“Our lives begin to end the minute we become silent about things that matters,” Martin Luther King.
By: Maulana Deng Gai Gatluak
March 6, 2016 (SSNA) — My dear countrymen, South Sudan patriots, nationalists and liberal minded youth. In the past two (2) years, the loving people of South Sudan have experienced all kinds of hardship especially in the dark days when So many children were killed, maimed, castrated and traumatized. We have also learned that this senseless brutal civil war paid a very high price of innocent human lives. The Government with all its foreign allies applied distinct mechanisms to put an end to the insurgency, but eventually failed to eliminate the existence of the rebels. On the other hand, the rebels explored all avenues and have proudly and persistently worked hard to reach the climax and restore the rule of law, reforms and democracy they desire, but still the war is escalating and as a result, innocent lives perishes invariably on daily basis.
We voted overwhelmingly on 9-15 January 2011 to decide our own destiny after Sudan’s longest deadliest brutal civil war in Africa, and yet only two years later our beloved country is struggling to cope with an overwhelming humanitarian crisis. My dear citizens of the land! Is this the Country we opted to live and transfer to our descendants in decades to come?
The facts are stark. Nearly eight people out of a population of around 11 million are facing severe hunger. Malnutrition and deadly cholera are ravaging in parts of the Country. Children are abducted to fight on both sides of the warring parties to achieve their unpredicted goals. My dear citizens of the land! Is this the Country we opted to live and transfer to our descendants in decades to come?
Our people run into the bush, with their children on their backs and little or nothing else. In the bush, there is often nothing to eat but wild plants like grass, roots and water lilies. But some people would rather face the risk of starving than endure the violence that is rampant in towns and villages. My dear citizens of the land! Is this the Country we opted to live and transfer to our descendants in decades to come?
South Sudan was ranked lowest on the Foreign Policy/Fund for Peace 2014 Failed States Index, pushing Somalia off that unconverted spot for the first time in history. My dear citizens of the land! Is this the Country we opted to live and transfer to our descendants in decades to come?
The viability of South Sudan as a sovereign state is currently in doubt in the face of international community. My dear citizens of the land! Is this the Country we opted to live and transfer to our descendants in decades to come?
An index by a London-based consulting firm has identified South Sudan’s passport among the worst in the world. My dear citizens of the land! Is this the Country we opted to live and transfer to our descendants in decades to come?
My dear brothers and sisters of the land, we must consider our Country above all of us in order to get rid of the aforementioned catastrophes…….No leadership is eternal like the sovereignty itself….Leaders come and go and the country remains…….For instance, we can willingly decide today to extent Salva Kiir’s leadership for extra 30 years to rule in the current turmoil, but still Dinka leadership wouldn’t cease and not all the Dinka would drive V8s. On the other hand, we can overwhelmingly decide to hand over the leadership to Dr. Riek today and rule South Sudan for 30 years in crisis, but still Nuer leadership wouldn’t cease and all the Nuer needs would never get accomplish and will still face difficulties just like the way home state of Salva Kiir recently emerged as the first state to announce hunger in South Sudan where families are struggling to eat as severe hunger is sweeping the whole Country. This is indisputably the impact of war.
In that regard, my dear liberal minded youth, does it really manifest any sense for us to zipped our mouths and allow our rights stripped away from us and watch innocent South Sudanese souls perishing invariably and subject the survivors to distinct human sufferings, just because we opted to be rigid on our ancient tribal ideologies and blindly maintain Salva Kiir on the throne?…….Or does it really imply any logic for us to sit back like spectators in a football pitch and watch our beloved ones lose their precious lives and only opted to be rigid on our ancient tribal ideologies in the pretext that Dr. Riek must get to the presidency?
We have to be honest to ourselves that, Such ideologies are inevitably harmful to our beloved Country…..They are unfair to the 2.5 Million heroes and heroines who took an oath before the supreme being (God) on free will, free choice, by flesh and blood and wholeheartedly dedicated their entire lives for the cause of the liberation struggle, and that is why we are now enjoying our African identity as a free nation. Such ideologies are inevitably harmful to the mass majority of innocent South Sudanese children, women and elderly people in the UNMISS camps under extremely unpleasant severe conditions.
It is indisputable that people have died at the onset of the conflict up to date, and if at all the dead could return, the war would end, but is this realistic? Thus, we must cease from advocating for war in the pretext of the dead in order to save the living soulsand rebuild our beloved country in the spirit of love. Therefore, brothers and sisters, the best catalysts to the fulfillment of all our basic needs are; patriotism, nationalism, peace and reconciliation.
Consequently, we shall have formal infrastructures like roads, schools, hospitals and afterwards the influx of investors on different sectors in our potential Country will create enormous jobs opportunities and stabilize our economy. This is the country we should all advocate for……A society free from tribalism. We are only approximately 11 million with a potential country full of abundant untapped resources. Therefore, with the spirit of nationalism, patriotism, peace and reconciliation, I can bet that even a villager in Uror County would earn a monthly salary. I earnestly appeal to all South Sudanese including myself to stop complicating the potentiality of our nation with greed and tribalism, owing to the fact that when complications are complicated, they are complicative and resort to destructive complexities.
Therefore, we must think beyond our tribes and embrace peace and reconciliation and advance a sincere spirit of loving our beloved Country as the first priority before our tribes and leaders in order to save our country from complete collapse and disintegration. Finally, let us appreciate the fact that the existence of the 64 tribes in South Sudan was not by mistake, but by the Supreme Being (God’s) grace and He has reasons for the being of all indigenous. As such, our only common pride is the Republic of South Sudan and that is our unifying identity. Long Live South Sudan! Long Live One People! One Blood! One Nation!
The author is a former Child Protection Coordinator & Human Rights (DORD). Currently Pursuing Master of Laws (LL.M) at Girne American University, Turkey and can be reached at [email protected].