People Can Change For Better

By Laku Modi Tombe,


South Sudanese demonstrate in Juba against threats of sanctions and armed embargo on the warring parties. While the SPLM-Juba opposes sanctions, SPLM-IO encourages(Photo: via Radio Tamazuj)

South Sudanese demonstrate in Juba against threats of sanctions and armed embargo on the warring parties. While the SPLM-Juba opposes sanctions, SPLM-IO encourages(Photo: via Radio Tamazuj)

March 14, 2015 (Nyamilepedia) — It is so fascinating to observe some people are too resistant to change in South Sudan that even if one day if president Salva Kirr wake up one morning and declared to the masses of his country that he is stepping down and is willing to offer all the demands his citizens asked from him, some of our angry brothers and sisters, will not believe or accept this positive change of action.

We always learn throughout our life experience that change is possible. When a husband and a wife always fight and disagree in the family sat down and iron out their differences, they end up live happily. We have seen children who were stubborn and performing poorly in schools but if their parents came to understand their weakness and have them couch to give extra teaching and learning skills, they do better in their studies. We witness people who are alcoholic and drug addict but when they go to recovering centre or go to church and became born again, they turn to be good members of our society and pray for our sins. We criticize white men for promoting slavery to our human being worldwide for centuries, but when they abolish this inhuman act, we migrated to their countries and we started to use them as exemplary race which is promoting the good of humanity whether in governance or decent ways of lives. But, with all these facts learnt from our life experiences, some people still think human being cannot change for better.

There’s one thing attached to this psychological problem that is resistant to human change and that resistant is mainly is focusing so much on person’s personality or weakness that he/she than the action or involvement of the person who commit the problem that concern all of us.

In other word, we don’t separate the mental state of person from the action he/she have committed.

For example in law, most of us if not all of us are aware that killing is wrong and anyone who murder another has committed crimes who deserve punishment.

But, when lawyers tend to defend the killer in court of law, some people becomes surprise why stand for someone who murder a person?

The lawyer does not defend a murder because he/she is trying to deny the action of the murder for killing a person because everyone including the lawyer knows a person has been killed which is a fact. What a lawyer is concern in this case is how this killing happened did?

Someone will say the killer is mentally retarded. Another will tell it was through accident the killer was driving on a green light but the decease cross when it was not his/her right of way.  Or another person will mention that the death person was killed because he refused to give his/her money which the robber wanted to take.

Here, we are talking about the motivation of the killing. Is it intentional or not intentional? Anyone of the answers to this question will be the one to determine if the killer is a guilty or not a guilty.

Let us come back to the SPLA/M issue which is so traumatic to our brains. Yes, we know SPLA/M emerged as a violent movement, led by both educated personality and uneducated personality; caused gross human right violation, it is despotic, and failed South Sudanese society beyond repair to the point that we concluded that all those who involved in this movement are criminals, corrupt, looters, un patriotic etc that need to be either killed or chased away from the country for South Sudan to develop or achieve peace.

But what about those who were motivated to join the movement and were inspired by the quest of independent South Sudan and either got killed because they were separatist or are now left in poverty due to unpaid months of their salaries and don’t have access to loot like others are doing?

Why punished them by means of association to SPLA/M when their motive was intended to fight for freedom of our people. What crimes do these innocent individuals commit?

We should Judge human being on individual cases but not on generalization. Otherwise, we are ignorantly putting the country on fire indirectly.

Yes, Dr. Riek Machur and some of his group are not only part and parcel SPLA/M but are founding members of the movement.

Did he and others who disagree in 1991, disagreed for the sake of fun of it?  No, someone tried to deny him the right of self-determination for independent South Sudan. Was that demand a personal case of Riek? Yes, it is his but also the demand of the majority of South Sudanese. Were innocent lives taken in that incident? Yes, how did that happened? When the 1991 incident all Near armed fighters, including Riek were scattered all over South Sudan on the mission to liberate the country to its independence under the command of Dr. John Garang and unaware what Dr. Riek was doing in his zone.

