Every cloud has a silver lining “goes an English adage”
By Pal Chol Nyan, Juba, South Sudan
April 2, 2017 (SSB) — Our country, blessed with abundant natural resources, has been badly and intentionally plunged into a senseless, destructive and escalating conflict for over 3 and half years now. The crisis which started as a power struggle/wrangle in their own house has put the country into the state of uncertainty and later ethnicised.
Many precious lives and properties including the minimal infrastructures put in place are devastated. Some of our major towns of South Sudan have been completely destroyed and are now ghost towns. Several attempts to end this civil strife remain futile. The 2015 ARCISS which is/was believed to have been a way out and forward, in the words of the international community, is partially being implemented or that there is no progress in the implementation process.
This has caused a sharp disagreement between the government and those who say this. Deadly and uncalled for highway ambushes and killings, which are alien and not part of our cultures, continued unabated. Famine is declared in some parts of the country. Untold atrocities and flagrant human rights abuses have been reported by the UN. They accused both sides to the conflict of being responsible. The number of South Sudanese in the refugees’ camps and internally displaced is exceedingly high and overwhelmed the UNHCR in the host countries.
The economic situation is a nightmare in the country. Our local pound is surpassed by the dollar. You cannot buy or transact with our own money; everything is about dollar. Ours has lost its value and depreciated to zero level or to a free fall. Parents are not able to feed or register their children in the schools. In the areas most affected by the conflict, no basic services going to the people at the grass-roots.
They are people betrayed. The dreams of the people who voted for an independent South Sudan, I am not an exception, are dashed by what is unfolding under the watch of our leaders. I would be a fool if I don’t mention that some of our leaders actually supervise and direct what is going on.
My humble and special appeal to the top leadership (the belligerent SPLM factions) of this country, is to do soul-searching and put the interests of the innocent south Sudanese first. They need to be true patriots and nationalists. They must preach unity among the 64 tribes that they helped polarised because of the quest or lust for power. They should reunite their divided factions for the good of the country and our dear but vulnerable South Sudanese.
This war must end. That is the only hope. I sincerely, with all my conscience, call upon our leaders from their political divides to put their political, social and tribal differences aside and see the suffering our people are undergoing. They need to show remorse. The policy of divide and conquer is cheaper and will but aggravate what we are going through. The good that I know we have done is a disservice to ourselves. Forgiveness should not be selective.
All those arrested on the ground of their political affiliations need to be unconditionally released as a gesture of goodwill. Nobody should assume to be holier than thou in this situation. It is our own making. I would advocate for a practical liberal democracy and multi-party system. The notion of satellite political parties are brainchild of the colonisers; it does not have any room here.
This situation South Sudan is passing through is untenable. It must not continue or left unattended to. It would be a sheer dereliction of duty and negligence by us. Let us work for a stable South Sudan where all are treated equal without discrimination. Many countries have passed through such experiences but they later sat and resolved their problems amicably.
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