Lagu fought to see South Sudan become an independent country and also he wanted his people, the South Sudanese, to be free from being dominated by some ethnic hegemonies and hence the regionalism also commonly known amongst the Southerners as Kokora, which was born to prevent what is happening in South Sudan today.
Contrary to his counterpart, Abel Alier’s vision was to have his people the Dinkas to dominate the other ethnic minority groups based on population size and hence the phrase “born to rule” was born.
Judging from what culminated, Lagu got not only his desires to implement the regionalism agenda coined by the Jellaba in the North but also finally South Sudan got her independence from the Arabized Northern Sudan.
And also Alier got his desires of tribal monopolization in which his Dinka ethnic people became the new face of domination.
To this date these two leaders’ visions impregnated the minds of people in the new nation, it is reasonable to assume that the new generation of South Sudanese are unable to move forward and to come up with new visions.
Most of the new leaderships are embroiled in bitter disagreements of which ways to take to move forward.
Any kind of move to reform the old system is seen as a suspicious move by either side, trust has eroded in our communities so much that even within the same families and clans and tribes to national level, everyone thinks someone is here coming to get me.
The regime in Juba thinks the opposition is coming up with regime change agenda and to levy punishments on regime supporters for the past crimes, meanwhile the oppositions see the regime in Juba are vying for more control and to continue the oppression and to grab power by force in the next elections, if there will be any elections.
If there is anything that South Sudanese will never tolerate is being subjugated to policies that they don’t agree with. This is evident and can be seen from the historical backgrounds of our people’s struggles.
They would rather opt to suffer rather than being treated like second class citizens or more or less like slaves in a country which all our peoples suffered to liberate, they will never put up with dictatorships.
Since the period of colonial eras our peoples resisted the attempts to being ruled by systems that suppressed their voices and neglected their traditional norms.
The real question to ask ourselves and this includes those foreign entities who are trying to implement lasting peace in South Sudan. As much as they have well intention to save the suffering people of South Sudan, but what they need to realize is that any system that they force upon the people without consensus will just be another breeding grounds for hatreds creating more challenges and it will backfire in the future.
By now; we as South Sudanese should understand that forcing each other’s opinions and traditional systems upon other ethnic groups will not work.
By the same token, since Abel Alier and Joseph Lagu are still alive I suggest that it is about time these two need to sit face to face and make genuine peace, to initiate the national reconciliation. For both of them have already have seen the fruits of their initiatives.
Before they leave us they need to make peace and denounce the negative aspects of their visions, namely “Kokora” and “born to rule” visions were their worst failures.
But their vision of independence of South Sudan was the best achievement that 99% of South Sudanese agreed with and that should be the legacy that these two leaders need to leave behind.
Just as recently as we saw in his tours of the US, the leader of National Salvation Front or NAS, Gen. Thomas Cirilo, called for new system, which we as a nation should look at his visions more closely and examine his intentions with some keen interests.
Gen. Cirilo personally declared that his movement is to restore peace and bring about a system that will bring lasting peace, in what he claimed will make every South Sudanese be a shareholder.
We must not just blindly oppose his visions just because Thomas Cirilo comes from Equatoria. You might have heard some people on social media opposing his visions especially those supporting the government are antagonistic that Gen. Cirilo is trying to breakaway Equatoria region from the rest of South Sudan.
I am sure the opposite is true, and I challenge everyone opposed should give a listening ear for once as the General is crying out to everyone. He even mentioned about that they “Dinkas need to be rescued from the grips of the regime in Juba,” there are many examples but that Dinkas are suffering just like everyone else.
Look at what is happening to the former Chief of Staff Gen. Paul Malong Awan. http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article63857
There have never been many leaders who eloquently can admit that the very people who are oppressing his own people and robbing everything like the regime in Juba grabbing his own ancestral soil in Rajaf.
How could anyone still stay calm and call for rescue of the people who torment his people?
This is a unique character of leaders in our time that we haven’t seen for a long time. And perhaps only seen in the context of scriptures that was displayed by two people; Stephen in Acts of Apostles was being stoned to death and yet prayed that “forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing”.
Again Jesus Christ was nailed onto the cross, even at the excruciatingly painful moments of his life he looked up and said “father forgive them.”
These are the real and true hearts of people who today have left lasting impacts on countless believers we call Christians today. I am not comparing Thomas Cirilo to Jesus or Stephen but only giving examples.
I believe part of the solutions of multi-ethnic society like South Sudan should be a secular system in which religion and personal beliefs should be left to individual choices, all that I am referring to are the ideals of self-sacrifice.
Genuine leaders must deny their personal interests and put the national interests first. As opposed to what we have witnessed in the hands of SPLM party, starting from the time of peace agreements with the North to the referendum, until today instead of progress all that we see is digressions.
Hence forth, from their own words we should be able to hold leaders accountable if they fail to deliver as what they promise. https://www.facebook.com/NASAnyaNya2017/videos/1741819869446652/
Putting tribalism aside, Thomas Cirilo went further admitting that his own Bari people are divided and others would say “he is from Rajaf”, and some Equatorians would say “he is from Bari… it’s a Bari movement” and yet some South Sudanese would say “he is from Equatoria, it is an Equatorian movement”.
These are very painful and saddest moments in our lives, as a nation of multicultural heritage we are not the first to experience such downward spiralling, all our neighboring countries are no different but they have learnt to coexist, we should borrow from their experiences to resolve our differences.
In conclusion, Mr. Cirilo has displayed a unique character far from a tribal leader like Salva Kirr and some others, he again reiterated in an interview; https://www.facebook.com/GatKoang20/videos/1440167149392193.
That he wants to see the best of everything to ALL South Sudanese people regardless of who you are. I bet you will disagree with me but I also think many have disagreed with what is happening in our country now but yet we allow it to continue.
And so why don’t we give Thomas Cirilo a chance to prove himself? If he is really who he claims, his fruition should be put to test by giving him our supports.
Thomas Cirilo said a lot of things and I cannot analyze all of them here. Without prejudices anyone should take a moment and listen to his speeches and interviews. Perhaps we have a man of peace right here before us and let us give him a chance.
Just as we have given our previous leaders the chances to prove themselves and when we don’t like them we can as usual remove them from the seat.
I urge the great peoples of South Sudan and particularly the two majority groups of the Dinkas and the Nuers to give Thomas Cirilo a chance so that we could maintain the unity of our young nation. If we don’t act fast enough then we may be risking the inevitability of disintegration.