BY R. MODI, JUBA, 24/July/2015, SSN;
A lot has been written and some of the articles have made focus on Dinka versus Nuer or Dinka versus Equatoria. Logically, it is not possible to paint a whole tribe or group of people using the same paintbrush or in the same colour.
Whereas there can be a myth aimed at creating what is called ‘bonding social capital’, usually those myths are created and propelled by politicians to achieve their goals.
These kinds of politicians do not in fact care for the good or welfare of their so-called tribes Men & women, contrary to what their followers choose or are made to believe.
These political foxes are merely pursuing their goals and in order to get support, they play the ethnic card.
Just see how they keep their immediate families in lucrative government positions and what bank accounts they have all over the world.
How they are out of reach even for mere handshakes for their tribesmen. By this you will know the myth of tribe is just a bluff.
But many people fall for these tricks. This has to be challenged and changed. If we are going to build a nation out of many but one, clearly the nation South Sudan has proven very expensive to build and elusive, demanding our language to change.
We have to deal with human beings as they really are. Humanly speaking, there is no evidence that a group of people, because they come from the same tribe or ethnicity, all reason alike.
Scientifically, the evidence to such is miserably lacking. The way we reason is the function of socialisation. It is not attached to our DNA.
In fact what is called a tribe can be deconstructed to a level that it is a unit created in negotiated identity. Because in one tribe there are so many differences that in many case the neighbouring adjacent tribe has more similarity with a group of people than their other tribe members geographically distant to them.
Anyway to come back to the topic, there are few points in the case of South Sudan that needs to be focused on. The important one is this, the government has failed and it does not serve the interest of South Sudanese, regardless of ethnic identity.
It is hurting everybody, whether they are Nuer, Ma’di, Dinka, Moru, Zande, etc. Simply it is not the government we fought for. It has no respect for the rule of law and in that case it hurts others who are not even South Sudanese.
Is there any doubt that this government hurts East Africans? There was a case raised at the level of East African court against South Sudan.
That has nothing to do with Nuer, Ma’di, Anyuak, Shilluk, Muru or Murle etc. It is simple and clear, this is incompetent government and whoever sticks to it is serving his self-interest.
And those who are mobilised to support this government on the basis of tribe not good principle of governance are self-deluded.
It takes us to a point where we need to examine the bedrock on which this government was founded.
There was too many lies about the SPLA/M right from the beginning. Some people will feel bad about this, but Dr. John Garang did not tell the truth to everybody.
His message changed according to the environment or audiences.
I want to draw the attention of the reader to the book of Professor Peter Adwok Nyamba entitled ‘The Politics of Liberation’. So do not judge me, but read that book and find the point where he pointed out how mobilization was done.
When Dr. Garang spoke to Dinka Bor Youth, he told them to go and get guns so that they could defend themselves against the Murle. When he spoke to the larger Dinka community, he said the Kokora was the reason to rebel.
In fact back in 2014, somebody called Martin Manyang Mading, commented from Bor and said they went in the bush because of Equatorians. That article appeared as a comment in South Sudan Nation.
It was one of those incendiary and provocative statements. ‘Our enemy number one are The Equatorians. That is why we fought, used their intellectuals for our benefits, turned their ladies into machineries for procreation, colonised them and used their resources to settle in our colonies. Those who are dreaming about federal government, you must know that our colony is the first priority. We will not leave our colony and Equatorians will never go free. Practically, as of today, our number in some Equatorian villages or towns is about 3 times more than the number of the native people’.
Those are his words verbatim. It appeared on June 8, 2014 at 11:45 pm. Is this acceptable in a nation? Where is the difference between Nazism and this philosophy?
That is a mind-set that is not only tribalistic but falls in the category of Nazism. Any respectable people now will feel revolted by ideas like that.
Can we now put it that this is the way Dinka reason? I think NO; this is a demented and very unsophiscated person who is posing to speak on behalf of a people of varied philosophies and interests.
The Dinka have a great deal of contribution in the journey to liberations and so are the other 63 tribes.
