16 May 1983: WHAT CHANGED HAS IT BROUGHT TO THE LIVES OF THE ORDINARY SOUTH SUDANESE IN SOUTH SUDAN?

By Daniel Juol Nhomngek,

Kampala, Uganda,

Opinion

Dr. John Garang de Mabior and Yasser Arman addressing SPLA soldiers in Bonga in 1988(Photo credit: file/supplied/Nyamilepedia)

Dr. John Garang de Mabior and Yasser Arman addressing SPLA soldiers in Bonga in 1988(Photo credit: file/supplied/Nyamilepedia)

May 16th, 2018(Nyamilepedia) —  It is now thirty five years after the SPLM/A started the War against Khartoum in 1983. The war was not an easier one as it had led to the death of about two million people. Despite of those massive deaths which left many people dead, more orphans and widows and widowers, South Sudanese did not give up.

They were all united in peace and harmony against the Arabs. What made them to remain determine and fought to the end was the hope of the new place, the new country and the birth of the new people.

With that spirit of unity and determination based on the right to self-determination, the death of many did not deter many and the death of led to the history of South Sudan which is now sealed with the blood of many.

Indeed, the people fought as if they were hoping to go to heaven. If South Sudanese were all Christians, I would have concluded that they were fighting to go to heaven as they are ambassadors of Christ on earth.

However, in their case, their home is not heaven but the promised land of abundance. In that regard, South Sudanese pinned their hope on what they would get after claiming their land from foreigners who came to oppress them.

In long run, they managed to liberate South Sudan from those foreigners with the help of the outsiders or sympathizers who had seen their sufferings all along.  With the effort from the outsiders, the war then came to an end after twenty one (21) years. If these years were to be added to the years prior to 1983 we can talk of South Sudan having been in the war for over forty years.

It was the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of 2005 that brought the conflict to an abrupt end. As it was the case with the signing of the CPA, South Sudanese hoped that things would never be the same again as Black people were at the eve of taking their own destiny in their own hands.

However, little did South Sudanese know that the Black leaders were clone of the Arabs leaders in Khartoum? But what made them not to be detected earlier was the external unity imposed by the external aggressors. So, we danced during the independence that we got new breeds of African leaders.

Independence came and new black leaders came to power. Were they new leaders or Khartoum leadership and system duplicated in South Sudan? That is it. Unfortunately, Khartoum is now face to face with us ordinary citizens in various capacities in different offices. Citizens are now confused as they are asking themselves a very simple question whether we have got independence.

That simple question has is now almost on everybody’s lips. Seven years after independence, we are now, back to Khartoum system of governance like or even Khartoum system is better as there is security for citizens within Khartoum.

The question is I need to ask now is what change has 16 May brought to the lives of the ordinary South Sudanese in South Sudan? In fact things have changed from the worst. Things are now worse than during the war that was caused by the 16 May.  

Thus, as we are celebrating 16 May of 2018, we must bear in mind that many citizens are sleeping with empty stomachs; no food, no security for them. Corruption has engulfed social fabric of our communities.

Cattle raiding and tribal conflicts are at all time high; citizens are reduced to beggars on different streets in Juba and other towns. Rebels of poverty and the real rebels are found everywhere. Roads are nowhere even the little tarmac that was there is nowhere.

All V8s and Hammers that were bought like hot cakes are now parked indefinitely. South Sudanese Pound has lost ground to the dollar as it is now trading at over thirty thousand per one hundred dollars.

Sadly, leadership is just there stranded with the struggle to retain power while different governors in different 32 states are corrupting the system unaccountably. Majority of the people who claim to be SPLM party members are of Khartoum origin who have reintroduced the previous Khartoum policies in full swing.

Or some of the SPLM members are there to hunt for wealth while using the SPLM as an opportunity to loot the public with meager resources the war has left. All the Original SPLM members are pushed out of the party which marked the end of the SPLM One.

The SPLA as the National Army is infiltrated by militias with frightening ranks as generals are equal to the number of soldiers. The inflation of ranks has led to the loss of the meaning of the army superiority.

Peace talks are taken as opportunities to get some dollars and sleep in good hotels in Ethiopia. Hence, making the war as an opportunity to gain and the war-profit opportunity is at play. The questions are: how long shall we continue like this? What is the appropriate solution?

NB// the author is South Sudanese Lawyer residing in Uganda and he can be reached through juoldaniel2003@gmail.com


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One comment

  • Kerubino Konggor Makem

    Thank you bro ,Juol for your good points and observations which ,re in place, however our main problem in south Sudan is the high rate of illiteracy among civil populace becoz most of people don’t know their rights/donb,t know on how to account their leaders.

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