By Lilian .C. Ifebueme, Abuja, Nigeria
April 17, 2017 (SSB) — The current situation in the country is so disheartening. It has been a great concern to me. It is so pathetic that a country that became an independent state, July 2001, has been crippled by ethnic conflict which began December, 2013. Since the inception of the conflict, thousands have been killed in brutal attacks which thousands have been displaced, fled from their homes to neighbouring countries, thereby turning them into refugees.
The people no longer have their freedom. There is very high tension of fear, anxiety among the people. The women and young girls are been sexually abused e.g. rape every day. Properties, houses buildings burnt down, schools shut down, due to continuous fighting, attacks nationwide. There seems to be no hope or future for the children and the young people.
Violent attacks have occurred throughout the country, like the attack on UN displacement camp, which killed hundreds of civilians and left so many wounded. The violence which erupted in the nation’s capital Juba, started July 8, 2016, just before the country’s fifth independent anniversary.
The clash killed hundreds of civilians over the course of few days and pushed the young nation backwards. There has been series of attacks between the government forces and the rebels, which have negatively impacted on the civilians in different regions.
With all these unpredictable attacks, the country’s economy is in serious crisis, jeopardy, which has heavily affected the agriculture. Massive famine has over-taken the country. The conflict has indeed sabotaged and crippled every facet of the economy.
The young ones (males) are being used as weapons/agents of violence. They have been turned into child-soldiers, given arms to carry out attacks.
For me, I would say that this conflict which has lasted for a long time is senseless, baseless. There is no reason or justification for this conflict. There have been series of peace talk, agreement signed over the cause of the war, like that of August, 2015, but they have been repeatedly violated. Few months after the peace agreement on August, 2015, there was a massive violent attack, which left so many displaced. A lot of effort has been made to bring resolution to the conflict, but none has really succeeded.
My heart bleeds for the south-Sudanese. I say to myself, when will all these atrocities end? Will there ever be peace in that country? While have there not been any lasting resolution from the series of peace deal, agreement in the past? What could possibly be the problems? Has the conflict paid? What exactly do the people who are involved in this war crime (i.e. the perpetrators) really want? Are they really thinking about the future of their nation? What is the fate of the refugees? When will the young people stop being used as agents of violence, being given weapons to fight?
Here, I am speaking, standing as a “Mediator”, calling all the Warring factions involved in this deadly conflict to come together and talk peace.
I am saying “Enough is Enough”. The people have suffered enough. Crime against humanity should not pay. The time is now to see to an end to the brutal conflict.
I am calling on the president, Salva Kiir Mayardit and the former vice president Riek Machar, who the rebels have pledge allegiance to, to come to the peace table, negotiate, talk and make peace. I am saying, the country can’t continue this way. It has to move forward, I am calling for peace and unity.
I am calling out to every individual, international community, non-governmental organizations, the media and also world leaders, who truly wants to see peace restored in South-Sudan, people who stands for peace to join, support and stand with me as we together bring a lasting resolution. Please join me in this cause and mission, as we press in deeply to end this war and once again see South-Sudan as a peaceful nation.
I strongly believe that mediation is still the only effective tool to create peace.
War crimes should not pay.
Yes together we can, I stand for peace.
The author, Lilian .C. Ifebueme (Nigeria), is a Mediator, Peace and Conflict Resolution specialist and can be reached via her email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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