The importance to acknolwledge the realities of contemporary South Sudan

BY: ELHAG PAUL, South Sudanese, JUN/13/2018, SSN;

Last week, an Equatoria girl produced a video in which she expressed her feelings against the Jieng tribe in South Sudan. The video can be accessed through: (video – 2018-06-03-07-11-27.mp4) for those who have a video converter facility. This video coincided with an article written by Agel Machar published in Paanlwel website titled: ‘Focus on SPLM reunification: Nuer–Dinka unity is paramount to national unity and stability’ (https://paanluelwel.com/2018/06/03/splm-unification-nuer-dinka-unity-is-paramount-to-national-unity-and-stability/)

This article seeks to drum up the unwritten unity of Jieng and Nuer as the basis for national peace and stability in the country. Surely unity between Jieng and Nuer can not be called a national thing as this is a project of two tribes only out of many others.

On the other hand, critics of the Equatorian girl deploy the word nationalism to dismiss her. It is important to note that the term nationalism can not be neatly applied into the context of South Sudan presently because South Sudan has several nationalities and nationality in South Sudan is fluid.

For nationalism to take hold in South Sudan it needs to be consciously engineered through application of policies that build things in the country the citizens can identify with to bring them together.

So in the context of South Sudan, the word patriotism fits better because it is all about love of one’s country.

The article of Agel Machar and the video of the Equatorian girl have attracted criticism across the board and rightly so. Patriots issued condemnations against these vile materials.

Machar’s article promotes upheaval and open discrimination while the Equatorian girl incites hatred. However, that said, it is vital to try to understand why these materials have surfaced in the public domain.

They did not come out of no where. Each perspective has a background to it and an ideology that sustains it.

So, in order to dismantle what sustains them, it demands careful observation and analysis of the acts and experiences of these actors (Agel Machar and the Equatorian girl).

It is no good to just condemn these personalities and their work without engaging and challenging them.

Now let us look at the work of these two persons. Machar, in a nutshell believes that the unity of the Jieng and Nuer with the sole purpose to rule is important for peace and stability in South Sudan.

He argues that the Jieng cannot afford to ignore the Nuer otherwise the management of the country and national affairs will continue to pose some serious challenges to the Jieng.

This view is neither new nor untested. Right from the inception of the SPLM regardless of the violent relationship between the Jieng and Nuer, the leaders of both ethnicities are agreed to rule South Sudan without the participation of the other tribes.

In other words, it is an agreement to marginalise the other South Sudanese tribes using force.

It is an open secret that late Dr John Garang De Mabior, the then leader of SPLM and late William Nyoun and Dr Riek Machar entered into an undeclared, unwritten and unspoken contract that specifically binds them to a unity whose sole purpose is dominance of politics in South Sudan.

They wrongly believed that as large tribes they can dominate South Sudan for a long time.

The need for this kind of unity was born out of the events of Kokora that saw Southern Region of the Sudan divided into three regions following the reaction of Equatorians to Mr Abel Alier’s tribal misrule of the 1970s.

However, what Garang, Nyoun and Machar overlooked is that numerical majority is not an automatic ticket to rule.

The Jieng and Nuer must learn from the history of Sudan itself that their majority did not allow them to rule the Sudan.

Further they need to draw a lesson from Rwanda where the majority Hutu with almost 90 percent of the population are ruled by a tiny minority of Tutsi who make less than 7 percent of the population.

The evidence of this Jieng and Nuer compact has since the inception of the SPLM been shown in the structures of the movement and later on in the structures of South Sudan government.

For example, the leader of the SPLM has always been a Jieng deputised by a Nuer. The leadership of the army too deliberately is dominated by the two tribes with the bulk of the fighting force coming from the two tribes.

When William Nyoun rebelled he was replaced by Salva Kiir and when Riek Machar returned to the fold after re-defecting from Khartoum, he took James Wani Igga’s position of the Vice Chairman in the SPLM with Igga being kicked into the long grass.

After the death of Garang, Riek Machar became Vice president to a Jieng.

When Riek was pushed out in December 2013, Igga was brought in temporarily to warm the seat for the return of Machar in early 2016 following the signing of ARCSS in August 2015.

When Riek Machar was again pushed out in July 2016, Taban Deng Gai took over. So this undeclared, unwritten and unspoken compact is a visible reality that is observable to any keen follower of South Sudan politics.

This compact is responsible for all the chaos going on in the country simply because its intention is limited to the need o dominate and discriminate against the other tribes of South Sudan.

Sadly, the downside of it has seen the Nuer, a willing partner paying heavily with destruction of its own society in all areas of life. The Nuer have become victims of ethnic cleansing.

