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Is frequent removal of governors in Lakes State a misguided policy?

By: John Bith Aliap, Australia

September 5, 2014 (SSNA) -- There’s a say that says – “whoever digs a pit in the dark for his brother or sister – finds it difficult to avoid falling first into the same pits when surprised suddenly” Are the Lakes State’s politicians digging their own pits which they won’t avoid falling into in the future?

The above quote seems to go well with how the Lakes State’s politicians – particularly those based in Juba conduct their politics. Brother – enemy concept is what defines them. Hatred against each other is in their DNAs – and if this isn’t thrown away – it will continue to be their major source of impediment – especially in politics. The behaviours of Lakes State’s politicians have made the State – once regarded as an angel by many to become a death trap. Lakes State has been a scene of sectional conflicts – and   the politicians in question often think that outside intervention could always bring the needed solution to their man – made crisis.

In their thinking – the state’s leadership cannot handle the situation without external forces (presidency & national parliament) – and if these forces do nothing – the situation could go off rail. In most cases – the causes of conflict among political elites in Lakes State are countless – but Lakes State’s youth should amount series advocacy to educate those “good – for – nothing” politicians to learn how to solve their own issues without shopping around for help.   In my view – “unity” – not “disunity” could built a sense of responsibility in ourselves – and if the state’s politicians who are supposed to solve the problems affecting their people keep knocking on foreign doors for help as it’s currently the case in Juba – this implies that our political leadership cannot handle the situation in its own which to me is a blatant lie – but in an environment where gossiping – hatred – sectionalism – corruption – nepotism – greed and self interest among others become daily norms – could anyone expect peace – love and unity?  You may however have a differing answer to this question – but to me – it’s absolutely no.

In the wee hours of 26th August 2013 – a report entitled –“Lakes State caretaker governor voted out by the national parliament” – written by a self proclaimed journalist – Manyang Mayom – called on the president of the land – Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit to unseat the current caretaker governor of Lakes State Gen. Matur Chut Dhuol following allegations that the later failed to curb the violence in the state.  

Dhuol’s removal drive came to light after the disgruntle semi – politicians from Lakes State in Juba successfully lobbied the national parliament to move the motion of no – confidence vote – which authorises the president to look into the  insecurity issue in Lakes State with the view to get rid of governor.

Following these allegations cooked in the kitchen of Lakes State’s disgruntle politicians – the national parliament didn’t hesitate to unleash its anger on Gen. Matur Chut Dhuol for the reason [s] best known to them and their cronies. During the parliamentary debate – Jadhallah Augustino – Deputy Minister for Interior described Lakes State’s insecurity as a “cancer” – urging the lawmakers to approve Dhuol’s removal.

Mabuto Mamur Mete – Minister for National Security also joined the podium – dubbing insecurity in the state as a lack of unity within state’s leadership – noting that a culture of revenge has taken root as more unauthorised arms fell into the hands of pastoralist youth – resulting to breakdown of law and order – but to Matur Makuer Gol – the author of no –confidence motion according to the report – swiftly urged Kiir to issue presidential degree to remove Dhuol from state’s power. To him – Dhuol’s removal would be in the best interest of both state and national security – suggesting that in order to realise security stability in Lakes State – the change in the state’s leadership should be an option as called for by state’s citizens. 

Not only these folks – Dhieu Matuet – Chairman of Lakes State Caucus in the national parliament – further threw his tongue in high gear – telling his honourable mates to immediately approve Dhuol’s ousting so that a conducive atmosphere is created to solve all security – related issues in the state. Magok Rundial – Parliamentary Speaker accepted the motion – urging the president Salva Kiir Mayardit to issue a degree for Dhuol’s removal.

However – although insecurity is widespread across the country – the honourable members of parliament seem to be keeping their heads in the sand that frequent ousting of governors in Lakes State could improve security situation – but is this approach not a misguided policy?  This question is what now hangs on our lips – but three governors: John Lat – Daniel Awet Akot and Chol Tong Mayay have already been removed and security situation in the state hasn’t improved as expected.

People wonder as to what prevents these politicians from seeing the writing on the wall. The frequent removal of governors is unworkable – and those wanting to bring change in the state should explore other options.

The honourable members who ranted for Dhuol’s down fall should feel sorry for themselves because what they called for – “Dhuol’s removal” is worthless which shouldn’t worry anyone. How could they squarely fault Matur Chut Dhuol for insecurity which is not by definition his individual’s making?

