The problem that is facing our new country is that there is no spirit of nationalism and Patriotism. We are more identified with our tribes rather than with our Country South Sudan. This is evident from the fact that our new nation is plunged into a civil war soon after independence. Because the institutions of government were not properly developed. The constitution was poorly written to favor the ruling party rather than the nationals. The president was given absolute powers to hire and fire elected governors, which is a mockery of democracy “as the rule of the people for the people by the people”. The civil liberties and freedom of speech and expression are suppressed in South Sudan. There is no independent judiciary and accused are presumed guilty in the court of law before proven innocent. The accused are held for months or year without trial. There is no respect for human right, instead, might is right in South Sudan. South Sudan is a tribal village, ruled by tribal chiefs, and it will take a half century before it embarks in a real nation building.
One of the contributing factors responsible for tribalism in South Sudan, especially in public offices is that our leaders are tribalists themselves, and, they encourage tribalism with impunity. This evidence from the fact that all ministers, including vice president and the president himself, employed their tribesmen as directors, or office managers, bodyguards and the clerical in their offices. 75% of Diplomats abroad are from one tribe. Officials, especially in GoSS, speak in their dialects. National Security, Passports, Immigration, Airport securities are dominated by one tribe. The armies sing morals songs on the national Television in their dialects. Most Generals in the army, Police Inspectors, Wildlife, Prison, fire brigade, National Security, Chief of Staff of the National Army and the deputies are from one tribe.
How can one feel to be called a national of a tribal State? How can we inculcate the spirit of nationalism and patriotism, if the ruling clique is fostering tribal sentiments in the state? Why is that all these Decree for the promotion of officers to major generals and Lt General are only from one tribe? Why is that the defense minister, the interior minister, chief of staff, police inspector, presidential guard, bodyguards, advisors, office managers, financial managers, spokesperson, clerks are from the president’s tribe, rather than from the national of South Sudan? South Sudan Positions are filled by unqualified candidates from the ministers and ruling elite families before they are advertised. The criteria for selection to hold public position is base on whom do you know rather than what you know. That is why there is rampant corruption with impunity, because of nepotism and tribalism where accountability is shielded, and cover up as a syndicate.
Another factor that promotes tribalism is that we still look at ourselves as people belonging to that and this tribe rather than belonging to a Nation called South Sudan. Ethnic chauvinism is leading South Sudan into all these conflicts. We look at ourselves as Dinka, Nuers, Bari, Shilluk, Zande, Lotuko, Anyauk, Murle, Lotuko, Balanda, Tobosa, and so on. The concept of us and them rather than we is the polarizing and dividing factor. When can we learn to be a nation? With 28 tribal States, tribalism will be maximized into its peak. With a fight for a border. We forgot that most people migrated a lot, especially the pastoralists looking for fertile land for cultivation and grazing. “South Sudan will never have stability due to Dinka Ego to rule Hassan Turabi”.
The author is a Ph.D. Research scholar in Political philosophy (the Effect of Ethnic chauvinism and Polarization in African Politics with especial reference to South Sudan) who live in Canada and can be reached by email@example.com