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Contributor's Paul Ruot Bayoch

How Long Shall We Keep Living as If South Sudan is Not Ours 

Opinion,

By Paul Ruot Bayoch,

Paul Ruot (Photo courtesy of the author)
Paul Ruot (Photo courtesy of the author)

September 3, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — Our communities were doing great before the invasion of the colonial powers. Our communities were doing great before the civil wars. Our communities were doing great before the establishment of boundaries and system of government by colonial powers and plantation of the seeds of hatred, tribalism and corruption in what now become known as ‘Republic of South Sudan’ the country of the slim, black smooth skin and bravest men described in the Bible, the land of milk and honey.  

Before colonial invasions, various communities of South Sudan were living peacefully and in abundance despite the absence of the modern civilization. They had peace of mind and were very close to the most High. They can call a rain if they want to and it rains. They were making a living from the fruits of their sweat and blood. Stealing was immoral. Misappropriation of public funds was unknown. They were very honest and decent God fearing people. They did not know Jesus but they knew God the Creator, the Mighty of all. In those days there was no need for humanitarian intervention or foreign aids of any kind.

 The communities who became known now as the ‘South Sudanese’ were using their traditional ways of dispute resolutions which were very effective and a win-win for the parties involved. They used to seal any agreement made with a sacrifice of a beast and invoke the spirit to sanction on anyone who violated the agreement. 

South Sudan is currently a hunting ground not only for foreigners who came to work but also her working class citizens who are working physically in South Sudan but have their families in what they usually called ‘Second Home’ abroad. 

It amazes me how South Sudan could have fertile ground for work but not a good environment to raise a family. As we had achieved our independence and everything is now in our reach. We should aim to be independent Economically, Spiritually, Socially, Psychological and Environmentally. We should own everything (Made in South Sudan and bought South in Sudan). 

If our problem in South Sudan is lack of peace, let’s bring peace. ‘Let’s make it reign. It’s us who started the war and it’s us who should end it. If the problem is a lack of roads, schools and hospitals, let’s build them. 

It has been a practice for South Sudanese to flee outside South Sudan for safety, education and work. While in refuge, many have forgotten why they fled to other countries in the first place. 

South Sudanese live in other countries as if they are the wealthiest and happiest people on the planet earth when their country is left to the total doom and destruction. 

Big fishes have made sure they have swallowed enough to sustain their families abroad for the next 100 years to come. Why are we living as if South Sudan is not ours? Why don’t we take leadership to spearhead rebuilding and rehabilitation of this country? 

Recently, all working class with some capitals including South Sudanese working with INGOs, Local NGO and government employees have their families outside South Sudan (Nairobi, Kampala, Europe, Australia, U.S, Ethiopia etc.). You can see the direction where our country’s money is going to. As we mourn the rise of dollars against South Sudanese Pounds, know that we are part of the problem. 

Every month, when employees receive their salaries, you will see  South Sudanese going to a bank, withdrawing some money and sending it to their families abroad. The speed at which money is generated and slipping out of South Sudan is so alarming. This shows that, if such practice is not put into stop, there will be no future as the economy will continue to deteriorate.  South Sudan will always be a hunting ground for angry lions and lionesses. 

If South Sudan is so bad, why are we working in South Sudan? If South Sudan is so bad, why is it that almost all the hotels, electronic shops and many other businesses of international standards are owned and run by foreigners on our soil? Why do you think they are risking their lives and investment for? Why don’t we try ourselves? Why don’t we invest in schools, roads, hospitals, electricity, mobile network, internet, agriculture etc…? 

We always have our excuses that South Sudan is not safe because of insecurity. Have you ever asked yourself what you are positively contributing toward achieving a lasting peace in South Sudan? If you always sit in a tea place doing nothing all day long, just don’t complain. You’re the problem of this country. 

To be honest, achieving a lasting peace and rebuilding this nation is our sole responsibility. You don’t necessarily need to be in an elected position to start doing something. What you need to do is to take actions now. We are known for empty talks and promises and no actions. This must stop now. 

As a South Sudanese nationals, you need to have determination, perseverance, consistency and commitment to love your country and build your future in South Sudan.  Our future doesn’t lie outside South Sudan.

