Contributor's Tong Kot Kuocnin

Why Consolidating Unity and Peace in an Ethnically Divided South Sudan Matters?

By Tong Kot Kuocnin,

Nuer-Dinka sign in the UN camp in SouthSudan, which The Washington Post debates here, is also explained here by the UN: The United Nations has defended the decision to erect the sign as necessary for security and at the request of those seeking help
Nuer-Dinka sign in the UN camp in SouthSudan, which The Washington Post debates here, is also explained here by the UN: The United Nations has defended the decision to erect the sign as necessary for security and at the request of those seeking help..

Aug 25, 2017(Nyamilepedia) ——- Faced with the challenges of a nation’s building and preserving and consolidating peace and unity in an ethnically divided south Sudan, it is now high time to initiate an equal quest for a national identity. What has to be promoted is an orientation from the freedom of indifference where almost everybody feels excluded from the stakes of his/her own nation to a freedom of involvement where each and every one of us plays role in reshaping the chattered away and loss of ownership and nationalistic tendency in the hearts and minds of the people from various communities in south Sudan. This demands the harmonization of rights and duties of all.

So far, however, the argument which had vividly overwhelmed and flooded the minds of everybody in south Sudan is the idea that the conflict which has almost engulfs the nation is a conflict between Dinka(s) and Nuer(s) where some other people who are even stakeholders in the governance of the country since day one are reluctant and paid no attention at all. Our responsibility in preserving our unity and peace is a collective issue to be addressed by all and not the only two tribes which are sentimentally at loggerheads on the common property of everybody in south Sudan. South Sudan doesn’t belong to the Dinka and Nuers alone. It’s belongs to all its inhabitants i.e. all the tribes in south Sudan including the aforementioned tribes.

The responsibility to shape the future of this nation lies at the shoulders of all irrespective of which ever tribe one hails or comes from. In the concern to protect, preserve, maintains and keep our unity and peace shinning, and in order to shape our destiny rightly across generations to come, it is incumbent upon us to work collectively and in good faith that south Sudan commonly belongs to us and not ME as an individual or us as Dinka(s) and Nuer(s) or other tribes who feels so distant apart as manifested by the nature of the war currently enraging on in our country. It is in this context that we may succeed in keeping our unity and peace alive.

In order to have a united, peaceful and stable south Sudan, it is however quite necessary and even more crucial to orient our thinking beyond the doctrine of tribal lines and commit ourselves to working together for a brighter south Sudan where each and every one of us lives in peace and in unity with one another. In harmony and love with one another. In reflecting on the consequences of the current conflict, the disunity it has caused, hatred, segregation, nepotism and tribalised mindset and many other ways of doing things in south Sudan have shown to us is quite detrimental and hurtful. The motto of any good citizen doesn’t only include how to obey punctually, but also to censure their freedom. No unity and peace between the communities without dialogue in a divided society where each one sees another as an enemy instead of brothers and sisters. According to one of the renowned scholars, William Johnson, the real issue in the society is co-existence.

How is the planet to be shared by people who take different view of human origins and human destiny; and how those differences can be made fruitful, not destructive? Therefore, in this context, the confrontations between the communities cannot be shrugged off. It exists. Our main focus must be on how to forge and preserve both unity and peace among our communities in south Sudan in the context of which response to the demands for peace and unity should be thoroughly considered because the persistence of poverty within the opulence of a minority in a country marked by great neglect of humanity is a typical scandal, one of the serious situations that hinder the realization of one’s humanity, hence curtailing the quest for peace and unity of the people. The current conflict reveals more tangibly the grudges that exist so far among the communities in our country.

It is however one thing to understand the problems that motivated self consciousness among certain communities and it is quite another to have the will to merge together those conflicting and diverging views of those communities especially if those demands restraint and hence no commitment to uphold them. This conflict is a litmus test to the capability and competency of the leadership of south Sudan and its people. Our country is now so much divided on ethnic lines. The leadership must rise up and devise mechanisms to salvage the unity of the people and preserve peace, cohesion and love among all south Sudanese. Our country is slivering at the verge of collapse due to grudges that have filled almost everyone’s heart in south Sudan.

This is a challenge to our leadership where there seems to exist a prevalent tendency of using violence in appealing for community consideration in south Sudan which is a cynical pole that needed to be avoided at all costs. Our peaceful co-existence is our common good and our future too because any political difference between Salva Kiir and Riek Machar shouldn’t be misconstrued as the problem between the Dinka(s) and the Nuer(s) meanwhile difference between Igga and Pagan shouldn’t be construed as the problem between the Shilluks and the Bari.

This must be treated as a difference between the two individuals and not the communities where they hails from, because each one of them is not the community. Let’s learn how to know the meanings of the terms and treat issues differently as they are. It is incumbent upon us to accept the realities of the appalling situation and finds durable solutions to evade other conflicts of this sort from occurring in the future. We all know that nobody wants to live in constant fear and nobody likes to get kill or hurt or let his/her properties destroyed and that’s why it’s very important for all of us to rise and commit ourselves and face this challenge. It is a challenge that’s very much expensive to get and maintain but we must be optimistic that it will be achieved and met in the due course.

Tong Kot is a Master of Laws Candidate at the School of Law, University of Nairobi and can be reached at: tongbullen@gmail.com.

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