Opinion

South Sudan needs transformation from tribalism into nationalism

By Charles Dak Maniew Makuey

The initial discourse on tribal identity was shaped by those who advocated for transformation of tribalism into Nationalism and others who sought their assimilation into a better citizen/national of a nation state. According to evolutionary perspective of tribalism, the word tribe is a primitive form of organization preceding the state as it has been connoted by imperialist.

The terminological shift from “tribe” to “tribalism” that underlines the persistence of behaviors and institutions associated with tribal organization. Consequently, the term “tribal” has been employed to describe a specific social system characterized by the absence of centralized political institutions and subject to continuous processes of fusion and fission.

In line with this perspective, tribal societies would actually be organized according to “lineage model. At a political level, the segmentary lineage system would consist of a balance between the opposite tendencies of segmentation and fusion with segments of the same order depending on the unit one has to face in a certain circumstance. The model of alliance founding this system involved a union principle based on proximity in the patrilineal descent line. The pronouncement of certain tribe being the dominant in whole state government is what aggrieved and promote tribalism in nature.

Nationalism is an ideology and movement that promotes the interests of a particular nation especially with the aim of gaining and maintaining the nation’s sovereignty over its homeland

selective pressures have sculpted human minds to be tribal, and group loyalty having had concomitant cognitive biases likely exist in some groups that indirectly spearheading tribalism inadvertently. Modern politics is one of the most salient forms of modern coalitional conflict and elicits substantial cognitive biases among the communities leading to what practically emerging tribal fights that claims several dimensional form in the Republic of South Sudan.

The common evolutionary history of our beloved country gives little reason to expect pro-tribe biases to be higher on one side of the political spectrum than the other. With theseevolutionarily plausible null hypothesis has been supported by many politicians who seek power through tribal incitement dichotomy.

 In a recent meta-analysis, most of South Sudanese political partiesresorting in a similar levels of partisan biases more predominant on appointment of governmental constitutional post holders(CPH).

Several pro-tribe cognitive tendencies often ascribed in which the bigger fish (tribe man) swallow the smaller one, even if such individual lacks leadership criterionscan secure remarkable position through tribal political sensitization that contribute to promotion of tribalism if am not mistaken.We can conclude that tribal bias is a natural and nearly ineradicable feature of human cognition and that no group—not even one’s own—is immune, but as intellectuals and literates people, we can play our role in denouncing tribal predicament by avoiding blackmailing our local communities in a tribal manner that backfire societal co-habitation.

How will you feel as human if certain tribe is being subjected to undesirable evil act?

 It’s not lost in our mind that human mind was forged by the crucible of coalitional conflict for many years during renaissance and agrarian era where tribes competes against each other materially. Coalitions that were more cooperative and cohesive not only survived but also appropriated land and resources from other coalitions and therefore reproduced more prolifically, thus passing their traits genesto later generations.

We know that South Sudan is made up of 64 tribes bestowed with equal fundamental rights and duties owed by country without prejudice to equal protection under the law.

However, a lot of mess are soaring high currently not only with the delay of State government formation but also the deep rooted tribalism that contributed negatively to the living of mankind in the country. Some of these fighting being incited by politicians to distort tranquility with an aim to seek re-appointment as the level of insecurity intensified in various states having mobilized tribe to raid others people cattle, looting properties et cetera as it had been happening among our local communities around Unity state more particularly in Mayom County with her neighboring states of Warrap, Twice state and Lake state side.

The same tribal fight is taking place in greater Jonglei State between and Pibor Administrative area.

While not forgetting the inner intrastate worse sectional and tribal violence taking place in Unity state, Lake and Warrap State among sectional communities the usually claim several loses of lives.

What is our benefit as intellectuals/politicians in encouraging this tribalism? 

Absolutely, there is no benefit at all, because seeing people crying as their means of survival such as cattle and properties taken by others armed criminal as well losing beloved brothers, sisters and elders in senseless conflict amount great lose not only their family but also nation at large.

These acts should cease at any cost by putting more measures that can stop these chaotic activities. One can encourage the effort exert by his excellency the president of the republic of South Sudan in issuing an order for the formation of Jonglei state investigative committee headed by economic cluster vice president with it attached term of reference.

We hope this could have also been done with cases of Unity State vs. Twice, Warrap and Lake state respectively but didn’t happened that way, leaving those self selected delegates messing up initial initiative with divergent agenda of campaigning for state Gubernatorial seat that spark hug controversy as the former governor loosed popularity in the state.

Why does it seem other tribes are treated best compared to other?

We are now seeing others community are being treating loyal while alienating others in the sense that if there are problem in the state. Government should render equal protection to all community by immediately forming committee officially to look into raised issue for solution. It seems like some communities are lessor goat at the hand of government leaving them being treated badly under the hand of some individual politicians. displays of loyalty and commitment to other members of the tribe also enhanced individual-level of ostracizing by other tribes that seems to take root in our country.Although tribal loyalties inspire many noble behaviors, they can impel humans to sacrifice sound reasoning and judgmental accuracy for group belonging as well committed to treating others as your own sole-made could spark societal wellbeing at large for we know that too much tribal loyalties can lead to tribal in nature.

finally, we need to embrace the spirit of nationalism by setting aside tribalism which is destroying our country at all work of life. Let us promote unity among ourselves know that one hand can not clap itself. In practice, nationalism can be seen as positive or negative depending on context and individual outlook. Nationalism has been an important driver in independence movements, such as the Greek Revolution, the Irish revolution, the Zionist movement that created modern Isreal. With this nationalism can work with our country in fighting against tribalism so as to sharp our country forward for better South Sudan without discrimination to tribe by employing technical know how to those with due professionality.

The writer is pursuing LLM at Juba university and Bachelor Degree of economics at SSCU respectively. he has PGD in security and strategic studies, LLB at Juba university of Juba and holder of Advance Diploma at Ethiopia university. He is reachable via email: dakmaniew2015@gmail.com or 0912312309

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