One South Sudan, not 64 South Sudans

By Malek Arol Dhieu

Had South Sudanese divided the way they are divided now during the liberation struggle, they would not have fought the longest war in Africa. How would it be explained to unborn generations? If it were not the reason that even historians are suffering from biasness to rewrite the history in favour of those who feel suspicious, the unborn generations would remain unborn forever as they starve in their mothers’ wombs year in, year out.

How would ‘they did not die in vain’ in speeches be edited with an implemented phrase to appease the martyrs from cursing South Sudan? United, we stand! Divided, we fall! The bond between Southern Sudanese was too strong to resist the ‘divide and rule’ system of Khartoum, but when Southern Sudanese became South Sudanese, they surrendered to politics to an extent that they don’t borrow just a day to ponder over how far back politics has taken them. What divides South Sudanese is not another thing, but politics. When politics grew taller and huger with the signing of the CPA in 2005 and independence in 2011, the bond linking one tribe with another began losing its strength and all people could see was the separation of one tribe from another until no tribe shares a common goal with another.

Because of total separation of tribes, things that didn’t cause communal conflicts in the past cause conflicts today because each tribe sees another in the eyes of enmity and hatred. Tribes have long scattered, with those at the borders even wishing to annex themselves to their respective neighbouring countries. What exacerbates the division of South Sudanese is the way their government treats them. Truthfully, the government treats some tribes more special than others and this causes division even among children of the same father when he treats some children special more than others, leave alone among the tribes. Tribes shouldn’t be treated based on their demographic data, ‘NO’, they are all tribes in that they are entitled to all privileges of their beloved country.

During the liberation struggle, no tribes were reserved not to contribute sons and daughters to the SPLA that they were small, every tribe contributed greatly and every tribe now should enjoy the fruits of its sweats. The land of great abundance has turned the land of great scarcity! Uphold us united in peace and harmony has turned uphold us divided in war and disharmony! We sing songs of freedom has turned we sing songs of slavery! We have vowed to protect our nation from external aggressions, but we haven’t vowed to protect her from internal aggressions.

The oneness of South Sudan could be strongly traced out in her cultures and heritage as there are interconnections among the 64 tribes. South Sudan is one, she shouldn’t be seen at the angles of her number of tribes. To achieve our common goals, we must remain united to resist the subversive politics. Until the 64 tribes are welded to one big tribe shall South Sudan achieve unity, prosperity and all other forms of well-being.

The author is a medical student, University of Juba.

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