Discard Tribalism: Former First Lady Rebecca Nyandeng

Former South Sudan’s First Lady Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior has urged South Sudanese to abandon tribalism.

Nyandeng, the wife of the late freedom fighter and nationalist Dr John Garang de Mabior instead advised Southerners to be patriotic and respect each other’s ethnic backgrounds.

She condemned those using their ethnic communities and culture to ignite violence and promotion of discrimination.

Nyandeng who is also the Government of Southern Sudan’s Presidential Advisor on Gender and Human Rights called for enactment of a law to address tribalism in South Sudan.

She said unity of all ethnic communities is crucial as the referendum approaches, adding that tribalism can obstruct the way towards freedom.

“There has been rampant tribalism in South Sudan since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005. If not addressed, most communities will continue being divided besides widespread hatred”, Nyandeng said during this year’s Miss Malaika South Sudan pageant.

She condemned favouritism of certain ethnic communities at the expense of others, adding that such a practice was a recipe for inter-ethnic conflicts and hatred.

Nyandeng urged South Sudanese to vote for secession in next month’s referendum, saying it is the only way for the South to attain the fruits of its liberation struggle.

She at the same time called for humility from Southern ethnic communities as they negotiate with the Arab North for their own country.

A report released early this year by non-governmental organisations operating in South Sudan indicated that tribalism has greatly contributed to inter-ethnic conflicts in the semi-autonomous region.

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