Monday November 20, 2017

NHIAL WICLEEK: South Sudan: A Nation out of Touch with Reality

CALGARY – The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) defines someone who is “psychotic’ as out of touch with reality, likely experiencing false beliefs, known as delusions, or false sights or sounds, known as hallucinations.” Does the current nature of South Sudan situation reflect the like of somebody that lost touch with reality? This paper focuses mainly on the apparent nature of the violent conflict that uprooted millions of people out of their homes, and or forcefully relocated them to seek refuge outside South Sudan.  In the paper, the writer discusses the social and political obscurity as well as the associations and disassociations in the event that they reflect the defined character depicted in the definition above.

The Obscure Political Motive as a Drive

From the day I was extracted from the main UN Protection of Civilians Sites in Tongpiny, Juba, South Sudan, my gut questioned South Sudanese’ understanding of politics.  As the quest for such an understanding continue, the drive for politics had become a new quest for a new reality.  This time rounds, it was about making sense of the south Sudanese political consciousness that took the most out of my gut feeling.  In a sense, what does politics mean? What is political consciousness? What shows political consciousness? What makes south Sudan politics different and obscure? Questions such as these are hard to answer, but bear with me in the following paragraphs.

First and foremost, the questions outlined tend to have meaning for which a primary understanding can be achieved through answering them.  To begin with, politics is defined as “the study or practice of the distribution of power and resources within a given community.” Although, there is a mention of governance, ambition for power, winning the trust of others and e.t.c., the simple arithmetic is that it is a “distribution of power and resources within a given community.”  The answer immensely touches my heart because it conceptually defined the objective necessary needed for the sole purpose of care.  How about adding the term consciousness on top of the politics to mean a complete phrase? The term politics plus consciousness form the base for which we can define our practices when it comes to distribution of power and resources.  The politics of consciousness “typically refers to the idea of a being who is self-aware. It is a distinction often reserved for human beings. This remains the original and most common usage of the term.” The most common usage when it comes to real life practices is to show political consciousness, which also may indicate that politics and consciousness are the foundation for making the most conscious manner.  A manner in which a realistic being that reflect the importance of a mankind is an absolute desire for the sake of moral judgment, which in fact is a qualifier for a decent work a human could do. Political consciousness as described is a show of morality, decency, carefulness, conscious judgment, making moral decisions and or informed and constructive decisions which can often enhance societal values.  It is more or less a genuine being, which literally mean being down to earth kind of person or superficially self-aware to ensure conscious being, so to speak.  What makes it different and obscure with other politics practiced in other countries outside south Sudan? Practically, South Sudan political system is experiencing setbacks, which can also be termed as missing the direction.  The discrepancies often shown to dominate the face of the political consciousness made South Sudan politics far more different compared to the politics practiced outside South Sudan.  For example, corruption in other countries is different from the broad day light robbery practices rampant inside South Sudan.  It is different in a sense that residents are robbed by the people in uniforms at which time they supposed to protect them.  A respected General in the army or police will be the one to turn into a night criminal robbing people and or killing them as an unknown gun man.  The politicians denied any wrong doing even when a member of a family’s life is taken away by a known person simply because if the person speak out can be retaliated.  More importantly, an exercise of personal rights is substituted with imposition of personal opinion of an authority figure who should be listening to the people s/he representing instead.  The list goes on and on none stop if trying to continue with unearthing them.

Losing Touch with Reality

Do South Sudanese politicians meet the required respective duties worth respecting, or are they in their right minds? No! and this is the scary part you would ever feel once I walk you through.  Like stated above, South Sudanese politicians and none politicians alike have lost touch with reality simply because of the following:  There is too much persistent worries amongst the people where people do not trust each other; have become over sensitive; lost the conscious mind for which they can perform their daily functions. In addition, they are often engaged more dangerously in self-centered and or ethnocentric beliefs worthy of disintegrating the society once seen together years back.  Domination itself equate the saying “I am the one who fought the Arab and brought about this independence; and therefore, I deserve special treatment and a lion’s share.” This literally means overlooking others as if they have not equally contributed.  Questioning people that wanted to run for higher position as if made to only be the one till the end of the earth.  Fabrication of stories senselessly and constructing new belief to misinform the world while doing the opposite is self-deceptive; and therefore, it only expurgate the reality and genuine way of societal function.  Continually, Salva Kiir’s quote, “people have been chased away by social media,” and or “there is no fighting or killing when in fact dozens of people are fleeing or dying while being witnessed by the international community reflects being out of touch with reality.  It can be termed as lack of international understanding of the real life situation when it comes to external observers’ kind of a role in any given sovereign state.  Such also amounted to losing focus if to imagine.

