BY: John Adoor Deng, Australia, JUN/27/2014, SSN;
The choices of words continue to add insults into the already worsen situation in South Sudan. All we hear daily are people saying that, Dinka is a bad community, Nuer community is bad, Murle community is worse and even generalise that Equatorian (combination of multiple groups) communities are obnoxious just to name a few. However, not only did these culprits stop from there, they mouthed that Dinka community is the enemy to Nuer community, Murle community is the enemy to Dinka, and so are Equatorian and Shilluk communities enemies to both Dinka, Nuer and Murle and vis-versa and the list is endless.
Thus, a foreigner who is fed with this vague information could realistically see no sense of cohesion and hope of a united country. Some of the badly fed foreigners go to their countries to project bad image of our country. Of course, this piece is here to demystify such fallacious.
Day and night I argue that no community is the enemy to other community, and there is no such thing as absolute community collective enmity towards other groups.
Indeed, I do not disbelieve that there are conflicts that in some cases partially involve the above communities, either in the forms of cattle raiding, child abduction or recently politically motivated conflicts.
However, the correct definitions of such conflicts are intrinsic motivation of individuals wanting to achieve certain ambitions or goals. Arguably, these communities to some extent are collided by few elements that waged assaults to achieve not community collective goals but their individual interests.
For example, the cattle raiding initiatives are concocted by young people outside their communities’ conventions, in other words, community opinion leaders do not play a part in such acts. The chief in Murle, for example, deal with cases of his chiefdom, priests in murle deal with his evangelistic ministries and both have nothing to do with cattle raiding if the case of cattle raiding was launched by elements of murle youths.
In politics, some actors used the communities as their shield and cover to achieve their goals. In recent conflicts, there was no need to massacre innocent civilians in Juba who’ve nothing to do with Riek Machar or the detainees.
Also, the massacre in Bortown was baseless as those civilians killed in Bor had nothing to do with Kiir Mayardit and his inner circles in specific terms. These elements who killed civilians on both sides of the conflicts have this fallacy in mind that, “they are Nuer, and we are dinka, we must kill them, they are dinka, and we are Nuer we must kill them.”
All these acts were done outside of communities’ conventions. Apparently, the Dinka community and Nuer community continue to work together socially; they intermarry each month despite these conflicts. In Juba and Australia and elsewhere marriages between Dinka, Nuer, Murle and Equatorian are taking place. No community is the enemy to any community, and the choice of words must change in order to delimit the context of the conflict.
We cannot afford to be referred to as enemies to one another. We are naturally placed on one piece of land religiously, conditioned to work together as brothers and sisters inhabiting this proudest land of Cush, South Sudan. The word choice of words and the demonic generalisation of conflict must be got rid of from those brothers and sisters who only, unfortunately, found comfort in talking, inciting conflicts between our blessed communities.
The Author is John Adoor Deng, BA, BTH, MPRL, MPPP(current) and director of South Sudan Support Foundation. He is reachable by emailing: email@example.com