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South Sudan plans first-ever national reconciliation campaign

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November 24, 2012 (JUBA) – The leadership of the 15-month old nation, South Sudan, has announced its plan to organise a first-ever comprehensive peace and national reconciliation conference to try and heal the mental wounds that have visibly divided some of the communities over the years.

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Riek Machar, holds his voting card in his hand as he walks towards a polling station in Bentiu,Jan 9, 2011 (Photo Getty)

The conference which is planned to convene in April 2013 in the national capital, Juba, will draw together hundreds of participants from the top leaderships in the national capital, Juba, as well as from the ten states in the country.

President Salva Kiir Mayardit will address the leaders on this daunting task to forgo the past and focus on the future, which has been a challenging situation still facing the underdeveloped country 15 months after independence.

Vice President, Riek Machar Teny, on Saturday explained the prevalence of trauma which he said is still haunting leaders and communities in the country, locking them in mental wars in their minds.

In the first consultative preparatory meeting for the planned the conference on Saturday, which he chaired and involved relevant government institutions and international NGOs, the second powerful man in the new state expressed the burning need to address the trauma and divisions.

"South Sudan has gone through a violent past which has caused mental barriers with some still fighting wars in their minds,” he told the preparatory meeting in the Council of Ministers hall on Saturday, adding that “the country should reconcile with its own past."

“People should accept the past even if not necessarily forgetting it and come to terms with it,” he further advised.

Political differences among politicians in South Sudan dating back to early 1980s and during the North-South war with its current neighbour Sudan have had played part in inter-communal conflicts particularly when such political differences were misunderstood and generated into tribal conflicts fitting some highly illiterate rural communities from which such political rivals hailed.

Machar in August last year became the first senior political leader to initiate the post-independence reconciliation process by voluntarily apologizing to the Dinka Bor community for his past political differences with the late founder of the SPLM/A, John Garang de Mabior, in a split in 1991, which also violently affected the neighbouring Bor-Dinka and Lou-Nuer communities in particular and the wider Dinka and Nuer communities in general.

Machar and Mabior reconciled their political differences in January 2002 in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, and collectively pledged to work towards achieving peace in Sudan and exercising the right to self-determination by the people of South Sudan and Abyei.

However some of their respective supporters including senior intellectuals seem to have continued holding on to the past differences and investing on recalling the events.

Machar made the apology on behalf of his group in the presence of Dinka Bor intellectuals in the house of late John Garang’s widow, Madam Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior, in Juba where he was invited by the family to commemorate with them the life of the late leader and colleague.

The apology was however received with mixed reactions from the two communities during which others from the Nuer community, for instance, asked for a reciprocal apology from the Dinka senior political leaders with countered demands from the Dinka community who wanted the apology be made in the land of Dinka Bor community; a demand which Machar met during his later visit to the Dinka Bor areas this year.

Another major bitter past which is also fresh in memories of many intellectuals and communities included the inter-communal division which occurred in early 1980s, commonly known as the Kokora, resulting from political differences between former Presidents of the then Southern Sudan’s High Executive Council, Abel Alier and Joseph Lagu.

The situation, which was the first major politically motivated inter-communal conflict in the region, fitted communities of Greater Equatoria region against non Equatorians, particularly the Dinka and the Nuer. The storm of such division has not completely settled and can well be explained in the current difficulty faced in the acquisition of land in the national capital, Juba.

The preparatory meeting on Saturday also identified other causes of inter-communal conflicts which are beyond political differences such as land acquisition in the urban setups across the region.

Issues of good governance such as accountability and transparency and war on corruption will also be addressed during the reconciliation campaigns, Machar explained, adding that they also generate feeling of injustice and discontent between communities.

He appealed to the international bodies and organizations to support the government-led initiative in order to bring peace and harmony among the communities in South Sudan.

The presidential advisor on decentralization and head of the organizing committee for the conference, Tor Deng Mawien, in a press statement after the meeting expressed the importance of the initiative, urging for the nation to move forward and forget the past differences.

He further explained that the conference will also be addressed by a number of high profile international personalities including the famous South African Archbishop, Desmond Tutu.

The long reconciliation campaign will also target the army and all the other organized forces as well as university students, he added.

(ST)

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  • 25 November 2012 05:53, by Michael Miyom Minyiel

    Recancilation is the only good tool that can march the country and direct it to a good path.
    South Sudan will never denounce tribalism unless such conferences are deemed carried out everywhere for better coexistence.
    I appreciated the move but let it be soon.

