Categories: Commentary

NHIAL RIEK: Problems Facing African Society

CALGARY – Patrice Lumumba once said “The day will come when history will speak….. Africa will write its own history…. it will be a history of glory and dignity.”

Here are some of the main problems facing African people today.


Western World leaders always support African dictators for their colonial agenda is still alive today. The West has no interest in Africa being self-reliant whatsoever. That way, the West retains it colonial power over African countries by giving Aid here and there in return for our resources which are far more valuable than the Aid offered to us. The West keeps our dictators in power so they can manipulate them and loot the country’s resources and/or punish their enemies using them.

For example, president of Uganda,Yoweri K. Museveni has been re-elected recently as the president of Uganda for the fifth term. The Western World leaders, and the International community are not doing anything though they know it very well that the election was rigged. It is obvious because the problem isn’t theirs. Why should they care? Whenever there is an election in any of the countries in Africa, the West sends observers to make sure the election is free and fair. But African presidents always rig elections before them, and they will just recognize the election results without a mention of possible rigging in the election process. It is simple! They are not here to make sure the election goes as smooth as could be, but to make sure it goes in the direction of the candidate supporting or upholding their involvements in African leaderships. Why send observers and waste money if you are not going to do anything when the election turns out not to be free and fair?

Our dictators are being kept in power by the West for the intention is to keep Africa from progressing considering the vast resources we have. President Museveni will always be the president of Uganda if Dr. Kizza Besigye and people of Uganda will not try different way to remove him from presidency. The same is true for other African presidents who turned dictators. The West will keep him in power because they used him, and will use him to kill anyone they don’t like. One clear evident is how they allowed him to involve militarily in politics of other neighbouring countries such as South Sudan, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo.


Merriam Webster Dictionary defines tribalism as ”the state or fact of being organized in a tribe or tribes. Or the behaviours and attitudes that stem from strong loyalty to one’s own tribe or social group.” So many people in Africa always support thieves and stupid leaders just because they come from the same tribes as them. This got to stop if we want a better and peaceful Africa. Study the person first before you follow him/her. Make sure you know what his/her visions are before you support him/her. It is sad that most of the African men/women in uniforms are being used by the tribal leaders to achieve their personal objectives and political ambitions to the point of death. Are you willing to die for another man’s self-centred vision or visions that take your country forward and Africa as whole? As a man/woman, you are mature enough and you can make good decisions that can protect and save innocent lives. For instance, Ugandan soldiers were acting as if Besigye would kill them and/or treat them differently if he becomes the president of Uganda.

Another example, tribal militias, Mathiang Anyoor and Doot Ku Beny recruited by president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit. These people accepted to carry out Genocide against innocent Nuer civilians in Juba on December 15, 2013 just because Salva Kiir told them that their enemy was/is ‘NUER’. They executed Salva Kiir’s evil plan, and they are not being treated well as they were promised. They don’t get their salaries on time and so forth. Salva Kiir didn’t do that because the Nuer were the enemy of Jieeng (Dinka), but he did it so that he can maintain his presidency.


When we are fighting against each other for leadership, the winner will always be someone else. African tribes had been fighting against each other for leadership for so many years, and the one who benefited from these wars was and will always be the West. They will come into your country to help you but that is not the reality. They will take your resources and will give you back little as Aid. Aren’t you Africans tired of wars? Western World is using wars to control the growing African population but you are not seeing this. That is why you are killing each other every now and then over simple things you are capable of solving without violence.


The big problem facing us today is lack of understanding and knowledge. If something goes wrong between two individuals. They can sit down and solve the problem before it spreads out and affect many people who have nothing to do with such disagreements and their motivations. In Africa and some other parts of the world, minor problems always cause havoc because of lack of understanding and knowledge.

Our community elders who are supposed to guide the young people from getting into all these unnecessary fightings are the one who create them. Then, they influence young people to fight on their behalf by selling them lies in the name of their respective tribes. We the youth must step up and fight for our rights and create our own future and destiny, which will accommodate everyone regardless of his/her background, tribe, religion and political affiliations. Young leaders who are committed to work for the betterment of Africans, Africa and its environment are emerging from every corner of the continent. This old system of totalitarian will not exist no more. Those young leaders will never be manipulated by the Western World leaders for they will know what is better and good for Africa. Are you willing to be the change Africa needs to be self-reliant, independent and free from dead Aid offered by the West? If so, the journey must begin now! We must rise up to take what is ours back. We are the ones keeping these dictators in power. We have the power to take that power from them and put it in the hands of true leaders whose visions are going to bring rapid changes that will take Africa to the next level. We must rise or we will perish!

Nhial Riek is a Human Right Activist Living in Calgary, AB, Canada and can be reached through nhialb2@yahoo.com, Facebook; @Gat Riek.

NOTE: the opinions expressed herein are entirely for the Author of this article. The Upper Nile Times have no responsibility on the contents published here.

The Upper Nile Times

Times Wire Staff: