By Deng Kur Deng
In the last couple of months, many citizens of Jonglei have overwhelmingly expressed their excitement in regard to the new Jonglei State. Previously, Jonglei has experienced enormous security issues–some of which have carried over to the current Jonglei state. Our people’s priorities are seeking ways to resolve these security issues, but there are many other concerns that need our collective attention, especially from our leaders. Also known as Greater Bor, Jonglei State is comprised of many influential politicians who are committed to serving our people’s interests.
Their integrity and unpretentious work hand in hand to enhance our approach in addressing issues of unity within the Greater Bor Community at large. Many of our influential Jonglei politicians are: Michael Makuei Lueth, Deng Dau Malek, Dr. Majak Agoot Atem, Kuol Manyang Juuk, Dr. Agot Alier Leek, Aguer Panyang Jot, Philip Thon Leek, and Mama Nyandeng Garang Mabior. Some of these influential leaders have demonstrated their duties, but there are many things that are yet to be addressed in our communities. It has come to our attention that members of our communities have resorted to contemptible and disreputable behaviors, which are rapidly distorting our collective identity as the Greater Bor community. I can honestly say that members of our communities overseas have always overstepped boundaries and tarnished the values that guide these very communities.
We have memorable experiences within the Bor community, and this must be recognized and maintained by our leaders and its citizens. As you may have heard, there are slight differences among our leaders at the political level; however, we would like to see them create a productive environment among themselves, as this will energize the younger generation and help them understand our unity. These days, youth and even scholars from the outside are entertained by and even engage in these controversies. So you, our influential politicians, must agree to address the things that divide us, particularly those coming from the mischievous individuals who are left to dominate and destroy all waves of unity. Even though our communities are well organized under your leadership, there are constant issues of identity and the dominance of certain groups, which are inaccurate and pointless positions to begin with.
There must be a way to guide these communities that are not well-guided because we are divided over little issues, which makes it even more challenging when addressing the major issues. We would like you, our leaders, to empower us to appreciate harmony among ourselves here and at home. What we are asking is for your involvement in and engagement of the communities on sensitive issues. The tarnishing of communities has become a new phenomenon to a number of individuals. These actions are not very compelling and are quite revealing in a negative way. I know you are not only very influential in Bor Community or Jonglei state at large, but you are also very influential at the national government level, which is something many of us are proud of because we are well-respected there.
I remember talking to two of my friends who are not from Jonglei and told me about how we are feared and respected in South Sudan. The way we carry ourselves has a lot to do with it. “The government of South Sudan is strong because of Greater Bor leaders,” they said. I didn’t know whether to be flattered or to accept their compliments, but the facts remain to be true. I am aware that we the people from Bor are well-respected because of our decision making and the strength we have always presented even amidst confusion. I have been discouraged lately by the hatred uttered daily by individuals residing in diaspora, whose level of ignorance has reached its maximum height.
We are constantly fighting the unknown, and this is unacceptable in a community you all come from, but I urge you, our leaders, to address some of the known issues in your respective communities, starting with Athooc-Gok, Twic East, and Dukeen. You have held high standards for our communities and it is not a good signal when people like Deng Dau are quiet. Deng Dau was very good at dealing with many complex issues in the camp and therefore, such strategies he employed are desperately needed in Jonglei. Your loyalty to the people is very crucial in our communities. You have proven that Jonglei isn’t a transient home because the next generation will have values to carry on. Your leadership is our first option because of the commitment each of you have exhibited in your respective constituencies.
We are considered superior decision makers because of our leaders’ decision making mechanisms and approaches. In our communities, we have politicians who are well respected at the national level and within our communities. However, something that I hate about our current generation is that some of us are losing respect: little boys and girls utter insults towards these very influential politicians. I have realized that our people desperately need unity among our communities here in the diaspora and at home. In our respective communities, many of us have seen how disarrayed we have become among our influential politicians. Based on our individual knowledge, many of these politicians have been very constructive in representing us at the national level–something I am proud to say. Our unity remains vital, so adherence to the norms our communities have always observed is the answer. As of right now, there are noticeable differences among some leaders and we would like them to be settled so that we can live in harmony among each other.