Active Citizen campaigns against tribalism

By Wek Atak Kacjang

Some of the women listen to the activists during campaign against tribalism in Mangateen

Active Citizen South Sudan, a youth-led organization is championing campaigns to shun tribalism among the locals across parts of Juba City.

The door-to-door sensitization exercises with the aim to eradicate tribal-oriented minds among the communities and embark on nation-building are targeting Luri Payam vicinities under Juba County, Central Equatoria state. These include Mangateen, Hai Referendum, News sites, Miasaba, and Munuki respectively.

Angelina Stephen Ban, the Project Coordinator for the organization said they embarked on the campaign to make the citizens aware of the tribalism-related implication as she revealed that the previous related exercises had an impact on the communities.

“You know, in South Sudan, we still do things on tribal affiliation context. People work on tribal settings and this has a lot of negatives impact in our community. It makes us not to have good relationships among ourselves,” he explained.

According to Ms. Angelina, the campaign was then geared towards creating avenues where the South Sudanese should embrace each other without dwelling on tribal affiliations.

“We are trying to build trust among themselves whereby we educate them (citizens) about the negative practices of this tribalism.  When we baseour minds on tribes, it will continue to have negative impact on our country,” Angelina stressed.

Previous reports indicate that social interaction among the South Sudanese natives as a whole was at stake as most of the communities could not interact with each especially after when the conflict broke out.

But Angelina said through their past intervention and current intervention through door-to-door campaign, at least the locals were now able to relate gradually through such campaigns.

“So, this is the continuation because we have seen some positive results out of it and we have to see a wider number of people being engaged,”

The activists said the ultimate goal is to see the communities ceasing from tribalism as they embark on nation building soon.

The activity was supported by the Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA)

Angelina advised the youth to take lead in cautioning communities to undo tribalism.

“We are telling the young people to live together as South Sudanese. They should do things as South Sudanese and not as tribes,”

“If there is opportunity, we need everyone to be given the same opportunity; the same chances but shouldn’t deny each other because we are different tribes; so, we want to live peacefully. Peaceful coexistence as South Sudanese but not as tribes,” Angelina stated.

David Mou, a resident of Mangateen appreciated the campaign.

He said he would use the skills to create relations with his other fellow non-tribal mates in a bid to build peaceful coexistence.

“I believe that the tribalism level is little high but in the course of the time; a lot of people will have an idea of the negative effects of the tribalism and a need to reduce it for us to have a peaceful country free from tribalism,”Mou stated.

According to the beneficiary, the stagnant ailment would reduce and the South Sudanese would embrace each other without memories of the past conflicts.

Though South Sudan has 64 tribes, the recent wars of 2013 and 2017 have pitted faces against each other wherecommunities were incited and locals started to work on tribal lines.

However, with the ongoing tribalism and other peace building initiatives, the country is expected to return back to its normal stand where communities embrace each other.

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