By Khorhok Gal Gar
December 26, 2007 — If there is anything that makes unity of Sudan more attractive “it is tribalism not development” as it was stipulated in the comprehensive peace agreement. There is no doubt if the referendum is carryout today most minority tribes will vote for unity of Sudan instead for secession of the south from the north, since the so called majority tribes are acting like dinosaurs. You can’t call yourself a “liberator and master” at the same time, you have to choose one. Although 2005 peace agreement brought significant progress in term of stability in the south, in recent months we had witnessed countless attacks perpetrated by organize criminals to create tension among peace loving citizens.
The government in Khartoum knows very well that it’s doesn’t matter what they do, people will vote for separation so they are unwilling to allocate enough funds for southern development. Subsequently, the lack of adequate resources aided by corruption; southern tribes became more competing over limited resources. As a result they became more fragmented and loyal to their ethnic group then to the government. The system of divide and rule has been used effectively by various regimes in the world and it is still works today. The present camps in northern Sudan by the Sudanese refugees are no less then potential reservations if we have to remain divided.
Some even went further by calling for segregation between ethnic groups using marginalization as pretext; despite the fact that the Interim Constitution of South Sudan made it clear that one’s has to choose his/her residence. They (southerners) are become more intolerant with one another. And our enemy is waiting anxiously to see whether we will bond together has one people or we shall fell a part after separation. The question for those who believes in a segregated south: How you’re going to build a nation if you deem ethnic integration is not possibly at this moment? Yes there are people who felt they are being dominated by others, but calling for segregation is not the best way to fight an inequality in southern Sudan. There are many ways to address civil rights issues in postwar south. One of them is South Sudan Commission of Human Right if some people felt legitimate reason to believes they been marginalized. In addition to that is South Sudan Interim Constitution that guarantees an individual right.
For those who are using being majority to bulldoze minority rights there is no such a thing of guaranteeing your freedom while denying other people the same rights. The current insecurity in Jonglei State is result of mistrust between the government and communities and our government need to take this issue seriously if peace and tranquility have to prevail in the south. Some minority tribes have no faith in the government to protect them from potential threat post by their neighboring tribes so they are hesitant to handover their weapon to authority peacefully. Without comprehensive disarmament of civilian in Southern Sudan there will never be development as long people who could be potential investor can’t guarantees that their businesses have a potential grow in the country.
Some of these people who are carrying guns are seen by their tribes/clans as community defends force. Introducing a program that provides incentive to those who are willing to give up their arms peacefully will encourage voluntary disarmament without loses from both sides the government and the civilian. Also this will discourage young men from culture of guns to new life style like opening small shop.
A more secure southern Sudan means more development and jobs for local people because investors will come and invest in services sector like healthcare, transportation, tourism, and accommodation. But if the people who are supposed to use those services are fighting among themselves how do we expect investors from foreign counties to come and invest their money in a volatile state like southern Sudan?
Comparing with other cities in the world Juba has low crime rate, but racial motivated killing can not be just simply ignored has it happened in many cities in southern Sudan, in view of the fact that in business language both the victim and suspect are both potential costumers so anything that hampered his/her staying late at night in the movies theater because he/she feared being attacked by X and Z because he/she from Y. Being a diverse country shouldn’t be used as an excuse of not getting along with one another rather than strength.
We need to be nation that embrace diversity and value our cultural differences, which will make our country unique example of United African States. The lack of roads connecting different party of Sudan and national language has been used as tools by Khartoum to isolate the rest of us from outside world. Even today some Sudanese don’t know what country they are in. If we need the dream of New Sudan to become reality, we must be the ones who championed the idea of multi-ethnic, cultures, religious, lingual and parties’ democratic Sudan not to work against it. And this can not be done without collaboration and compromise among South’s Sudan various ethnic communities.
Khorhok Gar can be reach at [email protected]