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ethnic diversity and multiculturalism

Date Snippet Page
2014/05/27 SPLA soldiers in Maban County have been divided into different camps, based on ethnicity. This is reportedly due to an order from the high command. Snippet: SPLA soldiers in Maban County have been divided into different camps, ....
2014/05/27 A new mosque is a subject of dispute in Wanyjok town, Aweil East County, NBGS. A group of local youth have campaigned for it not to be allowed in a central location, but the local government overrules them. Snippet: A new mosque is a subject of dispute in Wanyjok town, Aweil East Count....
2014/04/28 James Hoth Mai, recently sacked as SPLA General Chief of Staff, says the great majority of SPLA soldiers are illiterate and have tribal loyalty to former commanders or warlords who recruited them, and this is a cause of the current crisis. He also says he does not feel bad about being removed from the post, as he was under pressure, blamed by both Dinka and Nuer for being against them. Snippet
2014/04 Following the rebel capture of Bentiu town in mid-April, some SPLM-in-Opposition commanders broadcast ethnic hate-speech, and call for vengeful sexual violence against women based on their ethnicity. (Others call for reconciliation.) Snippet 1840
2014/03/01 A Yei municipality official says property 'left by Arabs' (particularly near the Municipality) will be taken over by the government, and that people living in such properties should move out 'without any quarrel'. Snippet 1504
2013/10/02 Eastern Equatoria State approves 22 new payams (districts), bringing its the total to 75. This is in response to 'community demand', presumably meaning the desire of ethnic groups to have more local self-government. Snippet 1270
2013/09 Six people have been killed in fights in the Baka gold mine area of Talaa, Budi County, Eastern Equatoria, over an unspecified period. A county official blamed the fights on the effects of 'guu' and 'lira-lira' alcohol brewed in neighbouring districts of Uganda. The Baka gold mine area is said to be multi-ethnic, with many people from neighbouring countries, as well as criminals who flee there after committing crimes elsewhere in the county. Snippet
2013/08/08 The Madi head chief in Nimule is murdered. Other Madi leaders are arrested, but some Madi suspect the matter is related to Madi resistance to the idea of forming a town council for Nimule. This resistance is because they feel that it would provide a way of consolidating the occupation of land in the area by about 45,000 Dinka people, who have been there since the war, classified as IDPs. Snippet 1238
2013/09 Daniel Awet Akot resigns as deputy speaker in the NLA following the appointment of Magok Rundial - his junior in the SPLM/A - as the speaker. Mark Nyipouch becomes deputy speaker instead, and Jasmine Samuel the deputy speaker representing women instead of Fatima Nyawang Biliu (who had to step down because she is from the same state as Magok Rundial). Snippet 1223
2013/07/25 Joint statement by AU, IGAD and some Western states on the mass sacking of government ministers call for a new cabinet 'that reflects the diversity of the South Sudanese people'. Snippet 1027
Reference Mini-review
Zechariah Manyok Biar, 2014/05/18. Bibliography item: Zechariah Manyok Biar (2014/05/18) "How leaders contribute to tribalism in South Sudan". (Article). Sudan Tribune. [Article] Sudan Tribune. Accessed online.

This 1,000-word article contends that tribal conflicts are inflamed when political and military leaders surround themselves with bodyguards [and other staff] from their own tribe. In many South Sudan cultures, the author writes, the elders give orders to youth indirectly. For a leader in a modern state institution this has inappropriate political and legal consequences. The author recommends a legal ban on speech which belittles any ethnic group, or which suggests that one group is above the others. He also wants law to give a people freedom to live as a citizen in any state of South Sudan.

Jacob Akol, 2014/05. Bibliography item: Jacob Akol (2014/05) "The Need for an Ethnically Rooted Constitution for South Sudan as a Foundation for Democracy and National Stability". (Article). Gurtong. [Article] Gurtong. Accessed online.

This article (originally a conference paper) revives the idea of a 'House of Nationalities' - a permanent forum representing each of 60 or more defined ethnic groups in South Sudan - which had been developed between 2000 and 2004 (see here). The article suggests this should be a chamber under the constitution, possibly an upper house of parliament. The author links this to the radical recognition of sovereignty for all nationalities under the state which is professed in the Ethiopian constitution of 1994.

Oyet Nathaniel Pierino, 2014/03/24. Why President Salva kiir Must Leave Power: The Inside Story of the Meltdown of President Salva Kiir’s Regime and Collapsed [Article] South Sudan News Agency. Accessed online.

Article by a senior academic, published shortly after he publicly joined the SPLM-in-Opposition. The main thrust is to denounce President Kiir. It claims - among other things - that SPLM/A had split between Garang and Kiir factions before the 2005 signing of the CPA; that John Garang's death shortly afterwards was arranged by Uganda President Museveni; that Kuol Manyang deterred challengers to Kiir's succession with a pistol; that Kiir's irregular militias were trained by Ugandans; that Kiir ordered targeted killing of Nuer. Illustrates ethnic bias by providing lists of top office-holders.

SSHRC, 2014/03. Interim Report on South Sudan Internal Conflict December 15, 2013 - March 15, 2014 [Report] South Sudan Human Rights Commission. Accessed online.

This 13-page report by the Human Rights Commission finds that there was 'mass violation of human rights'. It details some of this, mostly without being able to attribute responsibility further than to say there was 'loss of control over forces by the government and rebel force commanders respectively'. It insists on facing up to the problem of ethnic hatred rather than denying that killings were ethnically motivated. It urges further investigation by the Government and AU commissions of inquiry, leading to prosecutions. And it doubts government claims that 100 SPLA suspects were detained.

anon, 2004?. Bibliography item: anon (2004?) "The House of Nationalities (el-Mazalla el-kawmiya)". (Publicity document). The House of Nationalities. [Publicity document] The House of Nationalities. Accessed online.

This 4-page leaflet describes the concept of The House of Nationalities, as developed in a series of meetings between 2000 and 2004, the last of these being a conference of over 300 kings, chiefs and spiritual leaders convened by the SPLM. The concept is partly a way of imagining the inter-ethnic community of South Sudan. But it was also suggested as an institution involving meetings of representatives of all the ethnic groups to advise government and help solve inter-ethnic disputes. The leaflet includes a list of 62 ethnic groups, four of which are sub-divided making a total of 90.

Paul Collier and Anke Hoeffler, 2002. Greed and grievance in civil war [Article] Centre for the Study of African economies, Oxford University. Accessed online.

Analysis of worldwide civil wars 1960-99 which seems to show that the risk of conflict in a country is substantially increased by both dependence on primary commodity exports and having a large diaspora population, but actually reduced by ethnic and religious diversity.

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