Revitalizing the South Sudanese Mind

As south Sudanese, we can steadfastly join hand in changing our mindset by saying “all are equal and have equal opportunity without being judged because of each one’s tribal, political, religious and cultural affiliation.”  The belief that I am better than the other is very obscure and obnoxious in a sense and also does not promote conscious being.  Therefore, any South Sudanese person that thinks s/he deserves better treatment than another as a pretext to doing or dominating than equalizing this nation is wrong and less useful.  Usefulness of a person would be seen through deeds; mainly those that reflect fair judgment. Furthermore, a change in political mindset also requires higher attention across South Sudan.  It seems like the only person that knows politics as defined above is Dr. Riek Machar when it comes to prominent politicians calling themselves politicians.  Dr. Riek Machar has demonstrated the fundamental of politics – sharing wealth and dividing them fairly without discriminating against.  Because the politicians don’t like such a climax, it caused social and emotional rift as many yearn for self-enrichment than genuine representation that does not rob off common people on streets.  I cannot talk about late Dr. John Garang’s ambition because South Sudanese were robbed off him on the very eve he could have shown his nationhood his kind of leadership style, not the guerilla warfare leadership I had witnessed once he was leading SPLM/A in 80s.  But, if many had embraced Dr. Machar’s true ideology of democracy, South Sudan could have not been at war against itself.  We could have prevented the Rwandan like Genocidal leadership that divided the country and fitted tribes against each other.  The mindset of a cattle kingdom men in the names we obviously known as Salva Kiir, Taban Deng Gach and their Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) further accelerate the division, which also ended in creating a gap wider to close for years to come.  This needs to be a social movement in Dinka community as well as the entire South Sudanese communities that no political domination would ever keep our country in tag.  The personalities in South Sudan are quit different given the fact that some are accepting, and some not.  For example, portraying oneself as superior is an offense to another.  This also can be translated in Nuer culture as threat because Nuer don’t like to be subordinate or subordinated any person.  It actually is a declaration of war for no one wanted to be a subordinate of another – egalitarian sort of rule.  You are not superior than I do, and actually this is what South Sudan wants because it will amount to a fair sharing of power and wealth without prejudice.  Let be wise and of understanding so that we should not be deemed as out of touch with reality, and or people that lost focus.


Resurrection of the true and realistic nature of our society is aggressively needed this time round.  The incompetence leadership that has caused us our country need not be given an extra chance to continue playing duty politics (e.g., a politics of divide and rule vested in corruption, nepotism, and banditry).  This culture is spoken through minister calling himself Michael Makui Lueth, a person that does not judge the surrounding environment, but himself.  His speeches are flaw and floundering occasionally in a bizarre way.  Late Dr. John Garang and Dr. Machar united their ranks and files for the sake of Self-Determination and to ensure South Sudanese achieved their primary objective, which was the independent of South Sudan.  It was through hard work of Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon that made this hard won achievement possible.  It was through the mercy of Dr. John Garang as well as his intellectual understanding that made him to say be it the objective Dr. Machar pursues.  It was a genuine calling to reconcile the fragile South Sudanese society.

Today, the fruits of such a call are what the leadership in Juba capitalized on to tend to eliminate the other which absolutely will produce nothing but a further despair and political miss-shift.  The talk of eliminating one tribe off of South Sudan faces is nothing than just a mere belief.  Relatively speaking, other tribes are more accepting of democracy, which reflect the very nature of our zeal, except Dinka elites whom always belief in imposing their own cultural and political values on others.  This needs to be changed with Nuer egalitarian kind of leadership and cultural values, or Equatorian kind of leadership and cultural values for South Sudan to be a home for all.  This can eliminate an act of indecency to further avoid indignant habit.

Last but not least, many of our political figures are highly traumatize and misconstrue politics as an art of killing than saving the very own nation with.  The culture of eliminating X is highly motivated by cognitive dysfunction, which actually warrant institutionalization of such person.  Our leaders are in this box; and therefore, the only exception is Dr. Riek Machar whom in many occasions was branded as power hungry man for preaching the salvation of South Sudanese after long years of struggle.  The man, with his political ambition, is a symbol of unity, peace and prosperity.  South Sudanese as well as the world need to know this bitter truth.  It is a curse to enjoy self-determination without honoring those that fought for it.  It is lack of political consciousness that fail to recognize such truth.  It is what shows that we lost touch with reality if we don’t recognize intellectual property of a particular person when we don’t credit the right person of such kind.  Together, with a change of cattle kingdom mindset few kilometers outside Juba, South Sudan will be a better place to be.


NOTE: The Opinions expressed herein are entirely for the author of the article. The Upper Nile Times has no authority on the contents published here.


Nhial Korow Wicleek

Is a commentator for The Upper Nile Times. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Canadian University College in Lacombe, Alberta. He is currently doing graduate work in Professional Community Rehabilitation & Disability Studies at University of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta. You can reach him for any question/comments at


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