National, News

IDPs decry tribalism

By William Madouk


Internally displaced persons at the Magateen Protection of Civilian Site (POC) called on the public to desist from tribal mindsets and attitudes.

Following several awareness campaigns, the IDPs urge citizens to embrace coexistence with one another despite ethnic differences.

Active Citizen South Sudan organization has been conducting awareness among the IDP camp through ‘Hibu Jiran’ programs that translate as ‘Love your neighbor.

The introduction of the program helped most internally displaced persons gradually change their rational and wrong perceptions of other tribes.

One of the IDPs residing in Magateen POC, Veronica Abraham, told this outlet that life has not been easy for them as IDPS as conflict forced most of them to flee what they called home to camps.

Ms. Veronica also echoed that there is still a need for unity among South Sudanese to be able to fight tribalism in the country.

She claimed that leaders were the very people who started tribalism.

“Sometimes the issue is the way we are brought up; if you don’t get a chance to be around other tribes and you stay only with your tribe’s mate, the possibility of a parent abusing a child, like, ‘Look at the way he or she works, like tribe A, might come to mind,” she said.

“There, the child grows up believing in that way, but now we have organizations like Active Citizens that are kin and changing people’s brains through bringing people together, whether through sports or so,” Veronica explained.

According to her, the narrative is changing, especially with people migrating from one place to another and interchanging knowledge with people of different cultures.

Ms. Veronica cited that even though few people still hold pride in their languages and cultures negatively, the South Sudanese attitude is changing because they have seen the end game of tribalism, which is claiming lives.

“When Active Citizen South Sudan came things started to change. We can even interact with other people, learning from them, and we also encourage other organizations to follow what ACSS is doing so that this country will be peaceful,” she noted.

Another IDP who identified himself only as Keah said issues of tribalism have affected most IDPs, forcing the majority to look for refuge to save their lives,

Mentioning the menace of tribalism, he said it creates enmity, nepotism, inter-communal fights, and breaks the social fabric, which later results in tension among communities.

However, he disclosed that this notion has begun to change with the introduction of different campaigns that have been done within the camps, like the fight against tribalism, Ninasawa, or you’re your Neighbor, to stop tribalism and to change the mindsets and attitudes of the people with the aim of stopping tribalism, among others.

Keah stated that the beginning of tribalism within the country starts with the elders, citing that some of the community’s parents still brainwash their children about how bad the other tribes are. But what he noted is changing with awareness.

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