Contributor's Opinion


By Daniel Deng Mario, Khartoum Sudan

South Sudan Minister for Information and Broadcast, Michael Makuei (C) gives a press conference on January 5, 2014 alongside other delegation members in the Ethiopian capital a day after South Sudan's warring parties met in Addis Ababa for the first time since fighting erupted three weeks ago. The army continued Saturday to battle rebels in a bid to wrest back the strategic town of Bor, capital of Jonglei, one of the country's largest states. Heavy fighting was also reported late Saturday near the presidency in the capital Juba. AFP PHOTO/Solan GIMECHU (Photo credit should read SOLAN GEMECHU/AFP via Getty Images)
South Sudan Minister for Information and Broadcast, Michael Makuei (C) gives a press conference on January 5, 2014 alongside other delegation members in the Ethiopian capital a day after South Sudan’s warring parties met in Addis Ababa for the first time (Photo credit should read SOLAN GEMECHU/AFP via Getty Images)

January 10, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — Since the South Sudan Peace Agreement was signed in 2015 and then renegotiated in 2018 and then signed again without resolving the dispute over 32 States in 2018, citizens of South Sudan have been constantly blaming His Excellency Dr. RieK Machar for the crisis over 32 States.

Many of them have been arguing that Dr. Riek is against their interest since he wants to deprive them of their rights to own the State. Some have reached to the extent of threatening that if their right or states are reversed, they would be ready to take up arms against the SPLM-IO or the Government.

Due to the above sentiments, all the attempts that have been made by Dr. Riek Machar and us the members to clarify our position that we are not against their interests have been falling on the deaf ears. This despite the fact that we have been trying to explain to them that what His Excellency Dr. Riek Machar is fighting for is not their individual state or it is not that he does not want a particular people to have states, but some of the citizens do not accept that explanation as what they only want are States and that is all.

I have decided to write this article in support of my previous articles to tell them that the interest of Dr. Riek Machar is not personal interest but to see all citizens benefitting. It is this reason Dr, Riek Machar is seen as if he is against 32 States. The bottom-line of his argument is that anything that does not benefit citizens cannot be supported and if 32 States do not benefit citizens then they cannot be maintained. 

This is our position as members of the SPLM-IO. 32 States are without touchable benefits to the citizens. This is confirmed by the fact that since their creation, the poverty has increased as citizens have never got any dividends from them. Whatever benefits that has come to the State has only been known by the governors and few individual government officials.

To make the matters worse, 32 States have come with many crises which have put the Country into more division than before. The conflicts over boundaries have increased, corruption is all time high, and tribalism has become the rule governing South Sudan which has increased the disunity. 

The country has been landed into deep crisis that will take the future government several years or even decades to correct. This is because the country has been deeply ethicized and mutilated on the altar of tribalism, ethnic and political identities as we see in form of tribal entities fashioned in communities.

Due to the above facts, the country at the moment does not have a government in the real sense as it is being run by bunch of tribal entities in community clothing who do not have any national ideology of any kind. Their ideologies are to define the nation according to their cultural orientation leaving the word nation as a matter of formality.

At the present, there is nothing like South Sudanese nation as what is there is South Sudanese community projects which is eating South Sudan through their community representation leaving the nation bleeding to death. 

The country is now highly tribalzed by the fact that South Sudan Paramount Traditional Chief in J1 who is charge of other community chiefs is using tribalism as a tool for managing the innocent citizens that he misled to wrong way by blindfolding them with the sentiment of tribal feelings.

Majority of South Sudanese citizens including some educated individuals see nothing wrong with the current system as they are benefiting from the cult of tribalism. The J1 is feeding and maintained on the blood of innocent citizens caused by tribal affiliation that becomes the source of bloodshed.

 The President of South Sudan has released the tribalism in the people of South Sudan where they are now drinking it in the cups of tribes called 32 States. Whereas I do not have any problem and I even love my people to have their own States but being patriotic citizens I love the unity of South Sudan and South Sudanese. 

I support anything that can bring unity to the people. What unites us as the people of South Sudan are not independent tribes, but the big tribe that does not accept the small individual tribes that are competing over individual ideologies in tribal perspective?

The SPLM-IO wants one nation identity called South Sudan forged from different community entities that form one nation or one people. The SPLM-IO desire is that South Sudan should be a nation in the real sense as defined in Wikipedia. Wikipedia defines a nation as a stable community of people, formed on the basis of a common language, territory, history, ethnicity, or psychological make-up manifested in a common culture. This definition shows that a nation is more overtly political than an ethnic group.

 The SPLM-IO’s interest is to see South Sudan being molded into a nation of a fully mobilized or institutionalized ethnic group (read more in: Eller, Jack David (1997). “Ethnicity, Culture, and “The Past””. Michigan Quarterly Review. 36). It is important to see South Sudan which has one supranational body which serves common interests. 

The ideology of the SPLM-IO is to see one South Sudan which is psychologically and physically united. It is the reason our Chairman His Excellency Dr. Riek Machar and all of us are fighting for few states in order to break the hegemony of President Kiir’s tribal rule. This can be achieved through building mega cultural-political community that has common identity united that lives in one autonomy under common interest beyond the tribal control.

 The political community that I referred to above is one where the government is accountable to citizens, and citizens under government constitutes one of the most important institutions of contemporary life. Under the political community there exists the mutual obligation of citizens and public officials exhibited in the covenantal character, pointing us to the accountability of government to citizens and to God.
The dream of the SPLM-IO and its membership beginning from the Chairman downwards is to work towards achieving one community whose members have shared connections.

 It is our believe that the nation of South Sudan should develop as objectively impersonal, even if each South Sudanese lives as an individual but they must be united by the national symbols which have now been neglected and subordinated to the individual leadership interests.

In short, 32 States are government political strategy not for the benefit of South Sudanese. The reason citizens blame the SPLM-IO is that they have not understood that 32 States were not created as a result of public demand but their creation was fashioned in tribal maneuvers to promote the SPLM-in-Government political gimmicks. It is a well calculated decision to make sure that President Kiir benefits behind the curtain of the public demands.

I’m responsible for whatever that comes after publication of this article.

The author can be reached via:mariodeng88@gmail.com


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