By:Mr. Michael Gwang Dak
Some Shilluk and none Shilluk may wonder why the author is asking or questioning the identity of these prominent figures. Pagan Amum Ukech, Lam Akol Ajawin, and other like them in the SPLM/A, are they really Shilluk by category? Do they contribute to the Shilluk Kingdom by any means?
In respond to many bias claims by many infamous groups that name
themselves as Shilluk Community and so on that are dedicated to working
against Mr. Pagan Amum, and Dr. Lam Akol, and other Shilluk men serving
Sudan under the SPLM/A. I Would like to get some basic or little
background of what it means to belong or represent a certain group or
society before we get into position of the Shilluk as society in the
nation of the contemporary Sudan.
To represent a group or society you must relate to the social being of
that group or society that you represent. But thing are pretty well
mixed up in Sudan today. It seems that it is very difficult to many
Sudanese today to see that there is a clear line between ethnics and
politics. Sudan in general is built on ethnicity bases just like many
other countries in Africa. But the case that matter here is southern
Sudan case. Southern Sudan has a big problem and as southern Sudanese
we need to admit that we've got a problem. And that problem is how to
integrate into southern Sudan and Sudan in general if we're to remain
in the united Sudan rather than lodging in our own racial boundaries.
To relate to an ethnic group, means to be one of them according to common traits and
customs. You retain share the same customs, language, or social views.
Therefore the Shilluk people are very well distinguished amongst other
ethnics groups in southern Sudan. They are very well established group
and been well known for many centuries for their strongest kingdom
(Fashoda kingdom) that played a very majestic role in halting the
advancement of colonial rule and forceful Islam deep into the heart of
So, is Lam Akol and Pagan Amum really Shilluk? This is a very simple question and
needs simple answer as such, but what exactly is that simple answer?
And would you agree if that answer is neither Lam Akol, nor Pagan Amum
is a Shilluk man? For instance Lam Akol is a PHD holder and was then a
university lecturer. The PHD he holds wasn't awarded to him because he
belongs to Shilluk ethnic group. When he lectured at the university in
Khartoum, he wasn't teaching Shilluk norms or social views of the
Shilluk kingdom. When he was instated to the position of foreign
affairs in the government of national unity I believe he wasn't
nominated to that position just because he is from the Shilluk. A
prominent politician like him needs no tribal recommendations by any
means. A primary school child may know that Lam Akol is or has been
representing the government of Sudan in the international affairs, and
he is there because the SPLM the party he belong to trusted him to be
the right man for the right job.
Pagan Amum is a son of a chief in the Shilluk kingdom, Chief Amum Ukech. In spite
of the fact, that Pagan Amum is Shilluk by blood. People with narrow
minds who still dwell in their tribal customs who have no knowledge
whatsoever of how his Excellency Pagan Amum walks the walk he is
walking today. Pagan Amum is an exemplary leader who inspired many
young Sudanese, ladies ad gentlemen. He risked his life to change the
course of how this country is run, whether in the united Sudan or
independent south Sudan, if that's to be. People with aspirations like
Pagan Amum should never be belittled, or categorized to a certain
ethnic for personal gain. we should all be proud of our diversities and
bear in minds that Sudan will never be united if we still use our
ethnic diversities against one and another, neither will south Sudan be
independent as stipulated in the CPA if South Sudan people were to opt
to disunite from north in the year of 2011. South Sudanese need to get
out of their obsolete tribal mind and try to find ways to defined
common goal of being together.
The author is a former member of New Sudan Brigade, and currently works and