Home | News    Saturday 18 June 2011

Ethnic tensions could increase violence in S. Sudan says rights group


June 17, 2011 (JUBA) - As South Sudan prepares for independence in July, ethnic tensions fuelled by unequal access to resources and political influence could increase violence threatening the stability of Africa’s newest nation, Minority Rights Group International (MRGI) said in its latest briefing.

Competition between southern ethnic groups over scarce resources, according to MRGI, continues to spark violence, often in the form of deadly cattle-raids. As such, it adds, some minority groups feel that their interests are not being represented within the political system, and that resources have been diverted to more populous ethnic groups.

“The Government of South Sudan will need to focus on political representation for minorities and an equitable distribution of resources in order to alleviate ethnic tensions that threaten long-term stability,” said Chris Chapman, Head of Conflict Prevention at MRGI.

In Jonglei, one of the ten states in the semi-autonomous region, a MRGI commissioned research found poverty to be one of the main factors exacerbating existing tensions. Violent incidences were also reported during dry seasons, where cattle herding communities clash over water points and existing grasslands.

As such, MRGI appealed to the southern government to build more dams and drill boreholes that would ensure more access to water points by herders as a mechanism to reduce tension among the pastoralists.

“If the people could feed themselves and even sell some vegetables in the market, they would not be so dependent on food aid or on raising cattle. This will cut down on the violence,” said Paul Oloyo Longony from Boma Development Initiative (BDI); an MRGI partner organization.

Over the years, MRGI has reportedly supported BDI in holding reconciliation meetings between tribal leaders, allowing them to air grievances and resolve their differences.


Meanwhile, according to Chapman, “The government in Khartoum must also provide constructive support to the newly independent country. The current military intervention in Abyei is unacceptable and bodes ill for future good relations between the two countries.”

South Sudan is due to become independent after its population overwhelmingly voted for separation during a January referendum. The vote was a key prerequisite of Sudan’s 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which ended over two decades of war between north and south of the country.

Although the war is often described as between North and South Sudan the war was also characterised by fighting between groups within the region.

MRGI urged the government of South Sudan to capitalize on the spirit of unity that prevailed during the referendum to alleviate the threat of instability caused by tensions between ethnic groups. But to ensure success, it says, the government will need to create an inclusive political culture that brings development to all areas of the region.


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  • 18 June 2011 05:40, by Naked Dinka

    We the dinkas should accommodate other minorities into the system, otherwise, we ’ll loose support from people of south sudan. Our leaders should not have entitlement of the government, kiir needs to fight corruptions and bring those who embezzled millions of dollars from the government, for example the former finance minister, Nyanideng, the former governor of Bahr el Gazel, just to mention few of them.

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    • 18 June 2011 07:34, by Naath

      Mr. Dinka, I am not agreeing with you in this particular thought. What is happening in southern sudan, is what I called a later detention of Dinka, Since every body have given you a weight that you do not have, and you as Dinka tribe never has, and will never have is the problem. To me, it will kill you in a letter time, because it will be very sincereness that you have as Dinka tribe before in not there any more, intervent to choose good choice is gone from you minds, and for you information, Dinka tribe use to travel to Nuer Land to make friends long time ago, and with in their friendship, Dinka man never comes back to Dinka land again, that believe is not there any more. To me, Dinka destruction comes. all the bad influence that are happening now, are a signe of Dinka tribe looming day. IF I were you, you as a Dinka tribe neede to be more attentive decision to gain trust back from your nieghbors, you may do so by encourageing intermarriage with others, which in that sense, Nuer will fore get every things that you have wrong to this specifice issues. If I can remember back in the days, Dinka tribe were very smart, but not now.(money convert thier culture)

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      • 18 June 2011 09:52, by Madut Tong

        Naath and the likes,

        I don’t understand your logic in this forum, why are you obsess with the Dinka tribe as if they are the only people ruling south Sudan? is this dinkaphobia?

        Those who speak of representation of their ethnic groups in the government in my understanding are not aware of the ways the government is represented. Southern Sudan is not govern by ethnic groups as some fable minded put it. The government is made up of political parties of whom the ruling party is the SPLM, and I think every ethnic group is represented in this party, if your ethnic group is not represented for example in the Parliament your area may have not undertook the election in 2010. And whose fault is that, is it the SPLM, or the Dinka, or your people who are not in political parties? It is a ridiculous argument.

