Friday 26 October 2012


..the Dinka of S.Sudan. For a generation they've been bathed, fed,armed,trained and diaper changed by the West who swallowed their own propaganda believing tall tales about heroic Herculean struggles against Arab slavers.

This well intended humanitarianism has created a monster of self entitlement,especially for a people dehumanised by a generation of war;who never learned the skill sets necessary for modern life but like children simply want it all-now.

In explanation some background into the recent civil war is required. In 1983 Chevron announced an oil find of almost 600 million barrels in Bentiu in what is now Unity state of the south. A few months later John Garang then an army major serving in Bor led a mutiny of disaffected Southern officers and the war that would kill an estimated 2 million had begun. Observers attempted to portray this as a selfless Gandhian step or Saul like conversion but insiders say it was a business disagreement with his Arab seniors over wildlife products including leopard skins.
Whatever the motivation,its clear he bears large responsibility for setting the template for the kind of fighting his forces fought. Entire populations were misused as pawns for food aid ,child soldiers were openly recruited and most importantly for young Dinka observers the idea that physical force equated to respect and money was born.
At the beginning most Dinka weren't interested in fighting,content to continue the same patterns of existence they'd led for millenia in the flood plains,semi deserts and savannahs of Bahr el Ghazal-cattle herding and subsistence farming. To encourage them he promised post war resettlement in the wetter regions further down south. That these lands were already settled by Kakwa,Lugbara,Madi and Nuer was never considered.
Within a year he had precipitated irrevocable splits with the Nuer when he killed their leader Col.Gach who unlike him at the time was fighting for complete independence of the South.  Quickly he realised the need to control food supplies and ordered all food shipments to pass through their own NGO,the SRRA, Sudanese Rescue and Rehabilitation Association,a scandalous group of Dinka idlers who camped at the Panafric in Nairobi running up fantastic bar bills.
The West,supporting him from the get go,turned a blind eye to these blatant misdeeds even as disaffected journos gained a slightly less heroic view of the SPLA. By the late 80s they controlled the distribution of thousands of tons of food aid which was used as a tool of extortion and control. Unfriendly areas or uncommitted ethnic groups would be denied. In 1998 a 2 year drought exacerbated by 2 mn IDPs without farms caused a catastrophic famine similar to Ethiopia 84m killing at least 100,000.
Also the internecine death toll of Dinka vs Nuer/Shilluk/Anuak or internal hostilities and its easy to see how the final death toll reached 2 million. Wholesale villages were uprooted and entire regions emptied of all but wildlife as the Dinka officer core of the SPLA pursued an outright personal self aggrandisement agenda stealing cattle and kidnapping women from 'enemy tribes'. By wars end in 2005 many had taken over homes and businesses of IDPs as far as Yambio near the Congo border-and told the returnees in no uncertain terms of new realities.
On a trip to Yei in Central Equatoria,the landlady of a hotel explained her predicament. After the CPA was signed in 2005 she returned to her small abandoned hotel only to find a new owner;a Dinka colonel with the Military Police. As she tried to repossess her business she was bluntly warned off,with the officer saying,"we fought for independence." There are many such cases.
Now its foreigners,especially Kenyans targeted.A high number of Kenyan investors in South Sudan are increasingly coming back home distressed, some having being robbed of millions of shillings investments or harassed into submission by citizens of the world’s newest State. Others have paid the ultimate price with their lives with no one held liable for the cruel murders

A Kenyan woman who was killed in South Sudan was laid to rest on Saturday in Makueni County.
Tabitha Musangi, who died on May 13, was given an emotional send off by thousands of mourners who included people from South Sudan.

 A  Kenyan businesswoman has been killed in the Republic of  Southern  Sudan in mysterious circumstances. Pamela Atieno Abonge, 30, died on October 11 in Aweii , Southern  Sudan. Atieno’s family suspects the was murdered. His brother Samuel Abonge said  yesterday that his sister  was shot and injured on the head and neck. He said a doctor in Southern Sudan who performed the postmortem examination told the family that Atieno  had a broken skull.

Boys will be boys but its time the Dinkas learned the way the world works. We're practically handholding them into the 21st century,having assisted with independence last year and the signing of the CPA in 2005. Thousands are being trained here for the Civil Service and Army while soon they shall have an outlet for their oil at Lamu. Its time we played some of those cards as a lesson.
Its a forlorn hope they'll learn the game on their own without Garang,who for all his faults was a pragmatist,with the charisma to lead and control his people. Salva Kiir strikes many merely as the perfect subordinate,a natural born VP. Already Sudanese are crying out to rein in the rampant corruption;he responded like a 1980s Moi banning foreign newspapers. The ban was rescinded this week.
For the short term his position as president mirrors that of his nation. As long as the threat of Arab aggression remains he can project national angst outward;without this bogeyman the very real internal Sudanese disquiet with his Dinka  dominance may prove the ultimate threat to national existence.
Already several competing  militias are in the field fighting ethnic domination,corruption and land grabbing by the ruling elite.
   As rebel leader, late Lt. Gen. George Athor Deng admitted in an interview in March 2011, “There is no equality between Dinkas and non-Dinkas in the government of South Sudan”. He further noted that most institutions of the government of South Sudan are built on tribal dominations and there is no equality and equity between various ethnic groups that would take place without regime change in Juba.
For now the low literacy rate of 27%,the world's lowest is on his side along with general lack of awareness of State functions and hence low expectations among the citizenry. Youthful,armed discontents with genuine grievances will inevitably start the countdown.

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