I was in Central Equatoria and in the so call liberated area as a child. I witnessed how Nure commanders are ambushed and killed because Riek rebelled. All Nuer who were in military service in Kaya, Bazie, Morobo, Wotoka, Lasu, and around Yei which was front line area, peaceful mobilized themselves together with their civilian wives and children and peaceful left to their region without a single gun shoot or robbery to the local natives in the area since they were not interested to live in a place where they unwanted and killed be like animals in a system they thought they were part of.

In Bor, Nuer who were attack responded back either in self-defense or angry of their mistreatment. As a result, there were casualties reported from both side in the area. Which law in the world prohibited people from defending or saving their lives in harms way?

To be fair enough, it was not Dr. Riek alone who had a movement in 1991 and beyond. We had Equatorian Defense Force led by Maj. Gen. Martin; we had Patriotic Resistant Army/ Movement of South Sudan under the leadership of General Alfred Lado Gore; Dr. Richard K. Mulla was leading movement. All these movements were political nature and did not engage in military action since their focus was not to fight SPLA/M militarily but politically and had reserved military action for the common enemy which was the Arabs. So, all these bogus claim that all those involve in SPLA/M did nothing for the cause of our people is nonsensical.

Before December 2013 Dr. Riek even as VP, was questioning and challenging things that are incorrect for nation. He work hard to bring peace in Uganda. He work hard to campaign and mobilize South Sudanese to vote for referendum when his boss Salva Kirr was busy talking about voting for unity. His was dismissed for the government with no apparent reason but encouraged people to calm down and not to cause fight. Riek led a rally comprised of all politician from the ten states of South Sudan and invited both local and international media to cover the event when they laid out the national problems and proposals to change thing. He was about to be killed if he did not escape for his life on false coup accusation.

Why can a normal person see these things as good motivates with good intention and separate the bad Riek as person and the good action he did and is till doing?

Prior to the collapse of the recent peace talk, Pagak conference was held where international community and all ten states of South Sudanese citizens and their brothers and sisters from abroad were invited to discuss, outline, and propose the South Sudan they are aspiring for which they submitted their resolution.

At the peace process the same concerns of the people from the type of the system of the government they want to the way how to resolve fundament problems affecting the country, from security, defense, economy, judiciary, law and order, constitution etc.

Why can a person see this positive thing with  good intention and separated the person doing it from the action he/she is doing as change for better.

My personal philosophy in life is to embrace and to help especially the bad human being change for better and when I see that change happens, I feel happy and successful because I have contributed for development and peace of mankind.

President Salva Kirr as a person knows is weakness very well done most of us. He knew he screwed things up whether intentionally or unintentionally.

But the way we are demonizing and not negotiating with him in a mutual way to assure his safety and his place in South Sudan whether through forgiveness and reconciliation, is the one making him to cause more damage than he already did because after all even if he leave for you the power peaceful, you will still go after life because you don’t distinguish him as a person from his actions. I am sure if you are in his shoes, you will do the same as he is doing.

In other words, our violent behaviors and high level of extremism are the ones making Salva Kirr more destructive, uncooperative, and stronger than ever before because we the ones re-enforcing his attitude to do so.

In closing, my resolution for this year is to stop blaming and to study why bad things happens; to search something positive from the so call bad people that will be good for human development; and, to change myself because I might be part of the problem instead of the solution, before changing the world for better.

You either liberate yourself and understand that we live in the world which comprises of bad and good humans that we need to learn how to live with them especially the bad ones because we share the world with them, regardless, of their intentional or unintentional actions, and focus on fundamental matter affecting humanity; instead of  concentrating on the personality and the action of people who cause destruction and  are capable to change depending on how we treat them or else you will not contribute positively to human development

The author can be reached at

  2 comments for “People Can Change For Better

  1. GatNor
    March 15, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    There are of course our backwards cousins and the few individual and groups a like that change itself to them means lost of power making it a terrible thing as such and so to work for change is next to the impossible. Look at the Republicans party in the United States and Zimbabwe of Mugabe change is what they fear the most. MalcolmX said to keep one in the hole grounded means one must stay also in that hole to make sure you don’t get out. so really it is not easy either for those who wish to suppress others because they are also undermining their own progress to a degree.


  2. ater
    March 16, 2015 at 1:04 am

    Laku Modi Tombe
    Thanks a great deal for this piece of good opinion, I so much cherish it and it’s the way to go and leave behind our differences.


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