        Concerning the intermarriage, I don’t know really where are you from, if you are Nuer truly you could have known the long history of intermarriage between the two tribes. Intermarriage will not even solve this problem of hatred caused by political agendas. the solution is to return to our values of living, respect each other and stick to our affairs. Both Dinka and Nuer don’t like thieves in their cultures, but today, the thief became kuormadit and benydit, which I consider a curse to our nation. So, let’s not blame it on one tribe but face it as a reality.

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    • 18 June 2011 07:59, by dinkador1


      How can they fight corruption? They support their tribes in the above subject.
      It is true that ethnic tensions will soon take place.

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    • 19 June 2011 01:36, by Agutran

      Naked Dinka, sarcasm is what we wear as a badge of honor! How inferior would you be when naked Dinkas happened to be your superiors?

      Naked Dinka, the name that you proudly called yourself, did you ever asked yourself that, if Dinkas are just naked people, then why are they my elites in this country?

      If I were you, I can’t imagine how embarrassing I would be! But the reality is you’re not that smart anyway, because if you were, you wouldn’t even though of naming yourself that way.

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  • 18 June 2011 06:25, by George Bol

    There one thing that South Sudanese should understand at this time. The ethnic tension as it was put is not about allocation of resources, it;s about who is the criminal who do not want to work.

    One of the cause of the probelm now in the South is the political influences are the major challenges in the South. The leaders who pretend to nationalist at daytime and turn tribalist at night are the one who always cause the problem. They talk behind that you are not represented and so and so is the one taking a big share. What can illiterate hear from this?.

    I recommended a strong laws against cattle raiding and some one who steal someone properties because he think that he was not represent.

    Who will really believed that you can demand something by fighting?. Doubt is a big problem, even though you have Billions of money or cows,you still need more. Needs are scare and they can not be satisfies.

    There is no way we can solve this demand unless by strong laws to governed those thieves.

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    • 18 June 2011 07:18, by Dhalaluaak

      Brother George,
      Read the Lakes state constitutions.You will be amaze how strong these constitutions are.But people are wild in that state,so they don’t care about laws.

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  • 18 June 2011 07:22, by Ngundeng

    S. Sudan shall witness a tribal war between Dinka & Nuer in the distant future. Most Dinka are nationalists that believes the whole of S. Sudan belongs to the people (Dinka), whereas the Naath believes in older customs; Their states/areas belong to them, and anyone attempting to reunite them with enemy territory shall pay with blood.

    Tribalism vs. Nationalism.

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  • 18 June 2011 09:26, by Bush

    To all those who are ruling, harassing and embezzling development and public funds today to buy luxurious cars, rent mansions in the foreign countries should know that their names are written in the hearts of the marginalized people of South Sudan and one day one time they will be held accountable for their actions.

    Even if you get very old or you died, your names will still appear in the court of justice, the people of South Sudan are tired of those corrupt thieves in power. But today is your and tomorrow will be our and we will not leave any stone unturned.

    Christians United for Israel

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    • 18 June 2011 19:14, by Michael Angelo

      Naath & alikes,

      Did Nuer prophet Ngundeng predict that there will be a war between Nuers and Dinkas after independence? Whoever beat the drum of war will end up in the ICC ceil soon. what we’ll benefit from genocide rather than loss of lives after all?

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  • 19 June 2011 21:37, by WendeMajok

    Dear comments editor(s),

    It’s quite unfair to delete comments that makes sense and leave the weird ones that couldn’t help....where is the freedom of speech?
    It’s being bias, I will hardly trust this site because of the selection made on this comment site for some individuals to post and others denied access.

    In my last comment, I was advising those who talk at a tribal and myopic points of view i.e. Naath, Dinkador1, Naked Dinka and the likes who hide under the name Dinka and yet talk ill of Dinka, post comments that irritates and this is site where opinions, views, suggestions and solution to problems are needed (public site), comments of sense....

    I don’t think whether I will post or read any of your articles again coz it won’t help if you continue discriminating comments that are free from ambiguity and leave nonsense on the thread. Hence, no more trust on your news.....

    repondre message

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