LOCKED IN THIS ROOM, WE ARE NOT FULLY FREE

Posted: August 3, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël in Columnists, Commentary, Contributing Writers, Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers, Thiik Mou Giir

By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia       

Thiik Giir.jpg

Thiik Mou Giir 

 

August 3, 2017 (SSB) — I have been told, again and again, that all South Sudanese, wherever they are, will continue to be divided along their tribal lines and their political entities as long as those who caused these divisions are still in power in Juba.  They have also pointed out to me that the only way for my vision to be realized and to be accepted is when those in power are removed.

“Tackle the problem from its roots,” they said.  The implication of this statement is that those in power in Juba are the ones who are guilty of causing the communal fragmentations everywhere.  I do not quite agree with this allegation.  The root cause of the problem, the problem that has divided our communities, stem from the hidden and open activities of all parties who are involved in the armed conflict.

No single group of people, who have taken up arms and fought this far, could have possibly maintained their innocence.  All armed forces to the conflict, the government and the armed opposition forces, and those who support them, whether they accept or deny the blame, have wrecked South Sudan and the communities within South Sudan and in Diaspora.

Without exception, we have become a people who are locked in a room without sufficient food,

“Tackle the problem from its roots,” they said.  The implication of this statement is that those in power in Juba are the ones who are guilty of causing the communal fragmentations everywhere.  I do not quite agree with this allegation.  The root cause of the problem, the problem that has divided our communities, stem from the hidden and open activities of all parties who are involved in the armed conflict.

No single group of people, who have taken up arms and fought this far, could have possibly maintained their innocence.  All armed forces to the conflict, the government and the armed opposition forces, and those who support them, whether they accept or deny the blame, have wrecked South Sudan and the communities within South Sudan and in Diaspora.  Without exception, we have become a people who are locked in a room without sufficient food,

No single group of people, who have taken up arms and fought this far, could have possibly maintained their innocence.  All armed forces to the conflict, the government and the armed opposition forces, and those who support them, whether they accept or deny the blame, have wrecked South Sudan and the communities within South Sudan and in Diaspora.  Without exception, we have become a people who are locked in a room without sufficient food, water, and air.

By accepting to live in this immense, locked room with its small rooms within it; that is, our tribes, our particular sections within tribes, and our political entities, we are accepting to live without freedom.  The small rooms (sub-communities) are the spaces that are available to us.  In them, we seem to find consolation and in them we socialize.

They are also the spaces from where we shoot bullets, fling stones, or spew insults at those who we consider as not belonging to our own room.  The fact that we are all members of the same huge room we call, South Sudan, is increasingly becoming irrelevant.

Day by day, we have perfected the art of firing bullets, flinging stones, spewing insults.  We have also perfected the art of shielding off bullets, stones, and the insults.  We have become the embodiment of what we do.  Although not everyone is firing bullets, flinging stones and spewing insults at others, the actions created by those who do, have affected everyone negatively in one way or another.

As long as the people of South Sudan continue to live in their respective rooms and think that they have no reason to adequately interact in a positive way with those who belong to other rooms, they will continue to develop the culture of violence and of degradation.

Consequently, they will never find enough space where to move into effectively as people worthy of respect.  As things stand, the notion that we are free is nothing but a myth, an illusion.  We are locked in these stifling rooms.  In the meantime, the world is progressing very well and very fast while we are left far, far behind in a miserable situation.

In Diaspora, the leaders and the elders of each small room (tribal community or political party) have ceased to be leaders in the real sense.  They have become mere gatekeepers.  They are responsible for ensuring that the people under their watch are locked up in the room.  Furthermore, it is their duty to prevent any interaction between people of one room with the people of other rooms from happening.

This is a role that the people who elect them into the office expect them to play and if they do not play that role as expected, the people bring a tremendous pressure for them to bear.  Who among the leaders could bear being accused as a traitor or as a weak leader?  No one and that end any possibility of people in having a dialogue.

Most South Sudanese people who assume leadership positions love to be thought of as tough, as hardliners, and as not a ‘yes’, ‘yes’, persons, especially when they have some business to do with leaders they consider to belong to the other rooms.  When we do away with the habit of social interaction, we cease to build trust and confidence in our people.

In these rooms, we are, more or less, in a massive sit-do-nothing situation with no leader with a plan and enough people to help the masses break free from these confining rooms. All the settlement problems that members of all sub-communities should collectively and collaboratively face together and resolve are left unattended.

So many people, who belong to their particular room, just sit, daydream about what could have been done and not done and what might happen in the future in a country that is thousands of miles away.  In reality, we are stuck in these confining rooms with no much space to move into.

When we are just sitting in these small rooms and scarcely do anything in solidarity, we are clearly disregarding the law of nature.  Man, like any other animal, has an innate capacity to adapt to a new environment.  We are in Diaspora.  That means we are not in our natural habitat.  We, therefore, supposed to be collectively engaged, as one indivisible people, in doing things that will enable us to adapt to these other countries’ cultures.

This is, unfortunately, not happening as expected.  Physically, we are in these countries, but our minds are in the same rooms in South Sudan.  Those among us, who are politically active, seem to be engaged, through social media, in activities that are more destructive than constructive.

The combination of the continual outbreak of violence in South Sudan, the settlement issues we collectively face in Diaspora and the involvement of some people among us in carrying out activities that are degrading and deepening social divisions between people have firmly locked us in these rooms within a locked, vast room.

We are not fully free and the key – where is the key?

…. To be continued next week in part two.

You can reach the author via his email: thiik_giir@hotmail.com

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.

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