If you closely look at the above statements – dripping out from honourables’ mouths – you could see that the honourables have one thing in common: Removal of caretaker governor if done – would improve security situation in Lakes State. Are the honourable members of parliament realistic in their call for governor’s removal?

These people should clearly be told that their frequent desire to have governors removed in Lakes State is a misguided policy – which can’t bring any realistic change in the state.  It’s rather sinking down the state.

The rampant insecurity in Lakes State isn’t Dhuol’s making as the honourable members of parliament would want us to believe. The nature of insecurity – insecurity dynamics and causes of insecurity in Lakes State shouldn’t rest on one individual’s neck as it’s currently the case in Dhuol’s context.

Since the inception of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) – Lakes State has been the flashpoint of inter – and – entra communal conflicts – starting from the era of John Lat – Daniel Awet Akot – Chol Tong and now Gen. Matur Chut Dhuol. People should know that insecurity in Lakes State isn’t a new thing. It’s been there as far as we know – and its main sources often stem out from political – economic and socio – cultural factors – and some of these factors could be beyond individual’s capacity.

The politicians in Juba should acknowledge what these men [John Lat – Daniel Awet Akot – Chol Tong & Matur Chut Dhuol] have done in Lakes State. Their work is laudable – and it’s their moral duty to give them their due credit – but call to remove the caretaker governor Matur Chut Dhuol – based on the alleged insecurity claims – doesn’t stand the test of honesty and transparency.

If insecurity could unseat the governors – then Kiir would end up dismissing all the governors of ten states.  However – what we know though in   Lakes State’s case is that – Juba which now serves as the shopping mall for power – is jam-packed with Lakes State’s politicians who know nothing else apart from worshiping their big tummies and cultivation of division and hatred among their own people.

Insecurity is everywhere in South Sudan and if anyone salivates for Dhuol’s remove because of insecurity – then that person would need to urgently see psychiatric doctors.

Death has now becomes people’s best friend in South Sudan and opponents of Dhuol’s administration should disclose to the public – the motives behind their unwarranted call for his down fall.

To waste no time – call for Dhuol’s ousting is politically motivated – and i would like to tell everyone that nobody will ever be good governor to people of Lakes State – particularly Agaar community. Whoever is coming to be the next governor – would face the same criticism from the same group – even if he/she is doing right things similar to what Matur Chut is doing as we speak in terms of security and development. Those who enjoy his removal would soon regret in the nearest future. His removal is not of his own – but it would affect the entire State in many ways.

Dhuol’s oppenents think that he’s an obstacle to peace in Lakes State – but the people of Lakes State don’t really know that they are problem to themselves. They’ve allowed themselves to become prisoners of their own attitudes. Matur Chut can go today –  but peace won’t prevail if people don’t change their attitudes of unforgiveness – revenge – gossiping – sectionalism – corruption and hatred among others – and see themselves as brothers and sisters from one boma, one county, one state and one country and work together in nation building to change their circumstances.

What these politicians do not know yet is that their frequent calls for governors’ removal are killing all hopes in the state – their hunt for governorship has been a source of failures in Lakes state and they’re now seen as people chasing the ghosts and they’ll soon realise that they’ve done a great mistake by assaulting people’s interest.

Matur Chut isn’t just a governor per see. He doubles as a commander of Lakes State’s security forces/governor. He’s an artery of Lakes state – particularly at this critical time when Riek Machar’s rebels are just at the corner in Unity State. 

Appointing someone with non – military background would be more catastrophic to the people of Lakes state. Removal of Matur Chut amounts to granting Machar’s rebels opportunity to destabilise the state. This shouldn’t happen because of few greedy individuals who are addicted to power.

Allowing these forks to grab state’s governorship post is more catastrophic than allowing caretaker governor Gen. Matur Chut Dhuol to cling onto power until security situation improves and election conducted.

There’s no any way Dhuol could relinquish state’s power to egocentric individuals who are acting against people’s interest. This won’t happen. The Juba –based politicians – who are now crying loud for Dhuol’s removal have a decade from now on to prove them that they really love the people of Lakes State.

Unfortunately, these forks are now doing more harms to show the people of Lakes State how much they hate them – by calling for the ousting of the governor which could potentially leave security vacum in the state already struggling to maintain law and order.

Matur Chut should remain governor of Lakes State for a while and whoever doesn’t want him in power should throw him/her self into the sea.