The system they supported out of this unity turned them against each other: Nuer on Nuer violence fanned continuously by the Jieng who at the same time woo them as partners in this relationship of doom.

At the current rate of destruction going on in Nuer land/territories the result of this undeclared, unwritten and unspoken unity, may lead to an unfortunate reality where in the next decade the Nuer may drastically be reduced in population.

The Jieng buoyed by their persistent destruction of the Nuer have adopted this method as their modus operandi. They are now applying it throughout the country on the other ethnicities.

So, Agel Machar being an educated Jieng knows the benefit of this compact to the Jieng and hence his article promoting it.

It is the leaders of the Nuer including Riek Machar who for whatever reasons fail to see that this so-called unity between Jieng and Nuer does not serve or benefit the Nuer.

With all the evidence of the destruction of the Nuer, the Nuer leaders continue to invest in this foolery.

Knowing our politics, some people are going to say ‘No! Riek Machar is not involved.’ They will claim that Riek is being victimised.

To put such arguments to rest, any doubting Thomas should look at the proposal of SPLM-IO for power and wealth sharing whose principles feature in the ‘Bridging proposal’ of IGAD.

Unpack this proposal and what you can find is a perspective of Jieng and Nuer unity as a source of peace in the country which the international community unfortunately has bought whole sale.

Note that the product of this unity of Jieng and Nuer is the very source of the current chaos and destruction visited on the country.

I do not need to mention the horrific things taking place in the country as they are now common knowledge to every South Sudanese with the international community pretending to be blind while heavily involved in covering up the stench.

The individual experience of the brutal tribal government is so hurtful as to produce people like the Equatorian girl in the video. She is articulating her pains and expressing genuine feelings born out of painful experiences.

She is representing a huge section of South Sudanese who have been abused, brutalised and humiliated in various ways in their own homes for no good reasons at all.

To dismiss her feelings by calling her a hate monger or so is to alienate all those who share her pain.

It is here that the dictum: all politics is local and personal must be taken seriously.

Thus it is important to acknowledge her pain but then explain to her that to solve the problem is to look at the bigger picture and not to generalise, because obviously not all the Jieng are bad.

She needs to be better than the tribalists. By doing this, the consciousness of aggrieved South Sudanese will be raised and it will also de-frame the ideology of supremacy and domination in a practical way which in turn will stop the need to revenge.

However, to just condemn it in the name of political correctness is to sweep these painful experiences under the carpet and hope that they will go away.

This misses the whole point, because the battle the people of South Sudan are engaged in is to ensure that the current system is uprooted from its roots.

Political correctness can not be helpful without acknowledgement of the truth and realities the country faces.

In order to win over people, it is more productive to do it by persuasion and reason and not by sheer dismissal and condemnation.

If we indulge in dismissing and condemning the victims of the current regime which include us, we do not only run the risk of being seen as connivers but the real danger of becoming oppressors of the very oppressed people we purport to fight to liberate.

We want to liberate our people like the Equatorian girl in the video from the tribal system of Juba as well as from ignorance.

We should educate her to know that she has a right to express her truth but she also needs to preserve her humanity and not let herself be propelled to barbarity.

We should educate her that it is ideology like the one promoted by Agel Machar that are responsible for her pain and the pain of many other South Sudanese.

So if you watch carefully the video of the Equatorian girl and the article of Agel Machar is the continuation of the fight between the tribal regime and the people of South Sudan in a different form.

This conflict eventually will produce a middle position which acknowledges the principle of common good for which all responsible and caring South Sudanese stand for.

In conclusion, care should be exercised when dealing with people expressing their pain. Tolerance and the raising of consciousness must be the route to bring the abused and brutalised back into the fold of humanity.

Dismissal and condemnation for the sake of political correctness will not cut it. A spade must be called a spade.

Equally, those promoting divisive and destructive ideologies like Agel Machar should be confronted and challenged robustly to expose their ill intentions for the country.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul
elhagpaul@aol.com
@elhagpaul

19 Comments

  1. Mr Elhaj Paul,
    your mixed Muslim and christian Names suit only traitors who always want to incite the public for personal ego. Bear in mind that Equatoria is not a tribe but if you opt to led it go that way then, Equatoria as whole is considered one tribe only.
    No more 64 tribes in South Sudan as per your assumption. We strongly urge South Sudanese people to unite and embrace peace so that opportunist AKA Elhag Paul get no chance in South Sudan affairs.