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    • 25 November 2012 06:33, by Joseph Canada

      This can only achieved once people who Killed Equatorians leaders in the Army and teachers testify . If those who did the killing reconcile to people themselves or tried. AND WHEN EVERY ONE START GOING BACK TO THEIR LAND FIRST THEN WE CAN START IT FROM POINT 0. WHEN THE LEADERSHIP DISTRIBUTE THE SCHOLARSHIPS Equally. when govt. hire people based on the Knowledge of the job, not a Brother .

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    • 25 November 2012 07:56, by Bolman

      God bless Machar your mind will keep our Country’s Civilian stay alives,but you don’t ve much supporters within that lootered goverment just yrself a lone,but God will led you on until some will understand your points to service this young Nation on risk of mess, God bewith you Machar we need the mankindmindlinghtening the awareness mind like you Machar keepituplet them learn throw u if they wishe

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      • 25 November 2012 10:45, by Mi diit

        Wow, what a brilliant idea, Dr. Machar. Our people have bitter trauma disturbing their brains. They fight imaginary wars mentally when in fact things are quieter on the ground. It is we in the diaspora who have problems. Assign me here in the United States to organize such campaigns. I will start with my region in South-West United States and move to Washington DC. We must stop mental wars...

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        • 25 November 2012 12:43, by Mi diit

          Also the SPLA is full of tribal officers. Start the trauma healing with Malaak Ayuen Ajok who works day and night fighting mental war by promoting Dinkaism in his tribal SPLA TV programs. He wants the world to believe that only the Dinka fought the war when it is not. He contributes alot to discontent by falsifying history. When will you end his assignment so that an impartial officer takes over?

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          • 25 November 2012 13:06, by Ruach

            Wow! That is what he has been fighting for. "Peace and Reconciliation." Go Gar Nya-Goknyang!

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    • 25 November 2012 19:26, by SouthSudaneseviews

      Dr. Riek, I am afraid to say this; you didn’t make apology yet. Leave that made-up apology of yours to Dinka Bor (Bor County only). Other Dinka tribes need your clear apology. They can forgive you if you do it right in way and not being deceived by few intellectuals who didn’t suffering from your political reasons by the way.

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      • 25 November 2012 20:05, by Mi diit

        SouthSudaneseViews,
        Well, my view is that there is no need for a million apologies by Dr. Riek going from village to village, from Dinka clan to Dinka clan. Send me to Juba and I record his apology and play it to Dinka communities on TV sets to see it. And by the way, the Nuer and other tribes are waiting for similar apologies from Dinka leaders starting with Abel Alier. When will they do it???

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        • 26 November 2012 04:57, by SouthSudaneseviews

          Mi Diit
          My friend, if something has to do with human lives. It has to be addressed through good way and not political way like it did happen. Do you think that a smaller tribe of Dinka Bor (I truly mean only, Bor County) represent every main branches of Dinka tribes who were affected by the 1991 Dinka massacre, Eastern Dinka massacre or Southeastern Dinka, Jonglei Dinka, Greater Upper Nile Dinka?

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    • 25 November 2012 23:14, by Mwalimu Kuol

      Good move your distinguished vice president Machar. Our communities need reconciliation more than anything else at this time.It is true that many of the past injustices done have blurred many people perceptions and impaired their visions. Now is the time for us to reconcile and to embrace peace and unity within our communities and therefore giving development a chance.

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  • 25 November 2012 06:22, by Mr Equal

    How many years now for those cases.Korkar 32 years and 1991 division 21 years. If Dr Reick want to run for persidnt in 2015,he should make reconciliation with bor-denka otherwise no need to collect all ten states.So SPLM saw that communities are not killing themselves any more then it want to scratch the wounded places again so citizens will be busy fighting each other.

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    • 25 November 2012 06:39, by Snipper

      This is how we need a leader to think! Bringing people togethere is quite imperative in regard to our national cohesion and prosperity! The times of militiasm and nyatism are over and we need peace and visionary leadership. Some Nuers will be surprised when they see Dinkas voting in Dr. Machar in any future contest.

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    • 25 November 2012 06:40, by Joseph Canada

      The 2015 Election will only be based on what they have done to earn trust by people of South Sudan.
      Telling people Bla bla bla and no action or add more suffering will never work. Murle and suffering, Bombs are still being dropped from the North, Stollen Money have not been recovered and no one have been arrested. Billion of Dollars on swiss Banks. Harrasing and tourturing is up. Land dispute on!

