Contributor's Opinion


By Akoi Manyiel Guong,

President Kiir addressing the nation on December 16 2013 as he announced what he called a coup by Riek Machar shortly before Juba Massacre hours later (photo: file/supplied/nyamilepedia)
President Kiir addressing the nation on December 16 2013 as he announced what he called a coup by Riek Machar shortly before Juba Massacre hours later (photo: file/supplied/nyamilepedia)

June 07, 2018(Nyamilepedia) — Is it Dinka as a tribe or self proclaimed Jieng Council of Elders(JCE) that is believed to be behind the current war in South Sudan?


Experiences and time since creation have proved it that violence is a rare interest of anyone in life but circumstances force others to become violent.

Natural science puts it “survival of the fittest”. The very predatory habit of human life, of egotistical and jealousy based setting, make the world not an easy place to live in comfortably. A world full of desperations, pains, hopelessness to mention few, simply put, it is not fair.

Humans beings in the centre of God’s creation have wants and needs which pressure them to be fulfilled, thus exert profound effects on other small creatures which in the process suffer terribly. This is where adaptation sets in, those disadvantaged small creatures either assimilated or force to surrender to the strong or join powerful group in the ecology to survive the ordeal of such unending earthly wants.

This is the world of strong eat and weak/small perish. The world of majority controls and minority suffers.

What a pity world?!

A world where those who fought go with empty stomachs and those who did not build mansions.

A world where you find brothers sisters sitting by road sides or at restaurants preaching hatred as the way of life. It will not take you long to notice someone talking nonsensical that can not take country forward but backwards.

When such hatred ripens, it receives similar reciprocating responses from other opponents which might resort to fighting back as cornered cat does. When a cat finds itself in a corner and facing eminent danger, the only way out is to fight back , the result may not be sweet to everyone involved in the ordeal, being the suppressor or silencer or the suppressed.

This scenario applies very much to South Sudan.


I begin with short history of South Sudan and the contribution of Dinka. As we young Dinka generations read books and intellectual articles about conflicts in the Sudan, we understand that our ancestors have never ever been on the wrong side of history.

However, this article serves to unearth the truth about what really went wrong in South Sudan history of governance that portrays Dinka to be on wrong side.

Luckily enough we Dinka still have veterans of all struggles, of all governments, from the former Sudan back to all Anyanya wars and several others in the bin of history. Prominent leaders like Moulana Abel Alier Kwai, Bona Malwal Madut, Aldo Ajou Deng Akuei, Joshua Dau Diu, Moses Machar Kachuol, and the list goes. We believe these brains can still shed some wisdom and worthy knowledge of experience throughout their years of leaderships.

Not only that, but also in order to arrive at the question of what went wrong in south Sudan, there are other questions we the Dinka people can provide answers or deny our knowledge of what actually has gone with the people of South Sudan.

There are increasing concerns about the thin lines differentiating Dinka as a tribe and the government of South Sudan led by a Dinka son who due to his weak leadership style, and widely accused to succumbed to close guidance of small self-claimed crooks of elders – the JCE – in the name of entire Dinka. Thus, let the country’s affairs at large looks the way are handled upsetting a majority of non-Dinka tribes in the country. This weak leadership associated corruption, tribalism, nepotism and all odds of bad governance. The ethnically and politically motivated advisory committee of JCE represented by few elders in the name of Dinka accused to be in the centre of destruction that is happening in the South Sudan in the name of Dinka. Yet, our entire community worldwide remain in dead silent. Unfortunately, its has taken the good name of this great community- the Dinka.

It is challenging. Its equires us as young generation to stand tall and tell the truth to restore to win the trust of our fellow South Sudanese, socially and politically.

This call for voices of truth from Dinka to provide their versions of what has gone wrong in south Sudan is importantly paramount at this time in our history to enable us collectively with other fellow country’s men and women move forward with truth . Dr Francis Deng Majok once said “ what divided is silent about unsaid”. Dinka needs to speak out the truth of what befall South Sudan, otherwise, our silence may wrongly be misinterpreted as acceptance.

Another aspects of concerns where this article provides answers is the involvement of tribal elders in the government and whether there are evidences of such accusations or not. As we search for the answers to what has gone wrong in south Sudan, we should also be keen to fault trace our own defects as Dinka, which may require us to remove our tribal lenses. We shall re-define the meaning of being a majority and its implications in national affairs and our inter-communal coexistence with our neighbours and beyond.

Also in the process of nation building.

How do we incorporate or be aware of such tribal lenses not to override national lenses.

We have never been part of bad history in the Sudan and as well as in south Sudan as well, therefore what really went wrong?

Why do we choose to support domination and persecution of small tribes in the name of protecting sovereignty and constitution?

Why do we want to own the country now, while during the war of liberation against Khartoum regimes it was all ethnicities collectivelly struggle for freedom, justice and liberty of people of South Sudan. Why confined it to ourself? Why Dinka now arguing that they are the sole liberators of South Sudan and the country belong to them? were arguing in the name of south Sudanese?