  2. False Millionaire says:

    Elhag,
    U aren’t any different than u have always been. The question is no longer concerned with the issue whether there are good jieng among bad ones as u try to sell.
    U have already provided the answer so that the correct implication is that to u, a good jaang is a dead one. That’s why it has become the blessed rule for equatorian rebels to block roads, screen off innocent jieng, be it women, childern or village masses who know nothing about politics and murder them without mercy.
    U have pushed every jaang to feel concerned and so Machar’s article shouldn’t be a source of shock to u.
    As u deem nuer and jieng political mindset to be divisive, oppressive and tribalistic, yours isn’t any universal that can attract sensible nuer and jieng for a rally with u that may produce a universal political outcome that will accommodate every citizen.
    It’s a sole question of survival that has come to impose itself in which case we will all suffer so terribly for years if not for ever.
    So cry as u always do but embrace yourself for more suffering.
    Your dream of a minority tribe ruling RSS like Rwanda will only come true when your foolish mindset transforms into something akin to Mandela’s, Ghandi’s and Martin Luthor King’s.

    • Eastern says:

      False Millionaire,

      Don’t crucify Elhag Paul for telling nothing but the truth. Another man, blinded by emotion, is already reading the name Elhag as Elhaj. These two names my be of Arabic origin but the former is not Islamic. Not all Arabic names are Islamic just like not all English names are Christian. I leave his diversionary view to him!

      Back to you, the False Millionaire, who stole the country’s resources, Paul Malong, with the help of only dinka militiamen, the Mathiang Anyors, help set up the largest refugee camp in Africa in record time: the entire greater Yie area emptied into Uganda to fill up Bidi Bidi refugee camp in Uganda. There are a few dinkas who were in Yei before Malong rocked their boat and are unable to fend for themselves in Ugandan towns also holed up in the camps the dinka militias pushed Equatorians to in the neighbouring countries.

      Don’t rush quickly to insult individual opinions. The carnage that befell Rwanda in 1994 is nothing out of the comic books. It was something that followed tribalising [excuse me for a lack of better word] the state based on NUMBERS. The current folks in leadership of Rwanda were and are still in the minority but they are in charge of the blossoming country!

      The dinka elites, you included, should stop the fallacy of numbers so as NOT TO IMPERIL the lives of dinka women and children on South Sudanese routes and the refugee camps in the neighbouring countries.

      Please read this piece through this link…. https://paanluelwel.com/2018/06/08/dinka-and-south-sudan-is-dinka-community-the-problem-of-south-sudan/

  3. J. Malooma says:

    Elhag Paul,
    Although I disagree with some assertions such as; the “unity of Jieng and Nuer is the very source of the current chaos and destruction” etc, nonetheless, 90% of your narrative are true. To be honest, the tribes of South Sudan have been sleeping and so naive about what was taking place between Jeing and Nuer for centuries. Nuer have been handling Jieng since the expansion of Nuer in the Nineenth century, and that’s where the hatred against Nuer began. Yes Jieng and Nuer have had so mang things in common, but at the same time have different belief systems and social structures. Nuer believed that people of South Sudan would never achieved their long awaited aspirations and prosperous South Sudan as long as a Jeing man or a woman is running the affairs of South Sudan. Too many wrong can’t make it right.
    I thought the campaign for any individual Jeing or group should be on how to dismantle the Evil’s Temple aka (J1), than wast times talking about unity of J&N. Yes Nuer society has seriously wounded by Jieng using “State Powers”, but, they will heal and come back as they always do!

  4. Bol Khan says:

    Dear Elhag Paul,

    You’re in the middle line, you have almost hit it in full. I agree with you that Dinka-Nuer unity is not national Unity. Any unity of any country considers Unity once all ethnic groups come together and unite for one common cause. I read Agel Machar’s article in question, however, I found reading it was just a waste of time.

    As of the question of SPLM/A being led all along, mostly by Dinka-Nuer, there is nothing that can be term as Dinka-Nuer agreement. You cannot find a year in which such an agreement was signed between Dinka and Nuer. In short, there are thousands if not million Dinka and Nuer who are not members of the SPLM/A since from day one to date. Perhaps, and I know, the only reason why the members of those two tribes are always in those top positions of the SPLM/A-Government is that all Dictators and power hungry individuals have one thin in common.

    They don’t consider who is capable to do the job or who deserve it in term of balancing, rather they give power to who ever they think is strong (whoever has fierce followers) so that Banydit’s ill-gotten throne is defended in all fronts.
    That is My take!

