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By Pal Chuol, Juba, South Sudan
May 3, 2016 (SSB) —- Hard work pays goes the saying. I attribute this adage to the recent appointment of the Cabinet of the TGONU, three of whom hail from Lou Nuer area. They got appointed through different political tickets namely SPLMIG, SPLMIO and the SPLM-FDs. On a personal level, I am delighted and I hope so are the rest. I am indebted to the two leaders Gen Salva Kiir and Dr Riek Machar for the trust and confidence they bestowed on our community for appointing our sons as Ministers in the TGONU. It is paramount to be recalled here that the appointment of these men is not a gift from anybody as some people would wrongly want to believe; but it is contingent on the recognition of the contribution of this Community in the struggle for the liberation and the independence of South Sudan.
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You deserve the appointment and nobody in his right mind should fail to discern this or misconceive it for a favouritism either. The Lou Nuer sacrificed souls and materials in all wars until we reached where we are now. There has never been any occasion where the Lou Nuer abandoned the fight for whatever cause and neither have they ever stabbed the people of South Sudan in the back. Yes, there had been times when the Lou Nuer community reacted violently if their rights are compromised without convincing reasons. They don’t give a damn to such practices. The political hiccoughs of 1990’s, 2004 crisis in Rumbek (mediated by Dr Riek Machar), the worst of all when the agreement was in the final stages of completion and the 2013 incident(The president’s jargon replacing the so-called coup ) are commonplace in any wars of liberation and should not be considered so different from the African continental politics.
The Lou Nuer have, as a matter of principle, adopted the use of carrot and stick policy in their dealings and interaction with their neighbours, be they hostile or friendly. It is an open secret that the Lou Nuer Community is a formidable and mighty fighting force to be reckoned with. They have been and will always be on maximum alert in all cases of any emergency involving foreign aggressions and such like, should it transpire (God forbids). I seize this opportunity to make it plainly loud and clear that, the Lou Nuer clan of the Nuer tribe is known for bravery and decisive steadfastness when handling important and sensitive matters. Considering their bravery under Guek Ngundeng, the son of the prophet Ngundeng Bong Chan Geah (PUH), they resisted and overwhelmed the invading colonial British Royal Air Force in a fierce battle. They downed RAF fighter jet with a club and defeated the British army with heavy losses in man and materials. The Lou Nuer area is neighbored by many communities and tribes.
They have foiled numerous attempts of occupation in their land. We always fight back once aggressed but our motto is and remains to be peaceful coexistence and harmony with our neighbours. My message to the appointed leaders is that, you are now entrusted by the government of the Republic of South Sudan with the responsibility to serve South Sudan in general and our area in particular. Remember, Charity begins at home. Jesus Christ began his teachings and healings in the land of Israel and later dispatched his disciples to take the words of God to all directions of the world to make people his followers. Our people desperately need services tangibly. They have been denied these services for long regardless of their contribution and unwavering support to and participation in the liberation struggle. With your appointment, there would be no any rational excuse now as to why should there be no hospitals, schools, network and roads connecting us with our neighbours and the National Capital.
The time for lies and hypocrisy is over. It is time to tell the truth to ensure that our actions speak louder than our words. The first two governments failed, nobody knows, whether knowingly or not, to make the basic services reach us except for an unstable Zain network politically installed and fixed by people who just wanted to buy votes. It is time to make it stable and it does not need to be politicized any longer. We are and have been tired of empty promises by witty Lou Nuer politicians who have been in power for the age of my elder son who turned 18 in March this year. It is time for mental reform. We shall not allow ourselves and continue whatsoever to be captives of their lies and pomposity. Let us liberate ourselves from lies because a lie is short-lived.
Let us work in unison because unity is strength. I urge our Honourable Ministers, with my due respect to you, to collaborate and take the lead in reconciling us with our neighbours and the people of South Sudan. The culture of conspiracies should not any longer and, no matter what, still be the means to get to power and to acquire wealth. It will not take us anywhere and we will never achieve our goals. Those who live on conspiring and backstabbing should and has got to desist from practicing this vice. Notwithstanding your political colors, allegiances, likes and dislikes, our dear Ministers, it is a moment to diligently serve our community and do something which will remain behind as a legacy in case!! The time and hour is not known even to the Son of Man.
My final message is to the Lou Nuer Youth at home and in the Diaspora, my dear brothers and sisters, let us avoid lining up behind the politicians who do things behind the scenes and later come out when it comes to implementation. Let them not divide and confront us for their own vested interests. Grouping ourselves behind them is destructive and will impede any development that we may render to our people. I don’t want to be misunderstood for saying that they be abandoned nor be bullied or disrespected. They are our elders and we are obliged to respect them.
We need them for wise advice and counsel but not dirty political machinations. In Arabic there is a saying that if you have no elder, you go and buy one. Here it is meant for the elders who are good and exemplary leaders and who at the same time serve as role-models. Thank God we have many of them, well versed in politics and governance.
What I am saying is that we should not politically spoil them. The youth must never, never allow themselves to be trapped by small petty and trivial political positions or dirty cash .We ought to be at the forefront to reconcile them in the event that they differ over the conflicts of interest because this is always what befalls them.
The onus is on us to build our area and turn it into a conducive place for the mankind to live in. We have the talents, technical know-how and experiences needed to develop our area and better the lives of our despondent community. We have many technocrats in many disciplines. A divided house may fall. It can be invaded by enemies who may dance to the best of their tunes if we disagree or fail. Should we allow that culpable mistake to happen? Absolutely no! We have the duty and indeed a daunting task to enlighten our youth at home to stop killing themselves as a result inter-clans fighting or feuds.
We must encourage them to go to schools. This is a great challenge facing us now and must be tackled timely without further or more ado. Conclusively, I thank Gen Salva Kiir and his two deputies for having honouring us. Services must go to the people in a transparent and an accountable way.
Until then Good bye!
The author of this article, Pal Chuol, is a concern South Sudanese. He can be reached at email@example.com
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