Tribal Politics Can Maneuver To Gradual Extinction Of Freedom Of Speech

By Deng Gai Gatluak,

May 19, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —- Freedom of speech is the concept of the inherent human right to voice one’s opinion publicly without fear of censorship or punishment. “Speech” is not limited to public speaking, but generally taken to include other forms of expression. This fundamental human right is stipulated under article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1949) and article 24 of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan (2011).

Deng Gai Gatluak, the author
Deng Gai Gatluak, the author

If there is truism, it’s the fact criticism is an inevitable part and parcel of humanity! If you’re a leader, you must expect criticism. If you are not being criticized, you are probably not a leader. The issue is not whether or not you will be the subject of criticism; the greater issue is how you should respond. Criticism can be tough to deal with when emotions, personalities, egos and tribalism come out to play and unfortunately this is what is happening in South Sudan.

My personal research shows that up to 80% of our self-talk, political discourse and responds to criticism against our leaders are habitually negative and consistently brimful of defensive tribal politics. This is an absolute impact of tribal hatred, presume suspicion and fear of unknown, reason being, we allowed ourselves overwhelmed by the destructive spirits of tribalism and blindly become defensive to criticism against our leaders.

Consequently, we presumably think that if at all a “Nuer” guy criticized Salva Kiir on his role as a leader, then that gesture manifests criticism against Dinka as a Community and on the other hand, if a “Dinka” guy does to Dr. Riek Machar, the same mentality surfaces of which this is a complete misplaced reality.

My dear citizens of the land, this is what is killing our Country and people are gradually developing skepticism to freedom of expression for fear of being branded tribalist when criticizing leaders from a certain community, notwithstanding the fact that the criticism might perhaps be a constructive criticism against the said leader for the sake of nation building. Eventually, we might probably afterwards zip our mouths and allow our rights strip away from us while the politicians continue utilizing the fracture of our social fabric and accumulate wealth. Give it a thought!

Conclusively, my dear Countrymen and women, let’s advance a sincere spirit of constructive criticism and separate leaders from their communal affiliations by refraining from generalize political rhetoric in order to establish a healthy political arena in our beloved Country. Criticize Salva Kiir as a leader and not as a Dinka and vice versa to Dr. Riek Machar as leader and not as a Nuer. Let’s wake up and “separate the sheep from the goats”.

Long Live South Sudan! One People! One Nation!

The author is a public law lawyer: Specializing in public international law; Human Rights, International Humanitarian law, Constitution and administrative law. Currently pursuing Master of Laws (LL.M) at Girne American University, Turkey. Former Child Protection Coordinator at Dak Organization for Relief and Development-DORD and Can be reach via; +905338330664 or denggaigatluak@ymail.com.

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GatNor May 19, 2016 at 5:14 pm

The underlying challenge here is that, South Sudan is tribal environment and to make matters worst the initial national leaders with the exception of a few took on a tribal tone with creeping tribal practises sipping through the foundation of their national agendas. The leaders themselves must refrained from such culture of preaching a divisive tribal politics where their true colours are revealed best from a tribal scope. Any criticism be it constructive or not and yet it might seems like a generalized tribal attack has its root from leaders tribally divided. Their action has consequences that surely affect the masses and not only the victims. The responses from there and then are automated to either match the negative affect or something to that nature. To put this burden of tribal generalization and divisive behaviour on critics is to appease the leaders who are infact responsible. The law of cause and affect should be consider here. In December 2013 it was Kiir using the word “they” on national TV referring to the victim(Nuer) if that is not a tribal profiling of a select groups of citizens what the hell was he doing..stereotyping citizens. “They”?….who?

DINGIT NA TUGGÖ May 20, 2016 at 2:43 am

Mr. Deng Gai,

though the Holy Bible tells us sin has got no levels, we human being insist that a sin has levels from a small to a big sin. And there is only one tribe which commits most of the sins in this country. Let me point out clearly to you that every evil event wether small or big is committed by arian jenge (dinka). President Kiir once accepted by saying that he himself is very shame because he is a DINKA. This is because dinkas do evil things from stealing money from the president’s office, grabbing land from other tribes, rape women, corrupting the government, appointing their tribesmen in high positions, committing massacre in Juba and every where in the country, dinka do not want peace with other 63 tribes of this country.

Mr. Deng Gai,

the fingers of every South Sudan citizen points to dinka, dinka and only dinka. I do not understand why you want us not generalise our speech to this particular tribe? Please make research before writing. Have you seen any other christian from non dinka tribe in Juba fighting in church than the dinka, only dinka? Hahahahahahahaah……………we have made our mind that the only tribe which corrupts this country is dinka. We do not want to beat around the bush. Let the fact be told so that we move forward okey. We need reforms in this country, we must fight for FEDERAL RULE. Wait for the coming election and come to ask me

Alfred Alphonse May 20, 2016 at 8:11 pm

Wel , Who deserves to be free to express? it’s a hypocrisy at best to claim that your opinions are being suppress,when you equally suppress the opinions of many South Sudanese by ignoring to publish opposing opinions and voices that do not share your views and responses to ad-poplums.


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