One institution’s untiring quest for lasting peace

By Deng Vanang,

Opinion

Leaders of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance posting for a photo in Addis Ababa in December 2017 (File Photo)

Leaders of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance posting for a photo in Addis Ababa in December 2017 (File Photo)

August 13th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – People need not be tired hearing the voices of those talking about just and sustainable peace. It is after all our lives and those of loved ones we are saving by making peace that holds. Not peace to breed yet another devastating war.

We know quite too well how war has been ravaging our lives, while denying us good things life offers. Those who find faults in the peace process or what has been agreed shouldn’t be wrongly regarded as whiners for nothing or anti-peace per se.

It means they are more caring far from being interested in what kills and destroys. Their well-placed reservations should instead be used to seal the loopholes of the ongoing peace process than being castigated. These are individuals who feel uneasy seeing pain with no end in sight, while in constant search for its lasting solution.

Such required solution is not an instant coffee to prepare and take within short possible time one needs it. It demands time and long suffering spirit in those who are untiringly yearned for it. Once peace is shoddily done for the sake of having it, it will soon fall apart and relapse to more regrettable violent past.

Durable peace demands patience, trust and confidence to make it what it is against the quick fix one. Without which, its sustainability cannot only be guaranteed, but also time wasting and destructive.

Which is better to suffer once than settle for short term silence of guns and only to unravel again into more dangerous conflict. One that is constantly repeating itself and claiming innocent, countless generations even those ahead of us.

Just like our present conflict which can be traced back to more than 200 years ago, starting from 1820 up to today, 2018. All generations born within this time bracket only know war without development that makes life worth living.

It is high time we all use this peace process to turn our myriad of conflicts behind us once and for all. In so doing, we must all work to deal with root causes which always make such uncalled for conflicts recur.

That will save us a great deal and not become the laughingstocks of those who take advantage of our suffering and resources, while we are at each other throats.

Conflict root causes

Present issues causing continuous conflict can be narrowed down to just a few, but more divisive ones.

  • Among them is an imperial presidency that usurps our natural rights to think independently as free citizens.
  • Popular demand for federalism is an idea whose time has come for people to have direct say over their own future and resources.
  • Entrenched democratic checks and balances in public institutions are the only true watchdogs in collective war against both political and economic corruption denying us much needed development.
  • For any society to secure peaceful co-existence, those sowing deadly seeds of conflict among brothers and sisters must account for their misdeeds.

It is the only way to ensure justice between victims of war crimes and their perpetrators. Which also helps in the process of healing broken hearts of the victims and their loved ones, while serving as memorable lesson in future conflict prevention.

  • Roadside declaration of 32 States which robbed others of ancestral lands and pitted neighbor against neighbor must as a matter of urgency be shelved.

For it beats logic to think of lasting peace laid siege by series of intractable communal conflicts with real potential to suck the whole country into them. In case such States are of any necessity, people need conducive environment of soul searching and tranquility before they decide.

Not in this politically polarized situation full of hate and divisions, let alone in the situation people are nowhere to be consulted. Anything short of what is necessary, the signed peace agreement will just be mere truce followed by perpetual conflict and suffering for countless years ahead to the disheartening annoyance of one peace loving institution, SSOA of which FDP/SSAF is an integral part and parcel.

The author is the Secretary for Information, Public Relations and Spokesperson for Federal Democratic Party/South Sudan Armed Forces, FDP/SSAF. Cordially reachable at: dvanang@gmail.com