By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia
April 15, 2017 (SSB) — And the latest armed movement to have been formed is Lt. General Thomas Cirillo’s. The country has a number of armed movements now. Is there anyone out there who is still not convinced about the fact that what we are doing to ourselves is that we are committing suicide?
Take the current regime out of equation and you will realize that the situation will remain, more or less, the same. We will still be thought of as people who are bent on committing suicide. The dream to obtain power through violent means will continue to be a damn thing upon which South Sudanese will fight for.
Whether that means our people will be displaced from their homes and subjected to live in dire conditions in refugee camps, raped and killed, it seems not to matter for us as long as we have lungs to breath, feet to walk, crawl, run, eyes to see the perceived enemy and, bullets to kill. Kill. Kill and do more killings. – Or, be killed.
We often hear:
‘Victory is certain’ and ‘Viva!’ and ‘SPLM Oyee!’
‘What then will happen when you seem to be victorious and there would still be people who will continue to fight you so that they take from you what you now have – power?’
‘What, after that, would happen when you would have run out of manpower; no men and no women to fight for you, because they would have all been killed in the war’.
‘Fight on! Alone!’
‘What have you said?’
The person who has been answering questions has been killed. Minutes later, the person who has been asking questions has turned his gun towards his own head and ended his own life. That marked the completion of a suicidal process.
We have gone extinct like pharaohs. In comparison, they pharaohs have left behind glorious deed whereas we are leaving nothing behind. We are nothing and there will be nothing for which we would be remembered except for the fact that we people had fought vigorously for our freedom and when we have gained our freedom, we then took leave to freely go down into our inglorious graves. This is a lamentable scenario.
It is sad to see our people dying like this for something that they never had. We never ever had power. Power is a sum of what you have achieved. When you have achieved it, you must also maintain and develop it more and more. Power is that which would inspire a nation and the next generations. The people of a nation who have power are respected everywhere in the world.
Apart from the fact that our people had power when they fought their real enemy, the Northerners, what power have they ever had as one people? Nothing. They never maintained or developed the power they once had during the time they were fighting against marginalization. The country is collapsing.
They do not also have power for which to be respected by other people in the world. The President, Salva Kiir, once said that he have been treated, like a schoolboy, by some leaders of other countries. If he thought and felt that way, the situation was hurting. Whether we support him or not, we must have collectively felt the same. It hurts. Who have a hand in the creation of that situation? Answer that question yourself. How can we rectify this problem? You have the power within yourself to do something about it.
South Sudan never had power after it gained independence; all that the nation has is wealth, wealth that some government officials have been swindling; wealth that some people in the opposition are setting their eyes on to swindle. To use the expression that is very much in use nowadays, once those in opposition seize power, some of them would say, ‘Now it is our turn to eat!’
Considering the level of corruption in the country, many people see government officials as people who are now ‘eating’ and, therefore, those who will come after them will be thought of as people whose turn has arrived to ‘eat’. That is not the language that you would expect to come from the people you hope to make South Sudan a powerful nation.
We never had power. That does not mean we shall be powerless forever. The quest for power is open to us just as it is open for any people in other countries. What, then, would put our people on the right track in order to gain power? In my opinion – think of what you may want to add or detract from my list – the right ingredients for that to happen are the following:
First, let us look at the things that will NOT make South Sudan a powerful nation.
Targeting a certain tribe or certain tribes negatively;
A desire to accumulate riches fraudulently from public coffers;
Allowing those who loot public funds unpunished;
Seeking higher positions for their own sake and not as means to achieve something for the nation;
Thinking of government positions as belongings of certain people, certain families, certain clans, or even certain tribes;
Now, let us look at some ingredients that will make South Sudan a powerful nation:
Simplicity; that is, to begin from the basics;
A role model leader; a leader who listens to people and who encourages people to dialogue;
Making sure that there is a rule of law; citizens are free to live wherever they choose live in provided that they abide by the laws of the land;
Government officials to use only vehicles that are not luxurious, such as Land Rovers and to drive their own government vehicles;
Those who are going to occupy high government offices must know and must cooperate as they are being monitored constantly and as long as they are occupying those offices;
Young men and women who are not studying or working must be arrested and send to productive, farming lands where they will work in government farming schemes.
If our people can do just that, there will be no need for our people to beg the international community to provide food and shelter endlessly. In no time, our people will have sufficient food. When that happens, our people will be in a position to say, “You know what? We can utilize our brainpower to produce things for the purpose of exporting them to other countries.” An idea, a thought, to have guns by which we could kill ourselves will be completely irrelevant and abhorrent.
Having said that and to work towards that end, there must be a socioeconomic, cultural, and political revolution. Time is ripe now to construct our national identity or there will be no hope.
You can reach the author via his email: Thiik Giir <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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