What went wrong?

Why are we painted by small tribes as the cause of ordeal in the country and why are we not taking hint of their complaints?

What do we do to rescue the country?

Is Dinka the problem and if so, what made it that way?

Do we believe there is a problem in South Sudan and we are part of it?

Can we contribute what we think is the solution or is fighting the solution we only have above other available options?

Is Dinka community aware of the problem or is their name being used to mobilise to fight a war that they don’t have any clue how it started and how it will end?

My fellow tribe men and women, some of those highlited issues and posted questions may looked hypothetical and incriminating, but in the spirit of truth we are bound to find an answer for them. The Holy Bible taught us to tell the truth, and the truth shall set us free.

As I was travelling on opposition mission, and interacted with Nuer and Chollo communities; I came to conclude that we are all people of the same person. Thus, I am in suspend without of a concrete answer as of why we are killing ourselves.

I enjoyed Nuer dance and food, I found a good looking mother like my mum. And not just food that I enjoy but where I geographically fall made us to be the peace makers of South Sudan in case of any misunderstanding between Nuer and Dinka if needs arises. Most of Nuer daughters are with us and most our relatives are in Nuer particularly Gawar and Lou Nuer. In history tells us, in 1946 famously known in Dinka Bor as Abuor Pawar and I Also learned it from my colleague from Jikany Nuer that as “ruon nauc duop” literally means Duop’s floody year. He stated that there was a man called Duop who prophesied of flood and later name after him. This  was the flood that pushed most Dinka of Jonglei to immigrate to Nuer land particularly to areas of Lou Nuer and Nasir and those people didn’t returned all of them to Jonglei. Literally if that is the case then we are fighting ourselves but why.

The same to Chollo community, my interaction with different sectors of Chollo Community such as elderly, middle ages, young people males and female gave an impression that there is no much disparities between Dinka and Chollo in different aspects socially and economically. As we are cattle herders, Chollo also have the same but are more fishers only differed in language. We made no difference talking to a Chollo girl and how we talk to our Dinka girls. I found a beautiful girl that’ i becomes  rather interested and attracted to and made no difference in how we talk to our Dinka girl and not However, just to make the story more interesting, I have extended intermarriages with Chollo. My brother and my uncle are married to Chollo girls that made our relationship more colourful.

If the government in Juba has been associated with corruption and tribalism, then why are we supporting it? Our problem was Arabs domination and Islamisation of the country but now we got independence as south Sudanese and any south Sudanese that is interested to lead should be allowed but shouldn’t be tribalised. Our late leaders of SPLM/A Dr John Garang de Mabior wasn’t stupid to handshake with Dr Riek Machar if he didn’t want people of South Sudan to unite and forge one objective of liberation – that’s the independence of South Sudan. Dr John Garang wouldn’t extended a handshake of forgiveness and reconciliation in 2002 and if he didn’t knew that Dr Riek Machar is capable and share him the same vision of sailing people of South Sudan safely to other side of the shore and to the promise land of.

Given the history of South Sudan and the role played by Dinka people, the alleged so called Jieng Council of Elders (JCE ) has tarnished the name of Dinka as a whole and has all dirty mingling hands in the conflict and in the suffering of the people of South Sudan.

To conclude, it is a shame that our elders who we assume to have wisdom to intervene are silent while the country is bleeding.

The name of Dinka is in every south Sudanese mouth and our elders are mouth shut. Their timing of intervention might not be now but there would not be the right time later rather. If Dinka elders fear labelling of betraying Dinka interest, then they are making a wrong calculation. They immensely adding more damage to already tarnished good name of Dinka. Paradoxically, history will never spare anyone. It is better to intervene now to clear Dinka name and its reputation.

To assure you there would not be divine power to intervene if we choose to butcher ourselves , it is worth for the elders to have a say, otherwise the ordeal of this war will follow each of us to the grave. It might be assumed that government is not sparing anyone life and that is why elders choose to shut their mouths in order to live long, Which can be argued that it is not true because our culture tells us that elders preferred to die then their children and dying in the name of the country is worthy than dying from another cause.

The future of the country is the future of your children. Any help from outside is not forthcoming and we are finishing one by one, not by war but by the consequences of war such as diseases and hunger. Gun has become a stick to herd cattle. Communities become wild and form their own militants to protect themselves.

Death is everywhere in the country and we still believe that we are protecting, who from who? As young people, we are brought up respecting elders and assuming that elders always had natural wisdom required for any situation but this seems to be opposite. If the imminent names mentioned herein this article have sat back and left the ball rolling then I am shocked. The future that is in questions is our future and our children future, and we must act to stop this senseless war. Dinka youth, if elders choose to be reluctant, we should think to repair the tarnished name and rescue this country from the brink of permanent collapse disintegration in the name of Dinka.

The author is a concern South Sudanese. He can be reached through his email at bithguong77@gmail.com.

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