By Charles Kon Bona Magot
In Juba South
As a society of an independent state with its own sovereignty, autonomous both in its policies relating to the implementation of rule of law and in political wing, we ought to respect and honor each other’s cultural values which are our norms and standard as citizens of this nation. Though there are still disagreements among the ethnic groups because of reasons best termed as differences in political settings which lead to grievances, there is still hope that there is a part of us which still thirsts for love, unity, respect, harmony and prosperity in our nation.
I have personally been advocating for my tribe on social media in order for its rightful and original name be confirmed as Luo and the false imposed name on the Luo people of Bahr el Ghazal be banned. I have encountered so many distractions on this path. I was challenged of why I should lower myself to communal and tribal issues rather than focusing on nation’s. I was also among other things attacked and termed as a tribal oriented individual who incites his ethnic group mates against others of which I refer such to be mare allegations. Honestly speaking I have never incited any group of my people against other ethnic groups and I am sure interpretations differ when receiving messages. This issue has nothing to do with any other ethnic group or groups. Luo people of South Sudan’s main focus is creating an awareness on social media concerning their original and frightful name as their first step but then in the process, there were some intruders who interfered and took our issue personally and also as a tribal oriented political move which is just also an allegation.
The rightful demand of Luo people of South Sudan is backed up by the interim constitution of the Republic of South Sudan and the international Bill of Rights. Luo people have no intentions to target any ethnic group among the rest of 63 tribes of the Republic of South Sudan. They are only prone to tendency when there are interferences from other ethnic group or groups who seem to be against their rightful demands. This advocacy is meant for some concerned and involved ministries and institutions in the Republic of South Sudan. You as a reader will find out as you continue reading this article.
Today, I took the courage of writing this article finally so that my fellow South Sudanese who think of me and Luo community in general as an individual or group of people whom they termed negatively get through it and try to understand why this is so important and hard.
As a community seeking for awakening in these dark days, Luo ethnic has encountered a lot of issues which seem inconvenient relating to plans and executions and as such, the community ought to pressurize the process together in order to conquer as one community seeking for the right of recognition as stated under the laws of our country in a peaceful, lawful and a well-recognized way.
In the past few years before South Sudan became an independent country of its own sovereignty, the Luo forefathers had dissatisfaction on how Luo ethnic group were recognized and identified under the laws of Sudan. When the comprehensive peace agreement was signed in 2005 between Northern and Southern Sudan that time for the sole purpose of Northern Sudan letting Southern Sudan establish its own government and handle its own affairs, the initiative of individuals’ national identity card was carried out which never recognized Luo People as Luo but ‘Jurchol’. In 2011 when South Sudan had its independence, that was the initial time and chance to finally amend and confirm the rightful and original name ‘Luo’ of which actually failed for some reasons one out of the others, failure of the Ministry of Justice forming a task to consult leaders and elders from given tribes and instead just relied on the names of ethnic groups as they were under the recognition of Sudan.
In 2012, a group of Luo elders initiated a task of fulfilling this dream which did not work because of some reasons between the group of Luo elders and the concerned ministries. The same results happened in 2014 which eventually failed and finally in 2020, the ministry of Justice recognized and issued a certificate directing Luo representatives to the Ministry of Interior and Immigration to finally confirm the rightful and original name of Luo Community and ban the false name ‘Jurchol’ imposed on Luo ethnic group the ministry of Interior however, sadly later turned down the letter of recognition issued by the Ministry of Justice and declared that such thing cannot happen and added that if that was the case then the column on the application of the National Identity Card (ID) be omitted from the application for all tribes in the Republic of South Sudan. This brings some of us to asking ‘why should that column be omitted only when it is Luo ethnic group asking for their right to correction and confirmation of their original and rightful name?’ Not only that if the tribe column is omitted under the authority of Ministry of Interior nothing is wrong with that, Luo people still need their rightful name be recognized in all the documents specifying individual tribes. Other tribes like the Pari who were before called ‘Lokoro have successfully and peacefully confirmed their original names without restrictions. Why not Luo ethnic? To make it short, the Ministry of Justice has confirmed the name but the Ministry of Interior has not yet finalized it this is where we are facing problem now.
As citizens of this nation it’s our duty to face and fight injustice whether be it against your own ethnic group or others and with this message I ask you our fellow rest of the 63 tribes to team up with Luo people of South Sudan so that they are heard. We never knew today it’s our problem and tomorrow it may be another tribe that may face a different kind of injustice. If we can’t back each other’s’ up then we are doomed. We are to come together as a nation against any unjust move directed towards one of the 64 of us. Join the campaign for Luo peoples’ right and let us make it happen together
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