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South Sudan lawmaker says mass mobilization for uprising needs organizers

Sudanese women protest in Khartoum on 8 April 2021 (ST photo)
September 7, 2021 (JUBA) - A prominent south Sudanese legislator said mass mobilization for a popular uprising requires good organizers and takes time to materialize.

The failure of calls by youth groups to take to the street pushed commentators and observers to speak about the weakness of the civil society organizations in the country, saying the country remains highly tribalized.

Speaking about the recent calls for regime change, Atem Garang de Kuek took a comparative look at the neighbouring Sudan where the people brought down three totalitarian regimes, adding that there are four fundamental factors for a successful uprising.

“First, the level of tribalism in Sudanese society is minimal due to religious sectarianism, political ideologies, and professional associations. Secondly: many of the population is politically conscious and highly aware of its regional connections and of the impact of their opinions on how their country should be governed. Thirdly: the middle class (the elites) is big and constitutes most of the urbanized centres in Sudan. This class is very important and is instrumental in political life and any political change. Members of this class are contemporary thinkers, intellectuals, ideologues, etc. Most of this class own estates, and properties. So, it does not opt or tend for any violence that may invite war and destruction! (Further,) Members of this class are mostly detribalized. They are organized and are members of professional associations”.

“Fourthly: the working force (class) in public and private sectors is huge and is highly conscious of its rights regarding employment, pay, work environment/conditions, pension, social services benefits to their families, political rights, etc. This class is solidly organized around their professional associations, not worshippers of tribal unions. This class is also, somehow, ideologized. This class is the bulldozer mobilized and used by the middle class (the elites) and the political parties to crash and bring down the rule of dictators in Sudan. This class looks at social stratification as mobile and ascendable, so it works to join the middle class through financial savings or investment”.

Atem underlined that the technology and social media come in the second plan in support of the organized social groups but alone it is not enough to drive the protests.

He pinpointed that the uprisings of 1964 and 1985 were achieved in an era that internetwork was unknown.

“They succeeded because people were ideologically organized and politically sensitized in meetings,” he said.

Mobilizing people for political mass action is a process and long-term work that needs thinkers, organizers, mobilizers, and propagators, and even financiers, etc. It is not just a mere formation of a new forum in social media and call for mass action and wishing to bring down a government formed by Gun worshippers”, he further said.

The lawmaker concluded that South Sudanese have to find their own sociological factors that would enable them to ensure the success of their peaceful protests.

“Is it possible to move or mobilize the masses of our people in the absence of such sociological fundamentals as in Sudan? We are a tragic, tribalized society. How can we be detribalized?”

(ST)