By Chol Peter Majoh
Nothing upsets the apple cart than tribalism does. Everything can be in an apple-pie order but when tribalism gets in, discord, contention, corruption, division, revenge and killing become a new normal. This is actually what’s happening in my country, South Sudan.
With the toxic tribalism in South Sudan, the country isn’t going, even by inches, ahead. It has been crippled down by hatred, tribalism and revenge killings.
This rotten apple of discord called tribalism has messed up our country that what the whole World thought South Sudan would become has been forgotten.
In fact, we have become useless in the eyes of the World, for we are best known for wars and conflicts among ourselves and nothing else except for basketball ball that recently emerged and made us a little bit proud. If I may ask, was that the only reason the entire world celebrated with us the birth of our country in 2011? I don’t even think so.
The World knew of our resources and our hard work. To the World, that’s according to my own thinking, South Sudan would become a bread basket for the entire continent of Africa. They looked at our team work during the 21 years of struggle and they believed that if we could take hoes the way we took guns, Agriculture would become our economy’s backbone. I guess this is why the World joined us in the celebration of our independence.
But sadly, we have forgotten that and turned against our own selves. We have consolidated ourselves on the basis of ethnicity and tribalism against ourselves. We still hold guns against ourselves and have forgotten about hoes and tractors.
More sadly, instead of enriching our soil with manures, we are poisoning it with our own blood. So sad! Above all, we have forgotten the fact that we are South Sudanese (Most honestly, being so is greater than just being tribe mates) and that’s why a Dinka is proud of his tribe; Acholi also esteems his tribe above the country and equally the same for other tribes.
Foolishly, each South Sudanese thinks his tribe is bigger than the country.
Nevertheless, tribalism has not hindered only agriculture, but also trade. Look, along our high ways people are ambushed and innocent souls killed for the sake of revenge killing or other reasons on the account of individual based interests and selfish gains.
Taking example of what happened on Monday 21st of this month along Juba-Nimule Road, where dozen were killed by perpetrators believed to be tribal armed group, that’s how it affects trade! When such a thing happens, traders fear to bring goods, both food and nonfood commodities, to our people in the villages, towns and cities as well. That’s locally.
Internationally, it has some great negative effects on the international trade or our trade with our neighbors. Remember we depend on only import; how many times have foreign truck drivers been striking because of the ambushes on our roads? Doesn’t it affect the importation of goods and even services to South Sudan? Absolutely, it does. Who can risk to come to a country innocent people are ambushed and killed without a cause? For this reason, as well, I guess, investor fear to invest in South Sudan.
Okay, I know this has nothing to do with tribalism. But do you know how killing along the roads begun? Think about Yei-Juba Road. If you are a good news follower, you will remember something to do with tribalism connected to the road ambushes. Let me not so much concentrate here.
Looking at how we are polarized and divided along the ethnic lines, I see a huge fall of never to rise again onto our feet to what the world wanted to see in the youngest Nation. All I see is the fulfillment of the adage: “divided we fall and united we stand”
We are at the edge of falling apart never to come again together, for we are now completely divided. As says adages “divided we fall”, we are tremendously now falling if we haven’t yet. Unthinkably, that fall is never an easy one. If you don’t know what it be like, all is but leading into mischief!
But though, here is my sincere appeal: Let us be in solidarity instead, consolidated enough to shun tribalism which has been eating us up, lacerating us apart and keeping us down.
Let’s try co-existence and togetherness and see if this country won’t go to a first World’s level. What do we lack that the first worlds have? I guess there’s nothing. We have resources enough to put our country where it deserves. We have people Competent enough to make South Sudan what it means.
And to my politicians, if you don’t believe this fact, dear, then put aside the current politics of division and try that which brings people together and you will see what this country truly means to all its citizens. I am tired of a tribal polarized South Sudan and would want to see a unified one.
The author is advocating for a united South Sudan and not this which is polarized on the basis of ethnicity and tribalism. He’s reachable via email: email@example.com/Whatup or cell: +211(0)922295373