Good will Finally Triumph in South Sudan

Posted: July 22, 2018 by mayendengdit in Junub Sudan

By David Mayen Dengdit, Minnesota, USA

Saturday, July 21, 2018 (PW): There is a general consensus among South Sudanese across their ethnic, regional and political divides that the current IGAD-led peace efforts must bring an end to the suffering of our people. More partisanship, hostility, vindictiveness and entrenchments will lead to more suffering. Hence, the objective reality we have been forced to endure necessitates reconciliation among ourselves and between politicians, so that refugees and IDPs can go back to their fertile homes to rebuild their shattered lives.

The major fear in that aspiration, however, is that the same refugees and IDPs who are now under UN protection may end up being targeted and victimized when they get back to their homes.  In many instances, senior government officials accused those in UN Protection of Civilians (POC) sites – almost all of whom are women, children and elderly who fled for their lives- of being rebels. Consequently, those who ventured outside the POCs did so at their own peril, some of whom never returned back while many returned with unbearable wounds.

South Sudanese, therefore, need a genuine peace agreement which creates a new government capable of protecting returnees instead of victimizing them further. In other words, a disproportionate concentration of power in the hands of a small elite mafia must be eliminated, checked and balanced. That can only be done through restructuring the country and establishing elaborate federal or local government configurations which are capable of delivering needed services to returnees and preventing further abuse of power.

While a top down approach to resolving this crisis is being pursued by IGAD, we must come together at the grass roots level and make our voices heard. Here, contrary to standard conception of grass roots to mean rural folks, I mean all of us together, the 99% of South Sudanese who carried no arms against our own people, killed no citizen and will not directly benefit from the “shared power” being proposed.

All of us, whether in the Diaspora and refugee camps, in UN concentration camps, or in all the towns and villages of our country want to see and live in a peaceful and prosperous country. The only prospect for seeing this dream materialize starts with sharing our own power, the people’s power of reconciliation and shunning of ethnic violence and division.

We have been divided and ruled by ethnic armed militias, criminal minorities who now roam the country and protect the status quo. These militias – who were recruited to ignite hatred among us-  undertook their task with perfection.  By humiliating other ethnic groups through mass killings, forced displacement and pervasive rape, they have professionally exploded an ethnic volcano which was supposed to be neutralized in an independent country we call ours.

The elites have kindled ethnic fault lines instead of burying them through enhancing a social engineering process which was already started by those who lived in South Sudan before us. Our forefathers and mothers, who united, intermarried and fought invaders together without reservations, had created the path that led to our independence, a path which we have now been forced to abandon.

Instead of peacefully coexisting and developing a common dream we all cherished, the elites have not only looted our bridges, railways, and hospitals; they led us, all of us, astray into a path of ethnic hatred and strong desire to revenge innocent women and children for other innocent women and children.

The revenge cycle of an eye for an eye and life for life must be broken by us for the sake of posterity; our children who must lead a happier future than what current realities project.

Because of the evil deeds of a few tribal bigots, who are the culprits and war criminals, we have condemned and distanced ourselves from each other using new terminologies of IG, IO and many other acronyms. While it’s natural to support a resistance movement against a tyrannical regime, in order to be a useful organization, it’s more necessary to correctly define who the oppressors are.

Time has come for us to know that these acronyms reflect the aspirations of those who are selfishly orchestrating our downfall as united tribes and people. If we must, let us not belong to these ethno-political groupings with all our minds and hearts because they neither define who we are as a people nor serve our collective interest. Rather, they exclusively define a time which we ought to bury as soon as we can.

Time has come for all families, whether in the Diasporas, refugee and IDP camps, or in towns and villages across our country, to embrace ourselves once again and allow our children to know each other as South Sudanese.

No matter how overwhelming the seeds of bitterness may have been planted inside our communities, we must not allow them to germinate, lest we lose our country forever and make the few but powerful political criminals among us succeed.

Reconciliation remains an individual choice each and every one of us must make and give his or her children as-well-as preach inside his or her community. It starts with us as individuals and the choice we consciously make define our individual contributions to the future of South Sudan.

We must make the right choice and tirelessly work for a better, peaceful and prosperous country. Once we do so, we will free our country from tyranny and good will finally triumph over evil.

David Mayen Dengdit is a former Vice Presidential Press Secretary and founder of Free Citizens Red Flag League (FCRFL) – a peace and development advocacy platform. He can be reached at mayen.ayarbior@gmail.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 Media (PW) website. If you want to submit an opinion article, commentary or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website do reserve the right to edit or reject material before publication. Please include your full name, a short biography, email address, city and the country you are writing from.

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