parking so that you go back to Warrap and uter your useless and non-reconcilatory words there.

  4. ezra says:

    Abraham Deng,

    the youth in juba have no connection with the outside world, the situation currently in the country is holding everyone hostage, people are meant to praise the president no matter what, like in north Korea if you said the leader is bad your very livelihood will be destroy to the extend of your extended family. Are you not aware about the daily message been carried on SSTV starting from the President to stupid Wani Igga, to Michael Makuie, to Ateny W Ateny, from Benjamin Barnba to his ambassador Lwate in Kla and others, have you not heard people like Dr Elias Lomoro who is educated been baptized in the religious Kiir? when u specialized in human management you can read his lips, that the message is carrying is not his but was forced to say, as such the daily message from the president to other officials are hateful message, down down to Riek Machar, even the oldest village chiefs Warrap were told to memorized the three words down down to Riek.
    I concur with u the youth should have not taken side, because to them the future belong, for Kiir his days are numbered, and he lose public trust, and how much he try to force things, SPLA as a party of liberation has lost its original version of been liberation party.
    The outside world sees Kiir no longer as a president but rather he is view by the international community as a dictator who oppressed his opponents. Kiir has failed to incorperate the vision of late John Garang as such he resort into purely dictatorship to make his subjects to bow before him, shame on the youth, those are the inner circle of Kiir mostly youth from Warrap, Bahr el Ghanzal, Lake states.

  5. GatCharwearbol says:

    Dear Deng Lueth,

    Notwithstanding the ignorance many of Dinka friends and colleagues show, I always maintained that not all Dinka people drink and dine from the cup of stupidity of Kiir. There are true, well mannered, and reasonable Dinka citizens in South Sudan Republic, you are one of them. Your message as a son from Dinka community does not surprise me abit. It just reinforces my stance that there are good and bad elements in every community, Nuer community which I hail from included.

    Although some blind Supporters of our failed President will chop your head off for saying the truth, at least you have come out clearly and ashamed the devil. My dear SSN foes: Lukudu Gatkuoth Garang, Jay Johnson, Bolabokdit, and the rest, please take your cue from this young man. You are ruining the name of Dinka community for supporting someone who does not deserve to be supported.

  6. Thomas says:

    Fantastic article but let us also consider that the cattle raiders are fueling this conflict, the have took the advantage of spla faction for killing vunerable groups. NOTE: This youth iam talking about are the “unfortunate youth”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>