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    • 25 November 2012 19:28, by SouthSudaneseviews

      Dr. Riek, I am afraid to say this; you didn’t make apology yet. Leave that made-up apology of yours to Dinka Bor (Bor County only). Other Dinka tribes need your clear apology. They can forgive you if you do it right in way and not being deceived by few intellectuals who didn’t suffering from your political reasons by the way.

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  • 25 November 2012 06:36, by manyang mawech

    Machar tries his best for peace while Kirr is busy of looting some bucks what wonderful country to live in. Good move Mr.VP. May be Dinka Agaar would come to their senses of humanity. And dont forget to include Murles in conference even though it wont make any sense to them.

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    • 25 November 2012 19:29, by SouthSudaneseviews

      Dr. Riek, I am afraid to say this; you didn’t make apology yet. Leave that made-up apology of yours to Dinka Bor (Bor County only). Other Dinka tribes need your clear apology. They can forgive you if you do it right in way and not being deceived by few intellectuals who didn’t suffering from your political reasons by the way.

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  • 25 November 2012 06:47, by Mr Equal

    The reconciliation would have started during the CPA agreement. Now,you want to play with the mindes of people of Bor who some of them live with out parent or family. Dr Reick Machar by himself must do his best to be forgiven by people of Bor.But this case must not be generalise to all ten states.

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    • 25 November 2012 19:29, by SouthSudaneseviews

      Dr. Riek, I am afraid to say this; you didn’t make apology yet. Leave that made-up apology of yours to Dinka Bor (Bor County only). Other Dinka tribes need your clear apology. They can forgive you if you do it right in way and not being deceived by few intellectuals who didn’t suffering from your political reasons by the way.

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  • 25 November 2012 07:07, by George Bol

    How can someone why join the enemy/Khartoum during the bitter war become a presidency candidate. Unless the South is brainless.Weak heart people need scrutiny before being leaders other if border war come up they will run to Jallaba or abroad with the entire assets of South Sudan because he is not care. Machar must keep quit if he want to run for 2015. If SPLM allow then that is a chance for DC.

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    • 25 November 2012 18:58, by Bolman

      Hey Bol u re too blind&deaf mindless triblism supporters selfishness who don’t even understand where we all stand for now u still preeching damagesdinkasmindless sceneless conception u re the part of pple who downside this beautiful young Nation of SS we can lives in peace without type such akind of person like u,ur comments always are unless dimminded,without Nuer contribution who could runs this

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    • 25 November 2012 18:58, by Bolman

      Hey Bol u re too blind&deaf mindless triblism supporters selfishness who don’t even understand where we all stand for now u still preeching damagesdinkasmindless sceneless conception u re the part of pple who downside this beautiful young Nation of SS we can lives in peace without type such akind of person like u,ur comments always are unless dimminded,without Nuer contribution who could runs this

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    • 25 November 2012 19:30, by SouthSudaneseviews

      Dr. Riek, I am afraid to say this; you didn’t make apology yet. Leave that made-up apology of yours to Dinka Bor (Bor County only). Other Dinka tribes need your clear apology. They can forgive you if you do it right in way and not being deceived by few intellectuals who didn’t suffering from your political reasons by the way.

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  • 25 November 2012 07:11, by 4Justice

    My trauma is Kiir’s lack of leadership, let’s organise a truck load of beer and send him to his village where he can enjoy his beer without endangering the lives of our people. The cleanup can than begin with the elimination of corruption, cronyism,incompetency, greed, tribalism and various other maleficence.

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    • 25 November 2012 19:30, by SouthSudaneseviews

      Dr. Riek, I am afraid to say this; you didn’t make apology yet. Leave that made-up apology of yours to Dinka Bor (Bor County only). Other Dinka tribes need your clear apology. They can forgive you if you do it right in way and not being deceived by few intellectuals who didn’t suffering from your political reasons by the way.

      repondre message

  • 25 November 2012 07:38, by Jalaby

    The south can’t be reconciled for the following reasons:
    1. The cows, as long as the south is full of cows then the people will continue to raid fight and kill themselves over cows because S Sudan people are mad of cows!

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    • 25 November 2012 07:46, by George Bol

      Jallab from Nyamnyam, we need cattle because we get milk, meat, hides, they arr paid for dowry, the sense of pride.Why do you hate cows? Get the hell out here yeah coward-the south guy who love enemy more than brothers and sisters.

