South Sudan: One Tribe Takes it All Perilous

Published on 8th July 2011

South Sudan was born on 9th July, 2011. She is now free. Everybody wants to be free. Everybody deserves to be free. Freedom means, among other things, honour, sense of belonging and deciding one's destiny.

What will the North do? Africans from northern Sudan who have always called themselves 'Arabs' or 'Jallaba' have for long enslaved, killed, robbed, raped and subjugated southerners. They have disregarded the fact that all goodies they thought are God given come from the south. Look at oil, farm produce, water, pastures for their animals and what not. It is time for them to accept the reality and behave well.

The allegations that the Dinka tribe in South Sudan is controlling the lions share of South Sudan's resources and marginalising the rest of the tribes ought to be addressed. Tribalism, corruption and nepotism are not a good beginning. South Sudan as a nation is for all from majority Dinka and Nuer, Shulluk, Azande, Acholi, Kakwa, Shilifi, Bari, Lotuka and others regardless their size.

The freedom of southern Sudan is the stepping stone for the freedom of Abyei, Nuba Mountains and Darfur. What agonizes to the bone is a recent BBC report, if it is true, that South Sudan’s regime promised Bashir not to support Darfur rebels. This tarnishes the good name and promise this new nation has. If other countries supported and helped SPLA, what is wrong with helping Dafuris?

Some can assert that when SPLA was fighting Khartoum, Darfur was in bed with Bashir thanks to its propagation of Islam. They, so too, goofed. They need to be forgiven. The late John Garang de Mabior when addressing war prisoners from the north and some government soldiers from Darfur told them that what they were fighting was not Islam but criminality dressed in the suit of Islam. He went further to say that once the north is done with, SPLA would turn to Darfur thanks to being regarded as slaves simply because of being viewed as black despite being Muslims.

Garang's messianic prophecy was fully fulfilled even before his demise. For after signing the CPA, Khartoum turned to Darfur with new vim and zeal. Khartoum has always supported anti-SPLA elements to see to it that the south does not go solo. What's wrong with supporting Darfur? Southerners need to abide by the law of reciprocity when it comes to help others that are still brutalized by Khartoum especially their brethren in Darfur. They all suffer the same anathema thanks to being black. If, indeed, it is true that GOSS intends to expel Darfur fighters, this will indeed defeat its zeal of being an ideal new nation. South Sudanese must not tarnish their good image.

While South Sudan needs the East African Community thanks to the region’s already established infrastructure to transport her produce, she also needs the North. Similarly, the North needs South Sudan. There is no way the duo will live peacefully without depending on the other. Their peace and tranquility will depend on each other. 

The leaders of south should see to it that they embark on judicious manner of running this new nation. Tribalism, nepotism and corruption will give the north the weapon to sabotage this young nation. East African countries and other neighbours must see to it that South Sudan does not relegate back to anarchy and conflict. The hell that broke loose in Burundi and Rwanda should hammer a lesson to them shall they think one tribe can take it all.

By Nkwazi Mhango.

A Canada based Tanzanian and author of  Saa Ya Ukombozi

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