Articles and Analysies
Jonglei Leaders and Citizens should Settle Tribal Insecurities By: Miyar De’Nyok, Waterloo, Canada
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Aug 19, 2009 - 7:46:17 AM

Jonglei Leaders and Citizens should Settle Tribal Insecurities:

By: Miyar De’Nyok, Waterloo , Canada

Four years have passed since the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed in 2005. However, each day Jonglei citizens have to bury their loved ones as victims of ethnic clashes.  The CPA was delivered to eliminate insecurities for the people of Southern Sudan , and marginalized areas in the Sudan in order to reconstruct, reintegrate, rehabilitate and reinvest in the young people’s education for the betterment of citizens infrastructural development.

Since then ethnic-tribal conflicts have never ceased, it is continually rampant and volatile in unprecedented ways. Sometimes people tend to blame Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) or channel their anger and frustration outside GoSS, pinpointing to their former enemy; these sorts of blames are not really helping at all, rather, our citizens and leaders should take the mess on their hands.

Let’s ourselves be the definitional problems our citizens are having. What is the problem? And what do these groups need? I will define the problems that I anticipate as the root causes of insecurities particularly in Jonglei state.

These are facts and have been experienced since the livelihoods of these ethnicities in Jonglei state. I will suggest ways of settling these ethnic conflicts. For readers this article is an opinion.

Why should we be the definitional problem in Jonglei? I think common sense can dictate the answer. The causative of ethnic tribal conflict in Jonglei state lies in these traditional communities’ old mind sets.

Since the Sudan ’s border demarcation by the colonial master, the communities were living side by side as enemies –meaning people live by grabbing other people’s belongings. Cattle rustling and child kidnapping are issues not new to the communities in Jonglei state.

The Government of Sudan did not even broker its civility to educate these communities since 1956 post-independence. These traditional mind set should have been transformed and settled through civility, but did not happen. If the Government of Sudan had transformed these communities into civilized societies where a civilized Government is the head of all communities, the communities would have realized that their traditional mind set of considering and coveting your neighbor's belongings have no room in a civilized government.

Thus, the GoSS has inherited that traditional mind set.

How do we move from old mind set to new mind set of brotherhood, sincerity, God fearing, civilized communities, liberty, freedom of movement, freedom of self-development, realization of checks and balances, good governance and public empowerment?

I think these tasks lie with the leaders and citizens of Jonglei state. We have government organs that start from state government, county commissioners, Payam administrators, Boma administrators and Village chiefs. If these leaders with all the citizens come together wholeheartedly, I think ethnic-tribal problem will be one of the easiest and simplest to settle.

The only best tool to eliminate cattle rustling and child abduction is to educate and sensitize all communities’ young people on the presence of a civilized government that delivers law and order. Presently, there is no doubt that Southern Sudan or be it Sudan if secession fails, there is a civilized government that leads its citizens and educates them on the need for fraternity. A responsible government will do justice and bring people to prosecution if they fail to obey law and order. Wealth or property protection is a human right that even your biological brother has to ask your permission for usage of your property.

The old tribal traditional community mind set is the ignorance that is exacerbating development, losing confidentiality of neighborhoods and failing the government of Jonglei to execute any necessary reconstruction, reintegration, rehabilitation and reinvestment. These are challenges we need to tackle unanimously at home and in Diaspora globally.

Another challenge is that forceful disarmament may not materialize without the involvement of government branches. Leaders count much to the settlement and transformation of Jonglei state peaceful dwelling and reconciliatory agreement.

Sometime when I think about these traditional mind sets, it makes our respective communities to be like a flock of sheep without shepherds. Our leaders are shepherds to the flock of sheep so they can do better than that. Our governor is a hero, but needs our support; he cannot win the hearts of those young rebellious people without the assistance of responsible citizens and leaders.    

The Triangle of Solutions: good institutions, responsible citizens and sustainable development. A good institution is an institution that caters for the welfare of its citizens democratically, decisively, accountably and transparently. The central government of Jonglei state under his governorship is doing the best to press hard for peace and reconciliation of its citizens.

However, its branches are failing the government operations effectiveness and sustainability. There is no real implementation and cooperation being shown by the county leaders by working collaboratively with their citizens. For example, members of parliament and commissioners are the main part and parcel of decision-making in the state headquarters while they represent their constituencies.

The lack of cooperation from commissioners and MPs in the state is the one that is failing the state and increasing insecurities. If an MP or commissioner is representing his or her constituency in the central government of state while his or her people at home are the very people causing in instability, but he or she keeps silent without being seen as the front runner to combat such rebellions as well as damage to thousands of lives in the state, this explains that such leader is incompetent and uncooperative.  

It is time to get real than being naive to the situation that is costing lives. Our county leaders should reverse from the hidden treacherous scenes and broker a responsible government. They should take the matters into their leadership and act accordingly by engaging in citizens needs, by not protecting these looters, bringing people to justice and accountability, and implementing law and order.

I think there is no a citizen in Jonglei state without a leader and if there is any citizen without a leader then he or she is not a member; thus, should be dealt accordingly. With such insecurity in Jonglei, the state fits the definition of a failed state because of its anarchy.

Therefore I call upon county commissioners to cooperation with the governor and SPLA to eradicate insecurities. Our leader must lead us first.

It is good to be contented with the little you have than wanting more from your brother. Jonglei citizens must realize that a civilized government is a united government of the people for the people. Therefore, they should refrain from these barbaric acts of cattle rustling and children abduction. We should understand that the presence of a peaceful settlement and reconciliatory transformation are the solutions to the future of Southern Sudan , children’s good education, and sustainable development.

Right now, a majority of people in Jonglei are starving because of the long period people have been engaging in conflict. This makes resources to be so scarce and has implanted hatred among citizens.

For peace to be effective, Jonglei government need to create incentives. If development is centralized, then there should be a need of decentralizing it so that more jobs are created to idle young youth, who might be part of these evil perpetuators. Our young people need to be engaged in vocational trainings and in many of the county projects to at least to preoccupy them. Government should step up and set in self-sustaining income a priority to its citizens through agricultural production and other vocational trainings, training that doesn't even need literacy but hands-on (i.e. carpentry workshop, tailoring and so on).

In summary, Jonglei leaders and citizens have the tasks to do in order to overcome their differences and make peace and reconciliation a priority. Fellow citizens and leaders, we should be seen as the prime driving vehicular to peace road map in the state.

The only solution to our problem is changing the traditional mind set to new civilized mind set where a civilized government leads all its citizens. Let’s be good leaders, responsible citizens and enhance sustainable development.

Miyar De’Nyok is a Jonglei concern citizen from Pigi County, who is currently a student at the University of Waterloo, Canada . Majoring on Environment and Resource Studies, Honors; & sustainable Local Economic Development, Option. He can be reached by email: [email protected]


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