Save South Sudan: An urgent message to friends of South Sudan

A/ John Prendergast
B/ Eric reeves
C/ Brain D’ Silva
D/ Ted Dagne and
E/ Roger Miller

By Lul Gatkuoth Gatluak

Dear friends of South Sudan,

July 23, 2013 (SSNA) — If we don’t act quickly enough to save South Sudan, the sophisticated bombs that were once booming between Sudan and South Sudan; will now be booming between South Sudanese a lone and this is not in anybody interest. Right now, it is very clear that, our president is pure dictator who will set this country on fire soon. Profoundly, it is with great appreciation and honor to know through the letter you have just written to South Sudan leaders, that your-caring for the flight of South Sudanese people is unwavering. Truly, this is the country five of you and many others have put on top of anything—to fight for its existence. You have fought for comprehensive Peace Agreement to be realized and that peace became a milestone in Sudanese history that has now changed the country forever. In my personal opinion, CPA came on file through involvement of many forces. Five of you have been instrumental and were among those who made it possible for suffering of South Sudanese to be heard and known widely in the United States and around the world. This day the 23th of July, 2013, it appear the fruit of your work is being set on fire, we citizen of that country are calling upon the United states government, which remain strongest force for peace all over the world to put pressure on our president to reverse his decrees of dissolving the government.

We have strong desire to enjoy peace now rather than war. We are so tired of wars! Throughout independence Sudan, the country had never enjoyed peaceful coexistence among its ethnic groups and never ended single decade without blood shed as all of you know dearly. South Sudanese aspiration had never been met, until when finally, in 2005, a new way of dealing with chronic problem of the Sudan had emerged out of many individual contributions which include your tireless advocacy. Although some of you may have acquaintance to Sudanese problem in different angles. One had to believe that, the rest has done so following the influx of South Sudanese refugee to American cities.

When South Sudanese refugee began resettlement in the United States from early 1990s, the wounds and the tragedy of their suffering had become very visible to you and whole American society especially Christian groups. The stories of their tribulations inspiring you the American Christians, and the Church groups in the United States, began focusing on persuading the U.S policymakers to pay more attention toward Sudan. In that early stage of our arrival, one had acquaintance with your instinct writings on Sudan which were daily read on newspapers, online websites, and at the same time, you had formed rallies and appear on television-medias—urging the United States government to do something about Sudan.

At the same token, the Church began to renew its international mission work to reach South Sudanese Christians who remain in refugee camps in neighboring countries and inside south Sudan liberated areas. These missionaries brought hope to desperate refugees who whatsoever had no clue of when they might return to their original homes in South Sudan or when peace will actually going to come to their land permanently. Due to your advocacy contribution, and all American Christian mobilizations, former President George W.Bush prioritized Sudan’s peace act and singled out Sudan for violating the religious freedom. This is how Sudan road to permanent peace started which finally resulted into independence South Sudan. South Sudanese all over the globe began to exhale that, Sudan government heavy bombs will not boom on them again and human suffering that moved American Christians to persuade the United States government will go away.

After the end of the war, all South Sudanese citizens developed an enormous expectation to see their life change rapidly. Unfortunately, the desirous change many were eager to see did not come as expected. As the result, South Sudanese civilians became disappointed in the way government of South Sudan is operating.  It is true and undeniable that the economic divergent growth cannot be achieved within one decade; however, main public institutions such as hospitals that are urgently needed, would have been built and should be in place by now started in 2005 and present. What matter the most right now is to start development by constructing healthcare facilities in all corners of the country so that people are being served within the country other than neighboring countries. It is equally true that even the central government seat or capital Juba is still remains without adequate healthcare centers and hospitals. Despite absent of proper healthcare, all government officials are receiving their medication from neighboring countries at the expense of the Government of South Sudan money.

