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    Posted January 4, 2014 by
    Juba, South Sudan, Sudan

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    Jok's learns from his father: South Sudan, January 4, 2014

    By: Jok Madut Jok

    My father, Madut Jok Agei, a 75 year old village man, who had only two days of schooling when he was about 7, before his father yanked him out of school because he was too good a cattle man to be wasted in the lands of the Hakuma. He has been angry with his father about that all his life, for he has always felt that an introduction to a world beyond his country would have made him wiser. This is the story i have heard him tell all my life. But I think Madutdit is all the more wise for this experience. A few years ago, i think around 2007, he told me that he had heard that "you, Junubin, South Sudanese, in government were eating from pot before the food had sufficiently cooked." he was talking about all the stealing of public property that was happening before independence and before the country is developed.

    Then last week he told me on the phone that "Junubin will never build a country unless you people stop telling lies...you put all the stars of military rank on your shoulders to look like kings, and it is all hollow, you say you have 200,000 soldiers but none is around when there is a fight," and he went on and on. so this made me think deeply about the wisdom of our rural people that we so quickly dismiss sometimes, on account that they are not "educated." As we engage in talks in Ethiopia to end this conflict, i think we will fail mainly because we lie. we lie about what we have done to one another, to our rural people that we have excluded from the benefits of independence. But these lies we tell today in order to get quick political gains will come back to haunt us two years from now.
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