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Dinka people - from liberators to MTN

By Deng Kiir Akok

It was on Friday, March 10, 2017 night when I was thinking of what would be the fate of the Dinka travellers on Juba - Nimule and Yei roads this time after the national prayers.

In the minds of South Sudanese people, the Friday national prayers were meant to change and prepare the hearts of the country's politicians to be ready for the involvement in the long awaited national dialogue which was due to start this month.

Another hope for the prayers was to forgive one another.  Some of us were praying to the almighty God asking if He could change the minds of the Equatoria's roads terrorists to abandon their evil nicknaming and killing of Dinka people.

The MTN's slogan, "Everywhere You Go," had been used by the killers along Juba - Nimule and Yei roads to categorically kill Dinka and leave non-Dinka bus passengers since the war broke out in 2013, between the forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and his former Vice President and rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar.

During the liberation era, the Dinka people from their areas in two regions of Greater Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile, joined the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) in thousands. And that material support was much appreciated by other southern's ethnic groups who had also taken part in the struggles.

Because the majority of those minority tribesmen and women with the exception of Nuer were able to made it to school. That scare opportunity at the time enabled them to enjoy military administrative positions among mostly cattle keeping experienced SPLA Dinka soldiers.

In fact, it's not too late for these small tribes and the Equatoria's roads terrorists in particular, to honour the services the Dinka people did for this nation by providing thousands of fighters in the two bitter south - north civil wars that gave the South Sudanese people, a separate state from Sudan in 2011.

Instead of giving Dinka people a credibility, the roads killers nicknamed them to be MTN. Not only that, they also hate them to death and kill them to make their hatred toward Dinka people a reality.

They search the travelling buses for the forbidden goods as their term to refer to Dinka people. When a Dinka is found in a bus, is mocked at for a short time and then ruthlessly kill.

Believe me or not, if those victims of Equatoria's roads would make their way back to life right now and asked whether they wanted to travel on the same roads, they would 'strongly disagree' with the question.

The reason why they would not choose to avoid these roads is very clear and no one would need more explanations for that. This is because of inhuman they had encountered and eternally took their dear lives.

Those roads killers with stone faces stationed somewhere in the outskirts of Equatoria's towns as they look for members of the Dinka tribe.

The fact that the Dinka people are found everywhere in South Sudan and especially on Equatoria's land, prompts the haters to match the matter with that of MTN's famous slogan.

What does this imply in the African tradition for Dinka's haters? No grounds that would deny they are bewitching the community.

But they lack knowledge that the Dinka being the largest tribe in South Sudan was a gift from God and no son of man could alter the creation as I always say. I also wrote on this matter in my previous articles.

Reducing their number by killing some of its members on roads would not finish them, but rather would put them on high alert for the threat poses by those hired assassins.

"You will kill them (Dinka people) till you get tired as the Arab did," wrote one writer on Paanluel Wel blog in reaction to the killing of Pope Ajiith Akuei, a former SPLA officer and Professor at University of Juba, last year on the Juba - Nimule road.

Of course, killing Dinka people on their ways from Juba to Nimule, Yei and other towns of the region that are not mentioned here, will not finish them anyway, but it would make the entire Dinka tribe develop a recurring hatred toward the people of Equatoria region.

One would be surprised and left mouth open if he/she hears that some of the non-educated Dinka people in the remote villages, deep in Greater Bahr el Ghazal are not aware up to the current time that they are called Dinka, but what they know is that they belong to Jieng.

So far, they don't know Nimule, Yei and Kaya where their beloved sons and daughters are killed around the clock.

To be frank, they heard of Juba and Malakal in South Sudan, Khartoum in Sudan, and Bilpam, Panyiido and Bongo SPLA military bases in Ethiopia for training during the southern Sudanese insurgency against the Khartoum government.

For one to make sense of  the current problem facing the Dinka community in the region, those Equatoria's roads terrorists might have fed up with the tribe's dominance of tea places, lodges, hotels, restaurants, churches, mosques, schools and market places of non-Dinka towns. Leave alone their present in the national government and the army in big numbers, which had already driven some of the Equatorians mad.

Those roads terrorists, intentionally refused to recognize the fact that the then country's southern tribes, including the Dinka whom they called MTN this day, had fought the north for one common interest before and after the independence of Sudan in 1956.

Last but not the least, it's time now for South Sudanese people to unite and forget their past grievances.

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