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      • 25 November 2012 07:53, by Jalaby

        George Bol,
        The south problem will continue as long as Dinka believe they were born to rule and others should stay behind!

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    • 25 November 2012 07:50, by Jalaby

      2.Dinka & Nuer, they can’t live in harmony because ship should always have only one captain otherwise they will fight over who should lead and what direction the ship should go
      I believe one captain will try to get rid of the other by throwing him into the sea,that ship will sink anyway in the sea killing all the passengers on board due to stupidity of the 2 captains!

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      • 25 November 2012 18:44, by Mi diit

        Jalaby,
        Which tribe in North Sudan owns the ship and its captain (President). Is it the ja’ali, Shaighe or Dongole? Leadership is for every competent individual from any community. Neither the Dinka nor the Nuer should be the permanent captain of the ship. But you wish further divisions between the Dinka and Nuer, I know that.

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      • 25 November 2012 19:31, by SouthSudaneseviews

        Dr. Riek, I am afraid to say this; you didn’t make apology yet. Leave that made-up apology of yours to Dinka Bor (Bor County only). Other Dinka tribes need your clear apology. They can forgive you if you do it right in way and not being deceived by few intellectuals who didn’t suffering from your political reasons by the way.

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  • 25 November 2012 08:38, by manyang mawech

    Bol and Dinka M.
    If the case could be 1991, you both should go to court and file the shit up otherwise you are in painful jealous of Machar’s moves. We are fuck tire with cowboy…with chicken brain not human.We said no to yr king Garang so what? I am so happy for the move which was taken by Lou Nuer in 1991..If Nuer didn’t teach Dinka Bor the lesson of 1991, thenSouth becomes a Dinka country toda

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    • 25 November 2012 19:31, by SouthSudaneseviews

      Dr. Riek, I am afraid to say this; you didn’t make apology yet. Leave that made-up apology of yours to Dinka Bor (Bor County only). Other Dinka tribes need your clear apology. They can forgive you if you do it right in way and not being deceived by few intellectuals who didn’t suffering from your political reasons by the way.

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  • 25 November 2012 08:40, by Liberator

    well, we can’t thx anyone at this moment. n indeed, we did liberate the country for peace for all n 2 change the past for better. we won’t b happy if we c a nuer or any other s.sudanese cries. however, the past pains us a lot n u must remember this; u hated us for being gud...we might forgive u wen u take a convincing n realistic lead but...https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=459574947421555&s

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    • 25 November 2012 19:32, by SouthSudaneseviews

      Dr. Riek, I am afraid to say this; you didn’t make apology yet. Leave that made-up apology of yours to Dinka Bor (Bor County only). Other Dinka tribes need your clear apology. They can forgive you if you do it right in way and not being deceived by few intellectuals who didn’t suffering from your political reasons by the way.

      repondre message

  • 25 November 2012 09:34, by master

    may be they will sign peace on papers but i swear it will never be on the ground

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    • 25 November 2012 19:32, by SouthSudaneseviews

      Dr. Riek, I am afraid to say this; you didn’t make apology yet. Leave that made-up apology of yours to Dinka Bor (Bor County only). Other Dinka tribes need your clear apology. They can forgive you if you do it right in way and not being deceived by few intellectuals who didn’t suffering from your political reasons by the way.

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  • 25 November 2012 12:12, by lomodong

    Land is not an issue from G.Eq unless its said just as a tool to boil hatred to that law abiding community of SS. Why p’ple much complaint of G.E just, because their sole objectives are not to their expectation. I have been to some south Sudan’s states capital land issue r seems to be worse as a trader could not be aloud to buy land for business. Warap state early this yr in july had expelled

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    • 25 November 2012 19:32, by SouthSudaneseviews

      Dr. Riek, I am afraid to say this; you didn’t make apology yet. Leave that made-up apology of yours to Dinka Bor (Bor County only). Other Dinka tribes need your clear apology. They can forgive you if you do it right in way and not being deceived by few intellectuals who didn’t suffering from your political reasons by the way.

      repondre message

  • 25 November 2012 12:13, by lomodong

    Staff working for NRC and the reasons were not clear. No complaints raised.

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    • 25 November 2012 19:33, by SouthSudaneseviews

      Dr. Riek, I am afraid to say this; you didn’t make apology yet. Leave that made-up apology of yours to Dinka Bor (Bor County only). Other Dinka tribes need your clear apology. They can forgive you if you do it right in way and not being deceived by few intellectuals who didn’t suffering from your political reasons by the way.

