By Prof. Simon El hag Kulusika
OPINION – There are media reports regarding deadly clashes in the Abyei areas in Southern Kordofan Willayya, of the Greater Kordofan, the Republic of the Sudan. The reports also indicated that many people have died as a result of the clashes. The reports further showed that the contending ethnic groups in the clashes were the Misserriya Arab nomads and the Dinka herders. Both opposing groups are herders. They move north and south in this tiny regions, in search of water and grazing grounds, in a constant seasonal movements. These movements sometimes bring the two groups into contacts. Some of these contacts are most of time not friendly. Resulting into violent clashes. The main triggers are disputable. But search for grazing grounds, water and fear of domination could be considered as the major factors for triggering fighting.
Reports also indicated that South Sudan (SS) has deployed troops in the Abyei areas to stop the clashes. It’s hoped such military actions, if done in coordination with Khartoum, may temporarily halt the clashes. But military actions are not panacea to ethnic clashes. Authorities should address the roots causes of clashes between Misserriya and the Dinka in Abyei areas. The same calls apply to clashes in different parts of SS, Dar Al Fur and other areas in Sudan.
What this article claims is that fear is the main causes of clashes between Misserriya and the Dinka in addition to the other factors alluded to above. The feeling by Z that X is trying to take the land of Z can become dangerous fear. Fear affects every human beings: the strong, the weak, the rich, the poor, all become defensive or aggressive in defending and protecting their rights. The result is bloodsheds.
The Costs of Fear:
Fear has caused lots of problems for men, women and ethnic groups alike. Same for public and private institutions and organizations. The military and other organized forces or services. Even Sovereign States have suffered from the adverse impacts of fear.
The great wars known to date were triggered by fear that overwhelmed the military and political leaders of countries involved in those destructive wars.
One may refer to the 100 years war, 30 years war, the Napoleonic wars in Europe, liberation wars in the Americas, Africa and Asia. One may add the two world wars, the Fulklands war, the Iran – Iraqi wars, the two Gulf Wars, the current fighting in Ukraine, and so on.
One central factors for the eruption of those wars was fear, in addition to political, military, social, economic and religious causes.
Speaking of Fear:
This article will provide a liberal view point of fear. It’s llustrated by numbers of examples. Some examples may be inconsequential. While others may be provocative. In both cases, the article beg readers forgiveness. In particular those who might be caught up in cross fires.
Speaking of fear, is like speaking about “unpleasant and strong feeling caused by the presence of or expectation of danger,” as the dictionary man or woman tells the readers. It’s “unpleasant”, because its effects are negative to the person siezed of fear and those who might be directly or indirectly involved, or concerned. It’s “strong” as can impact adversely on the weak. The powerful – those with heavy bones: found among Mandary men and women, or Dongotona Latuka, Zande people, etc; the poor, or the rich, or those people called as Elites. No human is not affected by it. It may be embeded in the self or “caused by the presence of danger”, or the expectation of the unknown. This type is very destructive.
The Bouts of Fear:
All humans, whether born with a Silver Spoon in his or her mouth, or drinking Meddida from a bowl made from clay then baked, or sipping Ethiopian coffee from a gold cup, or one who eats Beef Stakes imported from Australia, or an old cow’s inner parts purchased from Konyo Konyo market in Juba (assuming it’s still the same as at 2011). All these people have bouts of fear with varying degrees of intensity.
The findings of the article are that there are more than 15 types of bout of fear. Ten are chosen.
Examples of Fear:
- Fear can come in the guise of alarm. It’s an intense distress or trepidation. The person loses touch with reality. He or she behaves differently from the rest of the members of the community in which he or she lives. Performance of roles at home or in the office, or farm or cattle camps become disorderly. As a result productivity diminishes to a vanishing point, with dire consequences for all affected.
- Fear may be Identified in someone when that someone appears to be affraid of something: real or imaginary. He or she would appear to be shaken or terrified. But a quick search wouldn’t establish any cause for being affraid. In this state of affairs the person in question is unable to deliver to society the common good. He or she becomes a paracite instead.
- Fear is shown by apprehension that something unpleasant is going to take place. The person concerned is all the time consumed by anxiety. He or she is suspicious that certain people want him or her dead or alive. Such a person cannot meaningfully contribute to the well – being of his or her family nor to society. In fact this person is no less a psychopath, minus psychiatristic conditions.
- When a person commences an activity, but stops short of carrying through that scheme, he or she is said to have developed cold feet about the scheme. This is attributed to fear, which is described as dread. It’s common in activities of criminal nature, such as, plot to overthrow government by law established.
- A typical example of fear is fright. That is quaking or overtaken by severe shock. It’s common among children and some adults who suffer some complication of weak personality.
- Majority of persons exhibit various forms of misgivings. They are overwhelmed with worries, doubts and uncertainty. They become disoriented and unable to manage crisis or offer viable options. If such persons were political or military commanders they would lead their nations or army to disasters. They are many the world over.
- The current COVID-19 has exposed the vulnerability of people of the world. In the midst of the pandemic people became panic stricken. People were horrified. All were gripped by uncontrollable hysteria: the master of fear. See how people stormed supermarkets in Pretoria, Berlin, Leeds, Manchester, Lyon, Beijing, Hong Kong, New York, Salt Lakes City, Kolkata, Alexandria, Milano, Prague, Moscow, etc, to hoard foods, as Lockdowns were announced. It was merely extraordinary panic.
- Fear can show its ugly face as qualms. Ei, uncertainty, hesitation or disquiet. A person under this condition is utterly angry with the entire world. He or she can do the most unthinkable things.
- Terror is another kind of fear. It’s nightmare. A man who sleeps with offensive weapons under his or her bed ready to be used in case of attacks, is already terrified. He or she is put down by fear of the unknown danger. No one should blame such a person. Because the laws of self – preservation so demand. If overdone it could result in helplessness.
Fear is not a bad human attributes. Provided it’s controlled. If it’s allowed to degenerate to phobias, it can become potentially dangerous. For example, fear amongst citizens of SA about foreigners taking away jobs from them led to attacks against any person who was seen to be an alien. The results were many deaths and destruction of property belonging to foreign nationals lawfully resident in SA. Government intervention came after the strong current had swept away caneos.
In 1897 Egypt and Britain invaded the Sudan. The cause of the invasion was fear by Egypt that the Mahdist State was planning to invade and occupy Egypt. The invading army was commanded by Gen Kitchener, a British. The major battle took place at Kerreri, north of Omdurman, the Mahdist capital. The Mahdist lost, and a Codoninion government was established over the Sudan. It lasted for 60 years.
When Khartoum reacted against those accused of attacking a patrol between Yirol and Rumbek, it was fear that such attacks could lead to Dinka uprising. Hence the decision to suppress it by brutal force. The expedition was commanded by a senior British military officer, who was governor of Equatoria.
The Pakistani – India wars were caused by mutual fear. Each country had apprehension that the other was dangerously scheming against its security and territorial integrity.
The Iraqi – Iranian wars had their roots in panic over the I’ll – intention of the other over territory and religion.
As all know, the second Gulf war was orchestrated by USA and UK on terror over weapons of mass destructions. Saddam’s weapons of mass destructions will remain a mystery as they were said not to exist. But how did Saddam managed to kill many Kurds in few hours, if extraordinary weapon was not used?
The current fighting in Ukraine is triggered by fear. West has dread of growing powers of both Russia and Ukraine. The two must be pushed to clash and effect mutual self-destruction. Unfortunately Ukraine and Russia have not seen the conspiracy.
Fear is dangerous. All must guard against it, or control it.
The author is a professor of law at Zambia open University. He can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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