South Sudan: TGoNU is formed, But The Nation Remains at Crossroads

By Miyong G. Kuon.

Juba, South Sudan,

Officials of SPLA/SPLM-IO post for a picture at their new based in Juba after more than two years of civil war(Photo: supplied/Nyamilepedia)

Officials of SPLA/SPLM-IO post for a picture at their new based in Juba after more than two years of civil war(Photo: supplied/Nyamilepedia)

May 26, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– The Transitional Government of National Unity is formed, the nation remains at crossroads. Only, and only if leaders lead with responsibility. If leaders lead with responsibility, the time is now to take the road to better South Sudan. There has never been a wrong time to do the right thing. If peace is to be fully achieved in this country, leaders must be bold to face the reality. Being the era of peace, now is the time to do the right thing. In any event, such as public speeches by influential prominent leaders, their speeches should be full of conciliatory messages to reflect the time of peace. Politicians from both side of the aisle must cease the politics of  brinkmanship. The time of war has passed. Politicians must  adopt peaceful approaches to solve political differences to allow reconciliation and unity among citizens. If people are united, even the nation’s economy can begin to prosper.

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Unless the leaders exercise their determination and put the nation first, the tribal political confrontations will continue to polarize the nation.  Then, the uncertainty of the situation will demotivate the spirit of peace and the reconciliations. Those inspired by this vision will no longer support it. But if you truly love your country unconditionally, join those who support peaceful end to South Sudan crisis.

The nation first vice President Dr. Machar challenge to the nation by showing up at any Sunday services regardless of the congregations race, tribal or political affiliation is absolutely encouraging. It must be supported and the trend should continue. At this crucial time, leaders should visit communities one  center or one church at a time.

Thanks to the leaders who are already leading the way. On Sunday last week, Dr. Machar  went to Sunday service at Jieng Emmanuel Church in Juba.  Amb. Ezekiel L. Gatkuoth traveled to the outskirt of Juba and attended church service with IDPs. To all, this encouraging move is commendable.

Peace does not simply emerge by a simple signature from principles. The peace processes involve all walks of life. Reconciliations and Healing for instance can be achieved with tedious processes. A real and credible peace is built over time, with series of actions, and approaches that move conflict into permanent, with peaceful ending.

Peace demands swift, but sincere action not only from the echelon level of society, but from different people, in different ways, and at different points. I am in the agreement that, visiting churches and community centers preaching message of peace indiscriminately as did the first Vice President and echoed by Amb. Ezekiel on Sunday, is positive.

Amb. Ezekiel Gatkuoth told is aide Saturday May 21, 2016, to organize a trip to outskirt of Juba where Internationally Displaced Persons live and attend worship service. However, planing a visit to one of the IDP camps is one thing, but shaking hand physically with these Internally Displaced persons who have been living in deplorable situation for the last two years can be quiet emotional.

Amb Ezekiel L. Gatkuoth, the SPLM-IO national committee for external affairs, accompanied by Hon. Gatwech Peter Kulang, Amb. Miyong G. Kuon, Amb. James Mawich Bichiok, Amb. Lam Chuol Jock, Amb. Mary Nyakate Riek Dhol, Amb. Stephen Puoch Riek, Dr. Zeko Gatkek, Mr. Joseph Stewart (Abu Deng), Mr. Donge Gai Donge, and Mr. Charles Chuol Deng

They  visited the POCs 1 and 3 in Jebel area where the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are located. . Gatkuoth briefed the IDPs on the implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCISS) especially “Reconciliation and Healing” within the IDPs and with other communities in South Sudan.

The church service was fully attended. as Amb. Gatkuoth congratulated the IDPs for their resilience, he also commended their decision to recognize and welcome peace to their communities.

In spite of two years in isolations and hardships, the IDPs have swallowed their pain and whole heartily welcomed the implementation of the peace agreement.

For the visitors, seeing and listening to those who had witnessed and survived that fateful reality of December 2013, calling  for peace, was simply amazing. They are group of nationalists who truly love their country.

Their message was absolutely for peace, Reconciliations and Healing. They are ready to forgive everyone even their enemy. In church, they prayed for peace, and more peace.

After the church service, Amb. Gatkuoth and his team toured number of other churches  and community centers greeting people along the way. On his way to a nearby center where Juaybör community members of Fangak gathered, Amb. Gatkuoth and stumbled on two boys who stood beside their mother by the road.

The mother was busy digging dirt but the kids were tired. The dirt she was digging might be meant for shelter.

In a sunny afternoon, the view was unbearable to simply ignored and bypass it. The two toddlers look weak, hungry and thirsty. Their innocent faces compelled Ambassador to stop. He leaned toward them and offered a hand shake. Hi? Ambassador said. But the shirtless boy by the name Tethloach was a bit over stimulated with many people around him. He cried thinking these strangers would hurt him.

Amb. Gatkuoth didn’t uttered a word. His Aide reached into his pocket and handed over a note of one hundred SSP. to the emotional toddler. He did not smile but reluctantly grasped the note. His mother smiled and seemed pleased and appreciative. But not for the cash. She felt honored that the convoy stopped to greet them.

This young boy and his mother’s story is another testimony among ten of thousands untold stories. The encountered justified why this nation must take this peace seriously.

At the community gathering, Juaybör women came out chanting as they welcomed Amb. Ezekiel and the team inside the hall.  They were briefed about the peace implementations and reconciliations and hearings. Living in a hardship inside the UN-protected site strengthened their tolerance in life with remarkable aptitude to achieve peace in this country once again.  They demonstrated this by showering  us with gifts of peace. Juaybör women leaders lined us up and dressed us in traditional gown known as (Lawa) signifying peace.

When the leaders agreed to sign the August compromised peace agreement, the world applauded the move. The support to the peace by the world’s leaders was all meant to bring change to deplorable situations Tethloach and his mother and many other around the country have been subjected to, by war. Their future and the rest of the nation’s future  depend on the choices being made today. If the nation’s leaders take a firm decision and embrace peace implementations, peace can be achieved and the country’s economy can bounce back to normal. This prospect may looks bleak to you now, but never too late because there has never been a wrong time to do the right thing.

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