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  • 25 November 2012 17:13, by Mapuor

    Reconciliation is always good.The upcoming generation needs peace and the environment for such peace should be created now.The past must be forgotten in order to have good future.

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    • 25 November 2012 19:33, by SouthSudaneseviews

      Dr. Riek, I am afraid to say this; you didn’t make apology yet. Leave that made-up apology of yours to Dinka Bor (Bor County only). Other Dinka tribes need your clear apology. They can forgive you if you do it right in way and not being deceived by few intellectuals who didn’t suffering from your political reasons by the way.

      repondre message

  • 25 November 2012 17:51, by belle loboi

    There is no need for this reconciliation campaign because it raise all questions that were forgot by many people in South Sudan. Every community had lost someone in both NORTH-SOUTH WAR and SOUTH-INTERNAL WAR which consists of communities conflict of leadership interest. The people of South Sudan will not elect a leader due to past experience but what he or she had done during this past 7 years

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  • 25 November 2012 19:26, by SouthSudaneseviews

    Dr. Riek, I am afraid to say this; you didn’t make apology yet. Leave that made-up apology of yours to Dinka Bor (Bor County only). Other Dinka tribes need your clear apology. They can forgive you if you do it right in way and not being deceived by few intellectuals who didn’t suffering from your political reasons by the way.

    repondre message

    • 25 November 2012 20:12, by Mi diit

      South Sudaneseviews,
      Well, my view is that there is no need for a million apologies by Dr. Riek going from village to village, from Dinka clan to Dinka clan. Send me to Juba and I record his apology and play it to Dinka communities on TV sets to see it. And by the way, the Nuer and other tribes are waiting for similar apologies from Dinka leaders starting with Abel Alier. When will they do it??

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  • 25 November 2012 19:36, by Nguetbuny de Luelpiny

    Jalaba@ children of Deng Garang/Abuk will claim ancestral land one day. North Sudan Kiirtuom, Chandit, Dongla and Pandeng along the red sea. North Africa belongs to them, not Prussians invaders.
    Rehabilitation programe for southern to teach love among communities is good. Dinka will rule Sudan in general you like or not. Dinka have man power, vision, Nationality, love of Land,spirits

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  • 25 November 2012 22:01, by Andrew Okuch

    I think that’s a brilliant idea the Gov’t is taking. The only people who will make South Sudan what we all wanted it to be is US, the S. Sudanese. If we stop this madness of murdering each other and live as one people in one nation, we will be a great nation amongst nations. I hope you’re for what you are now starting Mr. VP we need lasting peace amongst our people, they need to be educated so the

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    • 25 November 2012 22:08, by Andrew Okuch

      If citizens are educated on the importances of the laws, they will respect each other otherwise we will live in that primitive kind of live. S.Sudan needs to wake up

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  • 26 November 2012 04:57, by SouthSudaneseviews

    Mi Diit
    My friend, if something has to do with human lives. It has to be addressed through good way and not political way like it did happen. Do you think that a smaller tribe of Dinka Bor (I truly mean only, Bor County) represent every main branches of Dinka tribes who were affected by the 1991 Dinka massacre, Eastern Dinka massacre or Southeastern Dinka, Jonglei Dinka, Greater Upper Nile Dinka?

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  • 26 November 2012 06:40, by Nguetbuny de Luelpiny

    Riek Machar Teny is ok to make reconciliation among southern communities but will not let him be elected as presidents in 2015. It will not be enough for him to be as a president of south. It is only give him a pardon of walking like the ordinary citizen in the Country. Riek is still at large suspicious due to his tribal minded and not a good leader naturally. His group could not be trusted all

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    • 26 November 2012 07:55, by Gulung -dit

      IT IS GOOD TO RECONCILE WITH REST OF THE TRIBE BUT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR ALL DINKA PEOPLE TO RECONCILE WITH NUER THE TRIBE OF RIEK MACHR TENY DOG
      DEATH TO NUER LEADER WHO JOIN ARAB IN 1991

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      • 26 November 2012 09:08, by Mi diit

        Hey guys,
        But don’t forget that Salva Kiir is president today because Riek Machar and his Nuer plus the rest of the tribes in South Sudan agreed to give him that chance as president, otherwise if they said NO, Kiir would not sit as president even for one day. So let us forgive each other and stop such mental sickness of tribal hatred. It was not Dinka alone who elected Salva Kiir.

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