Cpt. Mabior Garang: The confusion about the greater Bor Youth Association (GBYA) is not really an issue of identity, more than it is a political issue. It is a power struggle, as it were. If we wanted to have a sincere discussion about our identity as the peoples of the former Bor-Duk District, we cannot have it without talking about the history of the slave trade in our land.
The current bitterness against the GBYA is not peculiar to our peoples of Greater Bor; it is happening all over the country. Basically, it is the ideology of the children of the former slaves vs the children of the former slave traders.
I personally congratulate those who have been elected and I do not see how their election nor the existence of the GBYA diminishes who I think I am. I believe in the cultural unity of Africa, leave alone Greater Bor. Not only are we one as Jieng of Jong’lei, we are one with the Jieng of Bahr-el-Gazal as we all migrated from the shores of the Sobat as we dispersed along the Sudd and the tributaries of the Nile.
The same people who do not want to be Bor also do not want to be – what they call – “Bahrgadheel”. They also do not want to be with Murle, neither do they want to be with the Nuer. They hate the various communities of the Equatoria region, lumping them in a single group and calling them “Duor” . With that being almost the entire South Sudan, who then do they want to be with? It is nothing more than political tribalism.
It is mischief!
The GBYA should focus on issues which relate to the welfare and prosperity of our peoples and ignore their detractors. The malleability of identity means that we change with time. We have been Kings and Queens in Kush and we have been slaves in the Turco-Egyptian Southern Sudan. I wish the newly elected leaders success and we should all wish them success, for their success is our success. As a son of the soil, I am ready to offer my support – in the form of ideas – to the leadership of the GBYA.
Congratulations and good luck!