Home | News    Saturday 10 March 2012

Juba University bans tribal associations


March 9, 2012 (BOR) – The Juba University Students’ Union (JUSU) has dissolved associations based on “tribal lines” after recent violence between ethnic groups in Juba South Sudan’s capital and in Jonglei the country’s largest state.

This is the second university in South Sudan to ban students groups based on tribal or regional backgrounds. The first was the Dr. John Garang de Mabior Memorial University of Science and Technology, which is based in Bor, the capital of conflict-affected Jonglei.

Tribalism is a sensitive issue in South Sudan where the rate of illiteracy is high and the country is struggling to develop a national identity. Reconciling the tribally divided country is one of the main challenges facing the eight month old nation.

During South Sudan’s two civil wars with various Khartoum governments spanning most of Sudan’s independence from Anglo-Egyptian rule in 1956 - some tribes were co-opted to fight for the government against southern rebels.

As well as these historical - but raw - grievances, cattle raiding often occurs along South Sudan’s tribal fault-lines, which in many cases are mirrored by the South Sudan’s administrative state and county boundaries.

Fighting, cattle raids, and child abduction between the Murle tribe of Pibor county and the Luo Nuer and Dinka Bor tribes Jonglei state has killed well over 1,000 people over the last year according to the UN. The latest major clashes in December and January have affected over 120,000 people the UN say.

In a copy of the Dr. John Garang de Mabior Memorial University of Science and Technology 2010 Students’ Union Constitution, obtained by Sudan Tribune, article 12 on clubs and societies states that student organisations must not have more than two-thirds of it’s membership from one tribe, state, county, Payam (district) or region.

The university in Bor, Jonglei state, was named after John Garang, the founder of South Sudan’s ruling party the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), which came to power in 2005 as part of a peace deal with north Sudan. Garang’s "new Sudan" vision was for a unified Sudan, where all people were treated equally regardless of ethnicity or religion.

However, after his untimely death in a helicopter crash days after assuming power in South Sudan and becoming the First Vice President of Sudan, the prospects of South Sudan choosing unity in a referendum on self-determination became remote. In January 2011, following an acrimonious six years of power sharing between the SPLA and the National Congress Party, South Sudan voted overwhelmingly for independence and seceded in July last year.

The move to abolish tribal students associations at Juba University was reached by students union following arguments this weeks students from the Bari tribe, which traditional inhabits South Sudan’s capital Juba, and the Nuer ethnic group, a student source told Sudan Tribune.

The students were reacting to clashes on 4-5 March between members of the Bari community and non-Bari, particularly the Dinka and Nuer inhabitants in the capital, north of Munuki area.

Reports varying on how many were killed. Some reports claim nine where killed, while the government said Tuesday that five had died in the land dispute in the Komiru are of Gudele, a western residential suburb of Juba.

Responding to the reaction of students to the clashes Juba University’s Student Union said that associations based on tribal lines had lost educational credibility. The union said that such distinctions were old fashioned and out of date, a student who wished to remain anonymous told Sudan Tribune by phone on Friday.

Michael Guei Liah, a student representative, told the UN Radio Miraya in Juba on Thursday that groups based on “tribal association” have to been disbanded.

“Tribal associations have no purpose [apart from] creating tension among the students,” Liah said.

Security forces had to intervene to avoid clashes between students at a female dormitory, Liah said on UN radio. Security forces have also been sent by South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir to the area to try and prevent further violence over the land dispute.


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  • 10 March 2012 06:46, by Elijah B. Elkan

    This is good news, the government must enforce the rule of law in all level.Even though this government is only less than 8 months all, it’s doing it’s best.South Su8dan government must stay on the path to unite it’s citizens.Any tribe who claim to be superior to others, there leader must be investigated for incitement.All tribes must treated each other with respect regardless of their status.

    repondre message

    • 11 March 2012 04:41, by panom lualbil

      ELIJAH, please correct your english thoroughly b4 you just throw it up ONLY if you mind others to read it. Since you joined this web, it’s just a headach to figure out what something you wrote means.
      For example, it’s means it is a thing while its means one own things. your mistake: Even though this government is only less than 8 months all, it’s doing it’s best.

      repondre message

      • 12 March 2012 01:31, by Elijah B. Elkan

        Mr. panom lualbil,

        Your criticism is well taken, and you do likewise.

        repondre message

  • 10 March 2012 06:50, by Dinkawarrior

    Until our people rejected Ngundeng‘s ideologies and repent to Almighty God. Then we will lives in peace, or otherwise you will be soon joining with Muhammad, Gatluak Manguel, and Ngundeng in Hell!

    repondre message

    • 10 March 2012 10:06, by Ruach

      Dinka.Gatluak Manguel is your son.Ngundeng is not in the hell unlike Garang and Gatluak Manguel/canival from Dinka.

      repondre message

      • 10 March 2012 21:38, by Son of Upper Nile

        Ruach you should repent from worshiping Ngundeng. He is a false prophet

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  • 10 March 2012 06:59, by wang

    The Sudan Tribune should also bans those tribalism men in this web, Georg Bol, D. D. Corruptions and Dinkawarrior.

    repondre message

    • 10 March 2012 07:21, by Joseph Canada

      Good Idea! may beehould petition to have 5hese guys bend from the forum.

      repondre message

  • 10 March 2012 08:49, by Gogrialboys

    Guys, I’m sorry to see universities forming associations based on tribes. Why are we forming associations that will not cultivate peace and trust among our selves?
    I thought the universities have a clear polcies, of how associations are formed, and how to appoint or elect president in school. I know there are many associations form in school, but not base on tribes.

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    • 10 March 2012 09:23, by Sir King

      That is good, they should ban it totally, We know very well in South Sudan that Bor Community is very tribalistic and that is why they don’t associate with any other tribes in Jonglei state. It is high time to let them know, that Bor is not the best tribe only. I stayed with them for many years but nothing is comfortable on their side. They called people using different names.

      repondre message

  • 10 March 2012 10:46, by Tamongali

    It is a good step forward.please do more to avoid the accommodation of students of the same ethnic group in the same room in hostels, in order to encourage unity of southerners and discourage tribalism.

    repondre message

  • 10 March 2012 12:07, by Anynya One

    This Dinka people having their meetings behind closed doors while manipulating other tribes to not try be together?… This fucking bullish tribe will face it shortly. What the hell is a family, isn’t it a group consisting of parents and children living together in a household. Now what is a community? Isn’t it the outcome of the family? Now what the fuck is the difference? We shall vote.

    repondre message

  • 10 March 2012 12:10, by Anynya One

    You cannot break other people’s communities for no reason. I think they are getting quite comfortable now trying to build their Kingdom and have as much money and experience under our backbond. But sorry that’s not for us Equatorians… Away with Dinka Fools. Is a matter of 2 years to Vote again Monkeys.

    repondre message

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