What we’re seeing is that – talks of governor’s removal in the few coming days will be thing of the past – but the Juba – based politicians – particularly those who hail from the Agaar community are yet to recover from their political cancer and excessive hatred against each other. They must first receive some sort of mutation – and when the process succeeds – this is where they might again think of state’s leadership. These politicians do not love people of Lakes State at large and their freedom.

I would love honourable members – now banging their chests that they’re capable to lead the Lakes State’s government amid insecurity to answer this question. If Matur Chut indeed steps down from the state’s power – who’ll replace him? You? God forbids!

I’m sure all of you would simultaneously be making your way  to that single post – and this is where the Lakes State’s problem lies. You’ve to accept that one person can lead at a time.

The trust of people of Lakes State is with Matur Chut Dhuol – and i don’t think that you can give your child’s milk to repentant thief to take it home!

Why you’re  so desperate to get governorship – while you’re already serving  in the national parliament is pretty simple: To loot with impunity!

But you’re however advised to think well and support Dhuol’s government if you’ve interest of Lakes State as your priority.

Matur Chut is an icon of hope to people of Lakes State and they’re all looking up to him to bring them that wanted liberty, security and quality of life which they've seen for so long.

Matur Chut – to people of Lakes State is the best servant they have now on the ground – and this means that they don’t have any obligation to deny him serving them because of the corrupt political system people have been dancing with around. Dhuol is the only one who will continue to lead the people of Lakes State with good heart.

Those calling on him to relinquish the power should stop and leave the guy alone!  Matur Chut has shown to the people of Lakes State and South Sudanese at large that he’s a typical leader who can serve everyone equally regardless of where they come from and this can be seen in the followings:

First, during Machar’s Juba revolt, the rebelling forces – commanded by Tanganya – a Nuer warlord, penetrated Lakes State’s territory through Awerial County with intention to capture it and make it their launching pad to attack Juba and other surrounding areas. With looted items from Juba – the rebels ended up fleeing for their dear lives – leaving everything behind after Matur Chut mounted counter offensive against them when he temporarily relocated his office to war zones of Greater Yirol counties including: Yirol West – Awerial and Yirol East. 

Second, when his elder brother Paramount Chief - Aperer Chut Dhuol was assassinated by Maker Mabor’s son –   allegedly for his father’s death who was killed by Aperer’s son – a case that dates back in 2002 – Matur Chut didn’t speak the language of revenge – but he instead called for calm and restrained his own family and clansmen not to take the law into their own hands. He clearly told them that the assignation of his brother is an individual’s crime and authorities would do their best to apprehend the person who committed the crime.

Third, when his daughter – Along Matur Chut Dhuol inadvertently killed a pregnant woman – allegedly that a deceased woman had allowed her goats to roam her farm – Matur Chut saw the case as an individual crime and asked the law enforcement agencies to take charge and his daughter remains behind bars as i write this article. Is this not fairness? How do you define fairness and transparency in your own world?

Fourth, as insecurity tops the list of issues facing the people of Lakes State – Matur Chut has rolled out a massive disbarment campaign and 560 Kalashnikov rifles have already been collected in Rumbek East County and about 20 heavy machine guns have also been collected in Rumbek Centre. This step is laudable!

Fifth, unlike other governors who served before him – Matur Chut made a significant difference in term of development. He has constructed General Secretariat Office and renovated the old office – where the other three governors served in uncaringly. Don’t give up yet. He has also constructed fence around freedom square – and everybody including those who are now yarning for his down fall are harvesting its fruit – and this calls into question that – if this man could achieve enormously like this in a short period of time – what would he do to the people of Lakes State if he’s given more chance and support?  I sincerely urge Lakes State’s politicians to put their people above politics.

Matur Chut has set an example of good leadership beyond anybody’s doubt – and there’s no any other time than now for Lakes State’s politicians to roll back their sleeves and throw the needed support behind their state’s government. 

Lakes State’s insecurity requires everyone’s effort – and to reduce it – the state and national governments are instantly required to undertake the following measures:

I. The national government should reject the recent vote of no – confidence passed by the National Parliament against the caretaker governor Gen. Matur Chut Dhuol. This would allow him to complete his measure task of security provision.

II. The national government should immediately ask all the Lakes State’s members of parliament – currently serving in the national parliament in Juba – to go back to their respective electorates. This would give them opportunity to initiate peace building initiatives with people who elected them to the parliament. Their continual stay in Juba – while their people are butchering themselves is a measure contributing factor to the crisis raging in the state.

III. The national government should send in the national army to seal off the Unity State – Lakes State border and conduct a comprehensive disbarment campaign in all eight counties of Lakes State including state’s capital Rumbek – but this disbarment campaign must be locally driven that aspires voluntarism. It should not generate further insecurity through the use of force which the national army is accustomed to.

