South Sudan: We Need To Reshape Our Concept Towards Ethnicity

By | 9th July 2015

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By Tor Madira Machier 
Ethnicity is not an artificial invention, it is a natural phenomenon that until the end, the man, through his abilities, could not afford to divert or restructure.

Therefore it is out of his jurisdiction to judge God. Ethnicity is not a negative element that could be exploited in justifying human being’s weakness towards achieving peace and stability within a certain society.

The post-18th century period and the inception of the 19th century throughout the 20th and its incursion into the 21st, century has been met with anarchy turning the world, particularly Asia and Africa, into nightmare of bloodshed and chaos given the vast existence of ethnic societies. The wars and other political unrest, particularly in Africa, are always viewed as faults of ethnic cultures, but to me the complex existence of ethnic groups in a region is not a threat to social security, further it encourages cultural development and progress.

With the lack of proper education and national feeling as the reasons, South Sudanese people suffer from backwardness which clearly answers the question of why ethnic hatred is common among the people of South Sudan. In my view, we the people of South Sudan, and I am sorry to say so, are against creation, and humanity. The fact that someone is born to a certain tribe is not an insult. We have to treat that case with open hearts so that the dignity of man cannot perish in our point of view. Our concept towards the importance of ethnicity does not only jeopardise the peaceful co-existence of our society, but it simply advertises the dark side of our society and thereafter drives away the paramount importance of our ethnic hospitality and tolerance.

We were not born in this society to kill and die in a way of pursuing non-mutual ethnic interests where we were created to love and promote our dignity and so fulfil the tasks of achieving social and political progress of our society.

If you were born in Bentiu, you would have been a Nuer, if you were born in Aweil, you would have been a Dinka, and if you were born in Fashoda, you would have been a Shilluk or if you were born in Terekeka or elsewhere in the country, you would have been a Mundari or else, and what is wrong with that? It is an invention and arrangement from God to dwell you wherever you were born. We have to love each other not on the basis of ethnicity, but on the fact that we are all South Sudanese and that we came from God and so we are of the same value to him.

How wonderful would it be if all of us, regardless of our ethnic dimensions would gather in peace and harmony around the table of humanity, not forgetting that we have to reform and to reshape our concept towards ethnicity!

Tor Madira Machier is a South Sudanese student living in Egypt, he is the author of an upcoming book: THE END OF THE BEGINNING: THE NUER AND THE DINKA, A REFLECTION OF SOUTH SUDAN’S CULTURE OF ETHNIC HATRED. He can be reached at:

Opinion articles do not reflect the position of The National Courier.