July 5, 2015 (SSNA) — While approaching July 9th, a day that many South Sudanese would enjoy celebrating together, I stumble with mix feelings of proud and sadness. I am proud that I voted as first class citizen for my country’s secession from the marginalized Government of Arab in the North. At the same time, I struggle with sadness of crisis that was created by incompetent leaders who happened to run the affairs of my new country by default. July 9th, is a day that everyone calling themselves, a South Sudanese would enjoy celebrating together with family, friends, and colleagues, to share happiness and relieve bad memories that we all endures together during the years of struggle.
Failing to gladly celebrate July 9th is even harder, especially at the time, when I see my American Neighbors, friends, and co-workers proudly raising flags of their country for July 4th, America’s Independence Day. It hurt even more when someone asked me where I came from, and that question shut me off completely, because I feel embarrassed to introduce myself as South Sudanese, a citizen of a young Nation that is already in crisis before it reached its 3rd Independence birth day. As an individual with dual citizenship, a citizen of the US, and a citizen of South Sudan, I thought I would be more contented and overweening with courage and pride, than any person who celebrates just one independent day. Like any other persons holding dual citizenship, I thought I hit two birds with one stone for being a citizen of these two great nations, that celebrates their independence days just 4 days apart from each others.
In my home state of Arizona, I remember the first July 9th Independent Day that we celebrated together as South Sudanese, with joys of traditional dances from many different tribes, variety of love, and the harmony of togetherness. It was one of the happiest moments that I’ve ever witness in my life.
Since July 9th, 2013, the South Sudan’s Independence Day celebration has changed from National to mere group of family gatherings. The South Sudanese government leaders, local community leaders, and party representatives all over the world has been wrestling over the hosting of July 9th Independence Day’s Celebration. Too many disagreements on country’s Dependence Day that give everyone the same privilege and pride.
The causes of all these disagreements, mistrust, and hatred amongst my lovely society were all brought by incompetence leaders. People we all expected to lead our country to a peaceful destiny, but turn it to their own property, and become mere murderers and destroyers of our society. A leader must have a mercy heart for all his people, and care more about the lost of a single person’s life in his country. I have trouble to comprehend the feelings of those who called themselves the leaders of South Sudan, especially at the time of the country’s Independence Day.
May God continue to bless South Sudanese Population, especially those who voted for the freedom of this nation, but currently in hiding places, and struggles for safety of their lives.
The author holds a Master Degree in Criminal Justice. He currently pursuing a Jurisprudence degree at Loyola University. He can be reached at [email protected]