IV. State and the national governments to set up Independent Court – headed by professional judges drawn from other parts of South Sudan to speed up unresolved murder cases and bring to justice individuals responsible for those murders.

V. The national government under the Interior Ministry to review the state’s police – because Lakes State’s police in its current sharp is highly disorganised with elderly and women topping the list. This makes the force unable to respond to security challenges. Reviewing it – as well as providing the needed equipment such as radios and cars would make it a formidable force that can respond to security challenges when needed.

VI. The state’s government together with Lakes State’s members of parliament serving in the national parliament in Juba – church leaders and civil society organisations to conduct state – wide reconciliation. This needs to be done as urgently as possible to allow the feuding communities to embrace peace – love and unity and denounce the current entrenched culture of revenge killing and hatred.

But now with vote of no – confidence bill sitting on his desk – Kiir is caught between a hard rock and a hard place. If he removes the governor Gen. Matur Chut Dhuol to reinforce the behaviour of Juba – based politicians – “frequent removal of Lakes State’s governors” – many people in the State including this author would be angered by such decision – and if he dumps the vote of no – confidence bill into the rubbish bin –  he would then likely be in trouble with those greedy politicians – but i would advise Kiir that being at odd with few greedy politicians is more better than being in trouble with the entire state’s population.

John Bith Aliap holds two Bachelor degrees in Social Work & Social Planning. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

What More Evidence and Atrocities Does President Kiir Requires to Sack Matur Chut?

By Juma Mabor Marial

September 4, 2014 (SSNA) -- Three months ago, I wrote a three series article entitled “The genesis and phenomenon of intra-clans conflicts and revenge attacks in Lakes state”. In these series, I had given account of root causes of revenge attacks and how each and every governor including the incumbent governor of Lakes state mishandled the situation, hence leading to the deteriorating and unlawful situation the state has found itself in today.

In that article, I had proposed recommendations which I had hoped the President would find prudent to apply and contain insecurity in lakes state, months have passed by and security situation in lakes state has worsen. My conclusions then befitted that, it is either my calls like many other calls for stability to return to lakes state from many other citizens of lakes state have not reached the president, or he must have read my concerns and felt that they are not worth noticing or even still, he might have seen the substance in what I was trying to draw his attention to but again wonders of who I am to give such recommendations. Whatever that might have been the opinion of the president, the fact now is that the situation in Lakes state with regard to insecurity has worsen.

The president visit to lakes state soon after the 3rd independence anniversary celebrations was a step in the right direction and as part of his peace message to the people of lakes state at freedom square, he told them that he is going back to Juba and wouldn’t want to hear of any reports of killings. Two weeks later, a paramount chief was killed, and as a result of this brutal assassination, 18 women were raped including an old woman who succumbed to shame, agony, bitterness and dies, another 12 year old girl was also raped and dies, a young woman who was expecting a baby was raped and she lost her pregnancy. Houses were vandalized and private properties were looted in malek-agok and other surrounding neighborhoods. All these heinous crimes were carried out and successfully implemented with impunity and as we talk, no single culprit has been apprehended to answer for such crimes.

Before the end of the same calendar month, a daughter of the governor (Matur Chut) attacked an innocent pregnant woman and as the woman was rushed to hospital with hopes to resuscitate and save her life, she unfortunately dies with twins, meaning that the governor’s daughter killed three people at once. Coincidentally, when one put the month in review in terms of security situation in Lakes state, you would find out without much struggle that, the people of lakes state are so shocked that the insecurity they have been informing the central government about has now reached it worse with the assassination of the paramount chief Apareer Chut who happens to be the elder brother of the governor (may his soul rest in eternal peace) and the brutal killing of an innocent pregnant woman and her unborn children planned and executed by governor’s own daughter (may the law take its course).

It is also almost two weeks now since the national legislatively assembly debated the security situation of Lakes state and unanimously adopted a resolution to remove Matur Chut as first step towards bringing back peace and stability to the people of lakes state. The ministers of National security, Interior and Defense agreed with the legislators that Matur Chut is part and partial of insecurity in Lakes state and therefore more of a problem than a solution by himself. It is through these deliberations that the Minister of National security Obutu Mamur Mete took it upon himself and declared that Matur Chut must go in the interest of national security and as demanded by the citizens of the state.

