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Is Tribalism good for South Sudan?

By: Riak Maker Mading

Are you a South sudanese? What makes you a South sudanese and who is a South sudanese?

Do you belong to a tribe in South sudan? What makes you a member of that particular tribe? Is it the facial marks you possess or the fact that your forebears originateted from that area and tribe? How do you understand if you are a church goer or a true beliver in the principles of christainity when the Bible says in Matthew 6:33- “But seeek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,and all these things will be added”. Will you not have everything as a tribesman if you rather seek first the collective interests of South sudan than the parochial intrests of your tribe? The advice to human beings as found in the Bible verse quoted above is that once you have sought gain favour in the eyes of God by doing as he has directed, the acquisition of wealth through proper channels, good health, peace of mind will all be added unto you

The material prosperity and the tribal supremacy you are seeking now through foul means will all be bonus as a Dinka. Why don`t we go by the order as directed by God but are rather doing things in the reverse order as though we have no brains to think right. Today I want to inform all South Sudanese worldwide that our deep seated tribal sentiments and learnings that dictate our political learning or affiliations is not the rightful; it is not the proper method of achieving prosperity, respect and international recognition for South Sudan as a sovereign country. It does not bring unity among South Sudanese but division. Have you not heard about the saying, “in unity we stand but in division we fall?” why have we allowed a few Dinka and Nuer politicians who are seeking their greedy and selfish ends to wield an axe against our unity as a nation? Do we understand that the more they are able to divide us along the tribal lines, creating unnecessary tensions and unfounded animosities among us, the easier they are able to exploit us, steal our money to acquire illegal wealth and power without anyone becoming conscious of their intents until it is way far too late to correct? Are their intensions not almost always detrimental to our collective interest? Are their intensions not bordered on “divide and rule” tactics by which they can easily attain their target without shedding much sweat? In Matthew 12:25 it says, Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand” Why do we then allow a few Dinka, Nuer politicians and their counterpart Jieng council of elders, who believe in riches more than good name, to fool us, playing on our intelligence, bringing enemity between us in their quest to achieve their personal wicked objectives, thus, acquiring wealth and power illegally. To those South Sudanese who are irrationally believing in tribalism, please help volunteer answers towards my research on “Tribalism and its effects on development of South Sudan”. Let me give you a case scenario to better prepare you towards how best you can assist me as just requested. Mr “A” is a member of your tribe, to be more precise, he comes from your county or boma. You compaigned tirelessly to get him voted to the directorship of a company. He has now become extremely rich. The money that company gives to him to carry out social interventions, he keeps it for his personal use, building houses else where in Africa such as, Uganda, Kenya and Sudan with it for himself, riding in luxury cars like V8 and living in well managed mansons with garden boys, maids and you just name it, he has them. When Mr. “A” acquired his illegal wealth aside from his normal salary, he does not respect people or even if he did, his family and he are living in affluence, able to travel over seas to seek medical assistance as and when they want. The ordinary person in the village has no acces to better medical care, good roads, clean drinking water, hygienic public toilets etc. Bad sanitations causes otherwise prventable diseases that can become fatal to occur in localities. When there are no toilets and people defecate in nearby bushes or dumps as it occurs in some villages, towns and even in parts of Juba, the capital city, it can give rise to contaminated water and food the consumption of which can cause lethal diarrhoea and typhoid, fever among the people of the locality affected. When this director who could not use the money purposely donated by the company for the realisation of social interventions in your area let alone, using part of his own genuinely acquired salary to help the locality come to you nearing the expiry of his first term (tenure) of directorship to seek your votes for his re-election, what will you do? Will you vote for him, giving him the second chance because he is from your tribe, he is your friend, relative and in-law. Simply put, your countryman cannot be as wicked to you as someone from outside your locality. From the scenario given above where your friends and family members might have died or suffered untold hardships from the actions of Mr. “A” , will you still give him the chance because he said this time around he will not repeat his past mistakes. Will you vote for him because he is your homefolk or kindred but Mr. “B” who is actually honest and has verifiable proven record to tell what he is capable of doing is not from your tribe so you will not under the sun, the moon and stars, vote for him? Did Mr. “A” consider that he is a member of your tribe when he was stealing all the money meant for your collective well-being for his selfish interests? If he did not consider your wellfare as a member of his tribe, why should you be that ignorant to continue to assist him directly to abuse you? Do you have such as short memory? Is tribalism good for South Sudan or not? Is electing people along tribal lines but not on issues and merit good for you as an individual person let alone, the collective interest of South Sudan? Is it not better to elect a director who is not corrupt but actually cares about the collective interest of the people? Do you know how much knock-on effect the corrupt attitudes of Mr. “A” has on South Sudan as a nation of sorrow to say, cowards? I welcome all your inputs but mind you, be honest with yourself. Don`t let tribalism rob you of your senses a s a human being. You are not stupid so don`t let tribalism make you stupid!!!!


The writer is a student activist at university of Juba

The author can be reached at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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