  5. False Millionaire says:

    Eastern,
    U are compelling every one to have impression of u as an inflexible regid rock.Why don’t u subject your thaughts to critical analysis before floating them in the forum?
    The correct nature of Rwanda under Paul Kegame is far apart from being a case of a minority ethenic group governing the majority.It’s a grave mistake my friend not to center the debate around Paul Kegame as the universal pilar holding Rwanda togather.
    The first decree he issued when he took power bears the clause that prohibits the mention of one’s tribe in Rwanda’s national identity documents.Those who were with him at the difficult hours were his ethnic kins who quickly sat down to eat what ever little fortunes that rained into national coffres with malicious plans of revenge against hutus.But Kegame’s reaction was swift.He gave a reaching hand to qualified hutu elites who had nothing to do with the genocide,replaced with them his corrupt kins and gave instructions so that any rwandan accusing another rwandan of murder in relation to the genocide was made to file his complain through the legal channels.But to beef up his national work force,he reached out for women who have now become the majority in the administration work force.The childern born in his era are now educated and are the ones positioned to take power and to continue his legacy should he disappears today.
    Do u see something now?
    As u have risen to defend Elhag,do u want to say those rwandans whom Kegame have made to govern Rwanda are from Tutsi minority tribe?
    Miscalculation in politics bears tragedy.The narrow thaughts that your likes sell here in the forum will not only produce evil that will drive masses to refugee camps but they will also pull the sky over u.Please write down my words and prove me wrong in the next five to ten years.
    Dr Kwajok and Toria have gone silent.Don’t fail to understand they have undertstood to have provoked a tragedy which exit is only into the mouth of a grave than the gate of J1.

    • Eastern says:

      False Millionaire,

      I am a very poor wordsmith. I hate beating around the bush.

      That first decree of Kagame you are referring to is not the first an African president issued nor will it be the last. Nobody in Africa can decree ones tribe. Even in the Sudan, the Arab stock in charge of the state there are still trapped in the shroud of tribes and tribalism. The mighty South Africa still reels in tribes. In Nigeria, the current regime of Muhammad Buhari largely considered a northern and a Fulani affairs. The much hyped Kiir-Machar meeting as you pointed out to somebody on this form is going to apportion the national cake based on tribal numbers.

      If Paul Kagame has that wonder wand of simply decreeing tribes from his country, lets join hands in welcoming him to South Sudan to show our misleaders out there to shine their eyes as the Nigerians would say!

  6. Deng Hanbol says:

    Toney Toney and Mafia Millionaire,
    Please don’t put the blame on Elhag Pual. Instead of criticizing everyone saying no to Salva Kiir regime and the JCE misrule in South Sudan, ask yourselves this question: why do most of the South Sudanese ethnic groups hate Dinka?

    • info@southsudannation says:

      Deng Hanbol,
      First, it isn’t exactly true that most southerners hate the Dinka, as you put it. Since the first war in the sixties upto the Addis Ababa Agreement of 1972, all south sudanese lived in complete concordance as one people who fought the Arab north.
      This was greatly helped by the nationalistic policies of the leaders of the Anya nya liberation movement in the ’60s who cleverly enforced the rule that the army generals be deployed to fight the jellaba in any areas of the South. Equatorians fighting in Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile and Dinka fighting in Equatoria.
      Our problem started with Abel Alier/John Garang’s tribal dominance policies of the SPLM/A in 1983, when he, Garang, with those of the Kuol Manyang’s, the Makuei’s who lost their presumed ‘luxury’ in Equatoria, due to Lagu-Tambura’s Kokora, sought to avenge their frustrations on Equatorians.
      Kiir and most of those from Bahr el Ghazel now in the infamous jieng council of elders were not even in Juba in 1970’s and early 1980’s before the famous kokora which, incidentally was launched and supported by the Shilluk’s like Othwon Dak’s and the Nuer’s like the Guy Tut’s.
      Ironically, it’s not that the Equatorians hated the jieng but it’s the jieng who actually psychologically, physically and mentally hated Equatorians for supposedly looking down upon them since after kokora.
      Thus, understandably, the jieng vengence on Equatorians is a cynical payback for the above. It is up to the jieng to rid themselves of their palpable and overt hatred of Equatoria, not the other way round, if South Sudan is to become a prosperous and peaceful country.
      So, despite illicitly becoming billionaires and millionaires today in Juba, despite corruptedly and forcedly grabbing Equatorian lands and inspite of building ‘amarats’ in Juba, the jieng will forever remain mentally traumatized, restless and unhappy people until they first liberate themselves from the inferiority complex now deeply ingrained in their psychic and personae.
      The jieng have to first fight the demons in their souls or else they will forever be fighting the shadows following them daily.
      Editor

  7. mading says:

    Editor.
    What hatred Muonyjaang have for Equatorians? And it is Equatorians who hated Jieng by coining terms like MtN and illegal goods. Now Jieng are picked out in vehicles traveling between towns in Equatoria and executed by Dinkas haters, and you say that Jieng hate Equatorians, be serious man.
    If Jieng hated Equatorians like you claimed here Muonyjaang would have hit back hard after Juba-Yei road Dinkas massacre of 2016.

