We Want our South Sudan Back

Opinion,

by Wiek Bol Reath,

Thousands of Southern Sudanese wave the flag of their new country during a ceremony in the capital Juba on July 09, 2011 to celebrate South Sudan's independence from Sudan. South Sudan separated from Sudan to become the world's newest nation. AFP PHOTO/Roberto SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

Thousands of Southern Sudanese wave the flag of their new country during a ceremony in the capital Juba on July 09, 2011 to celebrate South Sudan’s independence from Sudan. South Sudan separated from Sudan to become the world’s newest nation. AFP PHOTO/Roberto SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

December 11, 2019(Nyamilepedia) — It was in the early morning, if I am to reminisce, when most, if not all, of us South Sudanese woke up to the new dawn in our country, the morning of Saturday 9th July, 2011. We all thought we had woken up to the new life, in fact no comparison to the excitement or pride you would feel when you rise and wave your country flag for the first time as an independent state. It was indeed a thrill. Those who were present in persons, on that historical event, can bear me eyewitness.  

Just to be precise, the hope of millions of our people was restored, the war veterans referred it as a day compared to none, the wounded heroes and heroines felt their dream had become a reality, can you imagine how millions of our martyrs, the likes of Late Dr. John Garang De Mabior, Samuel Gai Tut among others, who laid their dear lives in a quest for an independent state had jubilated as they finally realized they didn’t die in vain?  

 In the first two years as an independent state, things went as expected, South Sudanese were now living their dreams, the ones who were sorting for refuge in the neighboring countries and overseas finally returned home. Unlike the flattery statement recently made by the Ex Petroleum Minister, economy was booming indeed, the orphans got access to free education and medications. Some South Sudanese who never knew the meaning of peace were able to define it. And more importantly, those who lost hopes picked themselves up again and started finding hopes for they thought they have now owned a country which is independent, a state with sovereignty and integrity. 

Nevertheless, shortly after the new nation celebrated her third birthday, in Mid-December 2013, things went astray; from best to worst, when the misunderstanding between the senior members of the ruling party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), over who should be the next candidate for the forthcoming elections, which were supposed to be conducted in 2015, which made them resort to violent and consequently return the countrywide in to full scale war. The mission and vision were lost as the elites emphasized on how to enrich their bellies and set path to rule for life rather than justice, liberty and prosperity in the new nation.

To cut a long story short, the country presently experiences new sorts of atrocities, the terror acts that had never been experienced before, not even during the 49 years of the liberation struggle, are being committed-citizens are murdered at will. The country that used to celebrate 16 May, as the day when the marginalized Southerners took up arms to liberate themselves from slavery is no longer celebrated. The country that was proud of being an independent state is just ashamed; the independence that used to be attendant by a good number of head of states is now a nightmare, the Independence Day celebration is being postponed yearly in pretext of no budget, while there is budget for dangerous weapons.  The military wing of the SPLM, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army popularly known as SPLA and now SSPDF, that used to mourn the death of one single South Sudanese civilians in the hand of then real enemy is now the one mass killing hundreds of innocent citizens that it is obligated to protect as a national army. The national army has been manipulated into tribal militia that fights for tribes or politicians to maintain or get them to power. The army can kill, torture, rape and loot as well as displace the citizens they took oath to protect just for individuals power struggle. They are simply used for individual ambitions but not national interest. The country that had been celebrating her intellectuals now hunts, deports and executes them simply they exercise their God given right of expression.

 The country where you could afford daily meal at only 2 South Sudanese pounds is currently a bankrupt; the cheap meal is at 1,000 South Sudanese Pounds, leave alone 5 pound, even 10 Pounds note is nowhere to be seen and if it exists somewhere it could only be capable of buying as much as sweet. The country that used to bring back its citizen who fled the country during the liberation and named them returnees, provide them with shelter, water and food stuff even primary education is currently raping, torturing, killing, burning their houses, looting their property and used all means to depopulate the country.  The country that was fighting so hard to eliminate poverty is now using the poverty as a tool to depopulate the country and punish civilians in armed Opposition controlled areas. 

As if that is not enough, the country that had a vision to be one of the fastest growing countries has currently been busy destroying it, burning to ashes schools, churches, hospitals and other import infrastructures. The country that could annually gather South Sudanese in order to celebrate their unity in diversity, view it as a blessing rather than a curse, through culture and sports is presently inciting hatred and tribalism amongst the tribes which were once coexisting in peace and harmony. The nation that her land dispute was only Abyei with Sudan has now having internal problem of land because of failed leadership which has created more states without well demarcated boundaries. The country lost her sovereignty as an independent state and now being indirectly ruled by foreigners and her land and resources are being distributed by neighboring countries. The South Sudanese that used to celebrate great artists like Gorden Koang, John Kudusay and Garang Ateny as national singers have now labeled them as tribal because the leaders incited the long time forgotten tribalism.

In conclusion, it is not a country that has failed; they are the clan of hyenas that hijacked the power of countries that have failed us. The government has cheaply sold the country to elongate its term in power.  We missed those days when Deng could fight for Gatluak and Ladu could rescue Obac. Those days when what mattered was our country South Sudan not our tribes. Those days when our tribes where just names. Want Power back to the people, we want our country South Sudan back from this cackle of hyenas.

Wiek Bol Reath, Student at Kampala University, pursued Diploma in Business Administration and outgoing President of Unity State Universities and Colleges Students’ in Uganda, residing at Kampala, Uganda. Email address: wiekbol@gmail.com 


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