By Abraham Deng Lueth, B.S. and MPA
April 26, 2014 (SSNA) — Our nation has been put to test by the devastating conflict that is ripping the country apart. To go direct to the point, I want to begin by thanking President Kiir Mayardit for releasing the four political detainees today. Deep in my heart, I knew that President Kiir was not the cause of their detention and throwing of our country into the mess we are in today.
However, because he is the leader and had his best chance of rejecting the bad deeds that were planned and executed against our people, he fully bears the yoke of who to blame. His great courage (which was way overdue) to releasing the G4 has a saving factor for our nation.
The crowd that stormed the court room and its compound earlier today comes from all works of life in South Sudan. The people who cheerfully lifted up on their shoulders some members of the G4 did not just hail from their respective communities but from all walks of life in South Sudan.
If there was a doubt in any South Sudan government official’s mind that the citizens were losing it day by day, then it must have been cleared today. South Sudanese people know that the government was deadly wrong to put these people in prison. The people of South Sudan know that there was no coup.
Dear fellow citizens, we cannot change the past but we can surely shape our present and future. The war in South Sudan must end. To end it, all South Sudanese must learn the following songs and they must be the only ones that we all sing.
Ending of the crisis
It is imperative that the crisis be ended immediately. The words of Pagan Amum today sent a very moving spirits across all sorts of waves in the conflict. It was a message of peace and it was indicative of what him and his colleagues could have done if they were released during the early days of the conflict. President has set his foot on the right path and he must continue to push for ways to resolve the conflict. Dr. Machar, on the other, must also mimic what Juba did today. He must put down his guns. The sounds of guns must be silenced. We want to hear only war of words and eventually, soothing words.
The political detainees, the G4 and G7, will have very critical roles to play in this process. They are the bridge or liaison between the government and rebels. The government, rebels and all people of the world must use them wisely to help successfully bridge the two warring parties.
Last but not least, South Sudanese people must be awaken and actively involved in the process of ending this crisis by holding people accountable who make the process of successful cessation of hostilities impossible.
Military families (any family with a son or sons fighting in the frontline of this senseless war) must organize and start taking charge of their own children’s lives by holding accountable leaders who are sending them to harm ways on both sides.
All other South Sudanese civil society organizations must start to organize rallies for peace and sensitize our people around peace, unity and truth and reconciliation. I don’t mean that they rally and sing President Kiir’s name like the previous, irresponsible, rallies but to call on both Kiir and Riek to stop the war and sit down and talk.
Truth, peace and reconciliation among our people
The process of truth and reconciliation must begin now. It starts with recognizing what was done wrong by both sides and focusing on what can be done right moving forward from this point now. Therefore, both sides must send people to the peace talks, who are willing to say to each other, yes, that was done wrong by my party and we are willing to change things for the better and vice versa.
The manhood or bravery that is being portrayed by people on both sides of the conflict is primitive and cannot help the nation of South Sudan to recover. The momentum that the release of the G4 set in today must not be misused. The language of peace must be what is sung by all people and institutions. The rhetoric of beating up more war or intensification of war is uncalled for.
Therefore, both President Kiir and Dr. Machar must instruct their military leaders to slow down military operations and give dialogues in Addis Ababa a chance. The two leaders must know that there is no military solution to this conflict. They must know that when they send their forces to fight each other in the name of defeating each other, they are not fighting each other, individually, but rather, making those armies fight each other! More military operations are just simply meant to destroy our resources and loss our precious lives of the armies on both sides and civilians.
Unity of our people
The need to unite our people is urgent. The nation is polarized communally and regionally. This is a very dangerous situation that must be corrected very soon. There should be no marginalization of any people or region in this country. Doing that defeats the very purpose of fighting the Arabs in the first wars. Pumping chests up and calling or boosting about how one group of people is historic, brave, own the government, peace-loving and etc is an act of primitiveness and backwardness. We must be all proud of our country and be united by our citizenship.
If the president feels that no one else can protect him better or fight the war better other than having to put in place of power his Dinka tribe men, then that is a very bad sign. The latest appointment of Malong Awan and Marial Nuor are welcomed with mix feelings and the South Sudanese people must monitor the behaviors of these individuals and the institutions they will lead. It is my hope that they will work hard to prove that they were not appointed to protect a man and a leadership but to work for the nation and its people.
Abraham Deng Lueth is a Community Support Specialist at Truman Behavioral health Emergency Department in Kansas City, Missouri, United States; he is the President of Greater Bor Community-USA. He previously worked as a critical care laboratory technician and conducted an independent undergraduate biomedical research project which was published in the Plant Science Journal in 2007.
Disclaimer: The information in this article reflects that of the author and does not represent any organization that he is leading.