    • info@southsudannation says:

      Mading,
      History has always been a personal or partisan narrative. You tell your side and the other tells his/hers.
      This preponderance of your ilk on the so-called ‘Juba-Yei Dinka massacre’ is utterly overblown and concocted for the media.
      You truly can’t compare it to just how many other non-jieng South Sudanese have been massacred by Kiir-Malong-Manyang since South Sudan so-called independence.
      History is almost always irrefutable.
      Editor

  8. False Millionnaire says:

    Éditor,
    When u become à victim of contradictions,it’s only suffering that will bear pain upon u in a prolong way that May never come to an end.
    Your collaboration with Khartoum elites so that Nimiri got à green light to issue the decree that broke up the south into three regions and abolished the Addis-Abeba Agreement along the way,u can only be more than honest to admit that that act was a sell out with equatoria and the same equatorians also inside the lot.
    That was exactly the golden opportunity u gave the northerners that gave Nimiri the courage to annexed such southern places like Bentiu due to oil resrves beneath it to the north and the decision of application of sharia laws throughout the whole sudan.
    You are forgiven if somethig blinded u so that u didn’t predict an eventuality of SPLM /A success under à jaang leadership.Otherwise u would have been well disposed to run your own parallel movement instead of joining ranks with jieng in the struggle against Khartoum.
    One couldn’t believe that you weren’t aware of build up of tentions with the SPLM /A leadership with the possibility of Riek Machar taking over as it was assumed that the naath constituted 75% of the SPLA.
    Having stood on the edge at the showdown hour,u provoked a debate about fedéralism but ended up pretending to support Dr Riek when your pressure on Kiir failed to bear fruit.
    The events of J1 were easy to predict but when they happened,u dodged out and kept your distance.It’s u here now writing so bitterly but Why don’t u proceed to tell this forum where on earth do people daydream of achieving political objectives?
    Setting road blocks to screen off unarmed innocent jieng and murdering them as a way of fighting elites in power in Juba isn’ non counter-productive.It’s only the gate of hell that will open first before achieving one single objective.Good luck if u see any common sense in that unbecoming sort of struggle method.

  9. J. Malooma says:

    I agree with Mr. Editor that Jeing will “remain mentally traumatized” and suspicious for generations to come. They will always feel guilty for the bruality, cruelty and inhumanity and countless atrocities committed during their misrules.
    Imagine, was it only in South Sudan where individual citizens particularly “Military Generals” and politicians became millionaire and billionaires in a short period of time; also, without a single primary industry that produced local commodities in the country?
    These stealings, land grabbings and massive corruptions in the private and public institutions, and dangerous deals, all have nothing that attributed to fortune, and cannot be called prowess either, but betrayal of the nation’s sovereignty and its poor citizens at its best.

  10. Peacemaker says:

    Elhag, you have hit the nail on the head, keep it up.

  11. Elhag Paul had been barking all along but failed miserable. you can not wage war on the internet and think you will achieve your objective.that is an illusion. his internet War is about to come to an end and i believe that he will regret it and asked for forgiveness should he step his foot in South Sudan. mark my words.

    • Eastern says:

      Toney Toney Matot,

      Elhag Paul is winning! You tried shooting down Elhag Paul on several occasions but you miserably failed; its you who’s failing in th internet; not Elhag Paul. Back to the cattle dunk!

    • GatCharwearbol says:

      Threat has no place in this day and age. Each man is entitled to his opinion and it is called freedom of expression here. If putting your views across is now considered an illusion, then, Mr. Toney Matot must be living in never-never land.

  12. loberito says:

    ELHAG,
    Well done! Great read indeed! Thank you for your insightful!

  13. Bol says:

    El Hag will never change ! ( Machar’s article promotes upheaval and open discrimination while Equatorian incites hatred)…..up to this point, we have a Borne Again truth teller….(The video of the Equatorian girl and the article of Agel Machar are the continuation of the fight between tribal regime and the people of South Sudan), (The early version of El Hag)….If Machar’s article is divisive and Equatorian girl video incites hatred , by his admission, how could the later be justifiable while the first is condemned? El Hag failed to call a spade by its name which is not surprising for those who have following him. I wish him the best retirement in Equatorian dream.

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