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We Must Resist Divisive Politics

ByAkot Marial.

This tribal war has brought to the fore some of the worst traits in our people. It has been a very divisive rebellion. It is a rebellion that has divided many friends and families.

This rebellion has caused divisions in some of our political parties, which will be very difficult to reconcile. This rebellion has left SPLM in pieces, which will be very difficult to put together. Many SPLM members left their party/government to go and join Riek’s rebellion. We wonder how these members will come back to SPLM through Arusha’s reunification and continue to be truly committed to the party. Some SPLM members of parliament also turned their backs on their party and joined the campaign for the opposition. We wonder how possible it would be for them to come to the SPLM in the name of the reunification and work with the party colleagues they had abandoned.

This rebellion has also divided our people along tribal and regional lines. Workmates are no longer talking to each other as a result of the ongoing rebellion in the Country. Our ethnically mixed or integrated families have also not been spared by the divisiveness of this rebellion.

There is so much talk of tribes accompanying this rebellion. We hope these divisions would be reconciled very quickly and will not become a permanent feature of our tribes and politics in general lest we disintegrate. The good thing is that people are talking openly about how this rebellion and some other pockets of would-be-rebellion in slow motion have divided friends, families along partisan and tribal lines. The admission that there are these divisions is important. It doesn’t help to conceal these divisions because problems are only solved when they become a tangible reality for all to see. There is need to discuss these divisions openly and find sustainable solutions to them. It is not the first time the people of our Country are divided in this way, and it is these types of divisions that partly led to the formation of many parties all revolving around SPLM’s name. And indeed, for their many weaknesses, deficiencies and undesirables, the multi-party system did not succeed in reducing the level of the divisions we are today witnessing. One might say that such divisions were there even under old Sudan but were masked by the liberation struggle of South Sudan from Arab’s marginalization.

Whatever the cause or the reason, the divisions we are witnessing in the Country today should not be allowed to take root. And we must always be mindful of this in whatever we do and whatever the trials and tests ahead. The ultimate strength of our Country will always lie in the unity of our people, our communities and our families.

There is need to always appreciate the fact that we are South Sudanese first and then members of whatever political groupings we choose to belong to. We should,therefore,not put tribes and partisan affiliations above national unity.

Let us always put the unity of our people first. And let us always put it ahead of any divisive partisan,tribal or regional affiliations.

And these times, as in the times before, it is true that a house divided against itself by the spirit of tribe, religionor party, is a house that cannotstand. We can see what divisions can do even to political parties.

Look at what divisions have done to SPLM House,why should we extend that to the nation, to all our people?

There is division in our families, in our nation, on partisan, tribal and regional lines.

There is divisiveness among us all today.

So, we urge you all, whatever your personal interest or concerns, to guard against divisivenessand all its ugly consequences.

What we have achieved when all our people were united must now not be lost in partisan and tribal suspicion,distrust.It must not be lost in selfishness and politics among any of our people.

We urge all our leaders, political,religious,traditional and otherwise to guard against any divisive practices or politics. Thesupreme function of leadership is to stand against preventable evils. Ofcourse, in seeking to do so, we will encounter obstacles which are deeply rooted in human nature. One is that by the very order of things, the evils of such divisions are not demonstrable until they are gotten out of control: at each stage in their own set, there is room for doubt and dispute as to whether they may be real or imaginary.

This Country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless it is a good place for all of us to live in.

Tribalism is deformed form of nationalism.

To claim the right to power based on tribalistic political outlook is destructive. Excessive exaltation of one‘s tribe is dangerous and destructive .All through history; tribalism has been the cause of innumerable conflicts and wars in South Sudan.

It is not by segregating ourselves from those who are different that we shall preserve our own particular achievements. It is by sharing them that we become richer.

The divisions, along the tribe, that we are today witnessing in our politics need to be dealt with urgently and with tenacity we can marshal. Why should tribe become such a big factor in our elections and politics? Why should it become such a big issue when a tribesman wins or loses an election?

How does that affect you as an individual? Are the resources of this Country divided along tribal lines? If they are, is entrenching tribalism in our politics the best way to address this issue? If it is, where will it take us and where will we end as a people, as a nation, as a Country?

Tribalism is a very serious weakness. And we should not make a virtue out of inadequacy.

This is the moment in which, to use Lenin’s words. ’’Untimely inaction would be worse than untimely action”

Akot Marial lives in Juba. He can be reached atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +211 (0) 922053314.

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