In the known fact, South Sudan is the most distant and poorest area on the face of the earth in terms of transportation and telecommunication networking system. There are no proper roads which are the most retarding factor to cripple the development. The ten south Sudan states are detached from each other. Even with in the state alone, some of the distant rural areas where people are desperately in need of healthcare centers and clean drinking water are not reachable. The so-called south Sudan ten states’ Capital cities, Counties, Payams and/ or Bomas have no hospitals, healthcare centers and public facilities even for minor operations. People are daily dying for diseases that are curable in the other parts of the world. The entire ordinary citizens of the South Sudan are living under the mercy of God.

Although independent has been achieved, yet, some people still have not tasted the fruit of the struggle; due to the fact that, services had not been fully delivered to all people. Majority of people still fetch dirty water from the Nile River and small lakes or lagoons in the South. Those who got their drinking water from underground wells tend to be luckier. Many South Sudanese even still eat undressed tree leaves like it was the trend during the revolution struggle; not to mention the fact that, they are still giving birth under the trees without anybody recording the date and time of birth. Which mean children are yet do not know their birth days. These are the very people who will labor in the development of South Sudan and be the future leaders of the country.  If there are no healthy manpower personnel in the country, there is no much needed development at all; because in ever country, the least privileges, such as uneducated individuals are the ones who build the very beautiful cities we are witnessing and admiring in developed countries.

All these factors are the most major challenges facing our newest nation today; it is the looming daring situation that needs immediate attention. Masses of south Sudan will keep suffering, unless physical infrastructure are put in place, there won’t be any tangible transformation in the lives of the South Sudanese ordinary populace. The intensive work to detail the foundations for an acceleration infrastructure programs is to pave roads to achieve inter-linkage between key populated major towns that are assuming roles to be identify as either national or State capitals including rehabilitation of river, railways and air transport to establish an adequate transport connections with neighboring countries in order to access the regional market in Africa. This would improve living conditions in term of bringing goods from sisterly countries. The government should prioritize mechanisms of providing clean water, sanitation, roads and drainages etc; in order to change the living conditions of our people.

Beside the suffering group in our country, there are two upper groups who own the wealth of the country. These are those who run the government in all organs and those they have employed to carryout the duties. The fund concentrated on the hand of these two groups. Some of them could not get hungry again because during the interim period, they have accumulated million of dollars that would keep them survive for the rest of their lives. Many of these individuals have bought houses in foreign countries and open personal accounts with money that would have been used for the country development.

During the revolution struggle, one of the claims we were making was that South Sudanese have been neglected by consecutive regimes in Khartoum. Now such negligent seem to be practicing by us toward our own beloved ordinary citizens. It is in one’s hope that, a necessary way of serving our citizens equally must be redefined.

Beside development absent, security also is another major problem and continues to be deteriorated as you have talked about in your letter. South Sudanese people are not fully united. There are those who choose to bring destruction in many places of the country. This local insecurity among tribes in RSS can spark the split of the SPLA because the current administration seems to be so negligent and ignorant not to amicably and pragmatically resolve any tribal crisis or internal conflicts that arise among communities as quickly as possible.

At the moment, instead of focusing on absent of the development, authoritarian tendency has highly emerged crippling the government. We thought the country must be ruled base on democratic principle, but that appears not to be the case, instead, we are ruled by presidential decrees. Our president is above the law. He removes governors who were elected by the people base on political motivations. Those who do not abate with his policies, regularly find themselves without jobs. A young nation like us that is full with domestic political crisis could not promote autocrat who may be potentially worsen than abandoned North Sudan dictators. So as we speak, he made a decision to dissolve the government; only he and the speaker of the house remain running the country that has no qualify workers. Those who he has removed from power right now are not only qualifying but majority of them are his fellow comrades in army during our struggle. As he relieve them today, tomorrow, he will reappoint sycophants among them; those who care only on building their stomachs not the nation.

We hope your government here can lend a hand to help identify those who would plant the seed of democracy not dictatorial mindset individuals who are working to promote power of doom. Please keep speaking out for the goodness of that country. I hope this letter will find all of you and be read by you. May God bless you and keep you to continue doing magnificent job you have been doing for wellbeing of South Sudanese.

The author can be reached at [email protected]

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