It is not possible for a single tribe to single-handedly fight on behalf of 63 other tribes, in fact should only 1/3 of the 63 tribes reject such notion, it is doomed before it takes off the ground.
That is why we are a mosaic. Every community has a specialty and you cannot compare them. But people like Mading, are going to destroy South Sudan.
The same way Salva Kiir is doing when he spoke to their youth and told them they fought for this power and they have to keep it. Misinformed people followed that logic and it makes me wonder how poor they are. This cannot happen.
The world is global and you cannot dominate any tribe because their representatives the world over will react. And when they do so, you will be questioned at the level of United Nation.
That is what we are supposed to be, people who work together with the global society. Less than that you are ferial nation and who will respect a ferial nation?
So I do not believe Martin Mading represents the Dinka nation. That would have been impossible to imagine. Where he got that from, the answer is above.
He was totally misinformed on the reason for the struggle of South Sudanese. He went to fight, if he ever did, for exactly the opposite reason why most South Sudanese went to fight.
His narrative is different and with narrative like that, South Sudan cannot stand as nation. I am very confident on that conclusion.
If anyone should try to build a nation on such bad, racist, tribalist and obviously undemocratic principle, they are not going to get anywhere, not in South Sudan but also anywhere in the world.
Do we have to remind people on this? I think it is necessary. The quickest people but at the same time hardest to change are in Equatoria.
Even the Brits found Equatoria difficult to occupy. So they used the churches to calm the people. Any war in Sudan or South Sudan not supported in Equatoria is doomed.
Again, I am not being chauvinistic. I base myself on real evidence. For Garang to get where he got, he has to come to Equatoria. Haaa, that is the reality.
Conversely, if people in Equatoria feel bad it is impossible to hold a government in Juba. And now we feel bad. That government is going down. That preferential advantage is not what we play on. We want to work together with our brothers and sisters in all South Sudan.
We are keenly aware the different contribution you are bringing to the table. That is why we are mosaic and respected one. A few times I used to see it happen in Kampala or Nairobi.
Whenever you see somebody paying bus fares for people behind them, they are South Sudanese. That was obvious. In Khartoum we saw the same generosity.
So together we can make a better South Sudan. But for now South Sudan has to be salvaged from Salva and he has to go.
I could tell you something in the lines that follow. Garang and Salva would have been nowhere without Equatoria.
Because the link with Museveni which proved crucial especially in the battle of Aswa, Kaya, Pogee, Owinykibul, Yei and until close to Juba could never have been possible without the mediating link of Equatorians.
Forget about their meeting in Dar El Salam. People on the ground did the real connection because previously Dr. Garang had Ethiopia and Mangistu as his powerhouse.
When Mangistu was taken out in Ethiopia, SPLA was on the run and by 1993, when William Nyoun Kuach defected from Pageri, nothing remained of SPLA fighting force.
That was re-echoed in Rumbek during the meeting of the leadership. And Salva was the one who challenged Dr. Garang on his administration and Uyay Deng Ajak clearly said there was no more army to fight.
Had it not been for the Equatorian boys and Nuer, Torit was going to be recaptured or Kapoeta for that matter.
The commander who entered Kapoeta we know him and the same commander entered Torit. We know these things but we have been silent. No more.
Fellow compatriots, the best direction is to work for a government we wanted to have in the first place, one for which that first bullet of independence was fired.
One that respects the rights of our South Sudanese people and promotes peace. Such a government will make South Sudanese respectable in the international community.
We have lost too many in the process of finding a government of the people, by the people and for the people, not of a tribe, by a tribe and for a tribe.
We have lost too many and too much and have come too far for us to give up and we shall not give up until we get it.
Should those who now fight, politically or otherwise for such a people’s government fatigue out, or be bought out, history shall remember them harshly and the dead shall not forgive them.
South Sudan at the end of it all shall not fall, for many of her children are nationalists not against tribes but for all tribes, thus out of many, only ONE!
By R. Modi