Matur Chut in his defend has made hysterical efforts to counter this resolution by calling the members of the national legislative assembly thieves and stupid people who do not comprehend that the issue of insecurity is not only about lakes state but the whole country. He even went to the extent of lamenting that if there is any governor who should be sacked because of insecurity, it should be Clement Wani Konga of Central Equatoria state because thousands of people lost their lives in the 15th December, 2013 crisis. Not only this, Matur also ordered his public service ministry to get to all the ministries in the state and record the names of all the employees and ordered them to go on demonstrations with the message of rejecting the resolution of the legislators removing him from the office, school children were also forced to  attend the demonstrations such that they would tell the nation Matur is the best governor and the decision by the national legislative assembly to sack him were just but crazy ideas by those in Juba.  The demonstrations didn’t take place in freedom square as initially planned because most of the employees refused to turn up but the news that the governor had ordered that any government employee that does not attend the demonstrations would forfeit their August salaries coerced some to turn up at the government Secretariat and this is where Chut succeeded in his claims for support by state citizens for him to remain in power. He then before these threatened employees and vulnerable school children gathered courage to insult left, right and center all lakes state members of parliament and intellectuals for masterminding the resolutions to remove him.

Under normal circumstances, politicians with few people who support them are expected to fight back when their positions are attacked and threatened. However, the unique aspect about this particular situation is that, the people of Lakes state in all their walks of life do not want Matur Chut as governor and this is manifested in the continuous calls to remove him from office and it eventual culmination in the national legislative assembly approving the same. Attempts by Chut to order for demonstrations in his favor or even blame lakes state members of parliament and intellectuals for having political motives and witch haunting him out of his office do not give any meaningful message rather than perpetuating his jungle commandeering rules of intimidating people to do what is not in their interest. After all, lakes state members of parliament at the national legislative assembly are the official representatives of the people and there is no any other better role they could play than safeguarding the lives and interest of their electorates.

Some few descending voices on the need to remove Matur from governorship have alluded to the fact that, removing the governors in lakes state is not the solution to its insecurity. Yes, this is a logical argument and any reasonable person would agree with it from face value as so many governors have been removed because of insecurity in lakes state but no long lasting peace has been achieved, however,  looking at it critically and objectively, one would agree that, unlike the other governors who were before him and those expected to come after him, Matur is not the best leader to be a governor in any state leave alone lakes state, why, whereas, the previous governors tries with the few number of law enforcers and meager resources to apprehend criminals, Matur Chut has declared the state of lawlessness in the state by telling people that “ your legs are your police and Texture, (the police patrol vehicle)”, meaning therefore that you have to be strong to survive in lakes state and that, if you are attacked, you must run as fast as possible since no police will come to your rescue. This could also explain his reluctance to ask for reinforcement from the minister of defense as stated in parliament by Kuol Manyang Juuk. Not only this, the second reason why Matur is not the best governor for any state is because he has never seen a classroom and even get the responsibility of controlling a class of 45 students as a monitor.

This is why one of the legislators was quoted as saying that; “Matur is a man who cannot rule a Payam leave alone, a state”. I know some of Matur’s supporters and beneficiaries are already cursing me and that legislator for bringing this bitter fact forward but I believe that with the way Matur is responding and insulting everyone even dogs that barks (although of course for a reason) when his convoy passes shows that, this man has no control over his emotions and this certainly cannot be a leader to anybody leave alone a state. Dr. John Garang once said and I quote “an eye for an eye will make all of us blind”, Matur taking on and insulting everyone that has an opinion contrary to how he is running the affairs of the state and particularly insecurity will not help the situation. Two wrongs do not definitely make right.

In Conclusion, Enough lives have been lost in lakes state, enormous suffering and anguish has been experienced by families and relatives of the deceases, consistent injustices are the order of the day, shame and embarrassments are slapped across the faces of citizens of lakes state every day, intellectuals, chiefs, civil society organizations, politicians, religious leaders have all called for the leadership of this country to pay undivided attention to the situation of lakes state and just like every day, no tangible action is forthcoming. I know and everybody understands that the president could in this particular point in time be thinking that even with the resolution by the national legislative assembly to remove Matur Chut from governorship in lakes state, the priority now is not the removable of any governor but stopping the crisis and rebellion that has engulfed the country, the situation of lakes state may according to the president, be handled later as these people are just crazy people who are killing themselves for no apparent reason, this could be true because lakes state problem is a man-made self- destruction and instigated problem but again, let’s assume that the situation remain the same for the next few months, what do you envisage would be the consequence because today in lakes state, a day can barely pass by without two, three, five, ten people dying not by natural causes but by revenge and criminal activities. This has become a norm and any citizen of lakes state is very much alive to this fact.

