By Kur Wël Kur, Adelaide, Australia
February 19, 2017 (SSB) —- The book written in fragments of time, the lifespan of our planet, the Bible, proves to us (South Sudanese) and to the portion of the world population who’re Christians that God think(s) about South Sudanese in the same vein He thought about Israelites when they were troubled by the bondage and the wilderness.
But how many times have we read between the lines in the book of ages to understand this comparison? None, I would assume. I assumed because our leaders and us, citizens have tried all possibilities of human weaknesses, or call it human wickedness to prove ourselves ungodly. Think of barbaric killings. Dicing women into pieces. Rapping children and elderly. Roasting our fellow citizens alive… I can list a thousand cases to match the word-limit of this article, but still it won’t convey the message of this article in its purity.
So, I would like to settle on explaining why the economic crisis in South Sudan resembles the Israelites’ life in wilderness. I do acknowledge though, much is said and written about economic woes in our beloved country by the experts of immensely academic credentials. So, mind will make sense of biblical comparisons. Greed. Laziness. We’re all leaders; we’re followers.
Greed is corruption. None is greedy, or corrupt than a soul once barred by hunger. Poverty. Marginalisation. Oppression, name the rest…. The Israelites just left the bondage of Egyptians. The four- hundred years yoke of slavery was finally lifted by God. God gave them to the wilderness to humble them. So, for forty years, they made countless laps around Mount Sinai.
However, greed (corruption) persisted. Explicitly, God instructed them to stay away from the desire of owning more than their needs. For instance, in the case of the raining Manna: “No one is to keep any of it until morning. However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell.”
On behalf of Israelites, it was a test of human soul, the urge to own more than rest of your relatives and friends, the selfishness of being “smart.” Life is a cycle, a metamorphosis of humans on earth. History repeats itself.
South Sudanese, for 22 years, were humbled in their country and in the neighbouring countries to eat from the garden they never ploughed, sown or harvested. They ate already processed food, the blood, sweat and toil of others. A manna raining from heaven! But did they think about cleansing their souls of corruption? No. With absolute culpability I stand by this answer.
As the hunger reduced a big portion of a war-trampled population to eat leaves of the wild trees, a tiny portion with stars on top of their shoulders grabbed sacks of sorghum and cartons of oil and sold them in order to send their families to Kampala, Uganda and to Nairobi, Kenya. Though the donors encased in United Nations stamped the bolded four words: Not To Be Sold on the sacks of relief food, but the blinded ignorance and urge to stay ahead of the pack forced the corrupt officials to continue collecting more Manna.
Fast it forward to 2005. Our peace, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement had just been signed. A six-year interim period was given to South Sudanese in order to sleep over the agreement after which they would decide their own destiny. Meanwhile the hands of evil were slithering around the architect of the CPA. Dr. John Garang didn’t make it to show South Sudanese the corners that needed to be negotiated in the CPA just as in navigation where some corners need wide or narrow angles of negotiations. Well, the CPA was just a blueprint in the hands of the builders with no one to turn to if they need any clarification. So they guess it. A bolt without a washer here. A nut on that screw there. And we will be fine. Really?
Yes, we were all fine and in peace. So, we voted ourselves out of the Khartoum regime with 98-9% of votes. All South Sudanese. All 64 tribes. No Nuer versus Dinka. No Bari speakers or Equatorians versus the Dinka. No majorities versus minorities. It was one big family, the South Sudanese family telling the enemy: “we are sick and tired of you.” And it was loud, deafening, and clear.
Then the greed, call it corruption, nepotism, tribalism, or attachment to materials wealth and power, kick in. Whatever the name you give to it (the problem in South Sudan), the consequence remain the same. Mistrust! It led to the rebellion and the killings. The raping. The displacements. The selling of souls: “Nahn mudhannbun (ghaltaleen) Bashir,” we’re guilty, Bashir. An allegedly name given to the South Sudanese refugees’ camp in (North) Sudan. An apology to Omar Bashir for voting for the separation of South Sudan.
The economic crisis in our country is a direct consequence of some people collecting more Manna than what they need. It’s the Manna rotting. All those millions of dollars shovelled in spades into foreign banks. All those billions of SSP buried in the depths of families’ rooms. The excess is rotting. It’s wasting away. No financial reforms will fix the rotting economy. Except the spiritual reforms in our hearts, call it humanitarian reforms where we will be equal in the faces of pain, poverty, hunger and marginalisation, or in peace and power.
Otherwise, continue to call for empty economic reforms, insincere dialogues. Continue to consider others less or more patriotic than others. And our country will vanish from the world map. How? The Uganda is nicking away a piece; Kenya is brutal in Nadapal; they’re claiming Illemi triangle; And Ethiopia? And the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)? And the Central African Republic (CAR)?
Well, I have named “friends” who need to benefit from the fools fighting themselves. What of our enemy, (North) Sudan? What’s it taking from us? Everything. Land, Abyei is disappearing from our consciousness. Oil is theirs (Northerners) in its entirety. Will economic reforms fix these problems? No! No, will be my answer in thousand times and in the eternity of this planet (earth). So, in bits and pieces, our country will disappear.
The solution is simple. Let’s stop the greed of any kind. Let’s treat each other with dignity, humanity and with kinship of one big family. Let’s stop useless resignation that are fuelled by greed. We must learn to understand that we’re all leaders and followers as well. For example, a military general cannot be economic leader so a military general can be economic leader’s follower. And the same goes in other fields….
You can reach the author via his email: makuei kur <email@example.com>
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