Secondly, the situation may escalate into something more than revenge killings and street robberies because, if for instance, today in lakes state, civilians are more armed than the government and they can as well carry machines guns while some of them have designated themselves with the title of ‘governor’ without any constitutional authority to be called so, then, what would happen if these armed civilians decided that they are well-off being themselves and not under no-body. That should be a food for thought to all of us…

Finally, I wish to request and inform the president that, Lakes state is now under two people and that is HIM and GOD because, the legislators have done their parts, intellectuals have raised their concerns, the church has prayed, civil society has condemned the atrocities committed, countless number of people have died, the children have been orphaned and women widowed, everybody except the PRESIDENT and GOD have decided that Matur Chut must go and a new page be opened to address the plight of the people of lakes state. So please Mr. President, listen to the concerns of your people and let this man go and serve you in other capacities, the evidences for atrocities committed in lakes state are too overwhelming for you to waste any more time. The sovereignty of the people is what you sworn to protect and here they are; the people of lakes state through their national parliament have spoken and said without fear or contradiction that “Matur Chut must go”. May God save the people of Lakes State?

Juma Mabor Marial is a concern citizen of Lakes state and reachable at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

No to Ethnic Federalism in South Sudan

By Kuir Garang

September 4, 2014 (SSNA) -- Federalism is not a bad governance system as long as those leading it have the interest of the country at heart; and as long as the mindset leading it is selflessly conducive for development programs.

My only concern, and the word that I’ve always passed to fanatical proponents of federalism, is that ‘Federal System’ in itself wouldn’t change things unless our inter-tribal relations, inter-personal relations and our understanding of leadership and government change. People’s attitude inform the system not the other way round.

While I’d welcome the Federal System of governance in South Sudan as long as it’s conscientiously structured, I’m gravely opposed to any form of ‘Ethnic Federalism’ … like the ones in Ethiopia or Nigeria.

Many misguided South Sudanese believe that South Sudan Federal system can be modelled after the ones in Nigeria and Ethiopia. While there are presumptions and face-value indications that some people love the system in Ethiopia, one can’t be certain that it’s an advisable, exemplary system of governance.

In a world that’s increasingly moving towards acceptance of diversity, it’d be a bad precedent to move South Sudan toward statehood that exist as pockets tribal homogeneity. We can’t unite a country by compartmentalizing it into pockets of tribal exclusivity. While it’s a feel-good proposal for some people, it’s a destruction of the country based on parochial presumption of ‘We-ness.’ We, the Nuer! We, the Jieeng! We, the Bari! We, the Kachipo! We….We…We….

While many Ethiopians were happy with Meles Zenawi’s idea of Ethnic Federalism in order to get rid of the Amharic face of the country in what some call the ‘De-Amharization of Ethiopia’, one can clearly see that the example of Ethiopia is a stone-age example South Sudan shouldn’t copy!

The Nigerian example is badly self-explanatory that one can’t even think of it. It’s a disaster!

While it might sound very ambitious, it’s in the best interest of South Sudanese to work toward the creation of a ministry (Tribal Affairs) that should work out long-term models of inter-tribal understand in South Sudan. Making Tribal leaders, Elders and grassroots part of the governance system in which each and every tribe feels included and heard is better than ethnic fragmentation of the country.

This would help the people in understanding the role of government in their lives. In the long run, it’d bring the government closer to the people with deeper appreciation of their local leaders; thereby making it hard for greedy politicians to mislead them.

Tribes don’t fight because they want to. They fight because they feel marginalization and insignificant. Besides, some fight on behalf of leaders from their own tribe because they don’t understand what government actually means. In South Sudan, we don’t just have ‘individuals’ but ‘individuals from a given tribe.’

Practical Federalism, not Paper Visual Federalism, can bring people closer to those who govern them; however, we have to resist attempts to ethnicize South Sudan any further. To further tribalize a new nation with no sense of unique, clear and understandable sense of ‘NATIONHOOD’ is to be hellishly irresponsible.

We have to first create an understandable national Identity before we gladly or mischievously disperse into our tribal enclaves in the name of ‘Ethnic Federalism’ or more appropriately, ‘National Destruction!’

We’ve been divided fatally enough! Let’s unite while accepting our differences!

Kuir Garang is the author of ‘South Sudan Ideologically’ and ‘The Pipers and the First Phase (novel). For contact, visit

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