Look at many young people who were taken abroad by their fathers and mothers who use South Sudan as a hunting ground to feed and educate their families abroad. They are spoiled. They receive money in plenty they don’t know how it’s made. Instead of positively utilising the fund for their personal development, they use it to go to nightclubs, bars, and involve in drug abuse. Many were sent to have a better education but they became better drunkards and smokers. Don’t we have alcohol and other drugs in South Sudan? 

My brothers and sisters,

 if you’re sent outside South Sudan, know the reason you’re there. Always keep in mind that you have a home to return to where your future lies. 

It really bothered me how South Sudan is turned to be a cemetery ground for high profile figures. I don’t want to say their names because you know them. Our high profile figures haven’t built even a single permanent structure in their native towns and villages where their placentas were buried while they own big mansion buildings in Nairobi, Kampala, London, U.S.A, Australia and Ethiopia to mention a few. They have access to the best doctors, lawyers and above all land and power. Their families live a luxurious life abroad while they physically work in South Sudan exploiting the resources of the Country in the expense of innocent souls. They are praised with honourable titles while they are doing nothing to be honoured. They love to be called honourable X or Y and/or Dr. Molani, Ustaz, Eng. H.E …. Their corrupt practice is making them dishonourable.  They live a luxurious life even in Juba and constantly travel abroad. Many refused to live in their homes preferring hotels with the government covering the bills. Thanks to Covid19, at least they should learn to build good hospitals in South Sudan. In case of death, they are transported to their native towns and villages for burial where they had zero investment. Why do you remember your native towns and villages only when you’re dead?  Do we actually need your dead body or service while alive?  

Is South Sudan a Cemetery Ground

That brings me to the question, is South Sudan a cemetery ground? Why don’t we build hospitals we look for in the U.S, Europe, and Asia in South Sudan?  If the problem is the lack of qualified doctors, let’s hire them from other countries and bring them to South Sudan while we train our young doctors to take up their positions. If the problem is a lack of schools, let’s build them in South Sudan and hire qualified teachers to teach our kids. 

Do you know in South Sudan we imported everything including fruits like mangoes, bananas, oranges, apples etc. when we have a vast fertile land that doesn’t need fertilizers to grow those fruits? 

We are so naive to think our economy should be booming when we are only consumers and not producers. 

We are used to making excuses when we are the problem ourselves. How long shall we depend on humanitarian aid? 

Our problems will only be worsening……

This is the time to think critically about our future, I don’t care what political party you support.  What I care about is what you are positively contributing to the success of South Sudan as a Country. 

Are we real citizens who care about this country?

It’s prudent to remind ourselves that we are no longer in those days of liberation struggle against the North. We are to wage a new liberation struggle. We should liberate ourselves from poverty, poor education, corruption and political manipulations

Many youths of my ages think they can only do good if they are elected into public offices. What are you waiting for? Take an initiative to take up a business, be an entrepreneur, you will soon find yourselves as business tycoons. 

Let’s take full ownership of our problems and the country. Our country is now being owned by foreigners as they own all the local and international businesses in Juba and many States across South Sudan. 

The Bible tells us that ‘Say the truth and the truth shall set you free”’. Let us be honest to ourselves.  Donald Trump used to say “Made Americans, Buy Americans’’ in many of his ‘America First’ speeches. 

We should have that heart of taking full ownership of the welfare of our beloved country. It’s good to remember that, we cannot do it without forgiveness.  Desmond Tutu wrote in his book “No Country without forgiveness’”. I am also saying ‘’No South Sudan without forgiveness’’. 

Let do away with this mentality of revenge and tribal hatred. Let not envy someone who is exceling instead let us be inspired by his actions and achievements. 

South Sudan has a good number of Christians and Muslims. We should live a good Christian and Muslim lifelike encouraging forgiveness and reconciliation. 

Let the teachers of Yahushua and the prophet Mohammed  peace be upon him. Let not forget we also have the followers of ‘DengTaath’(God the Creator in Nuer native Language). They should be treated with respect. We are all children of the most High. 

I sometimes wonder, every Sunday we go to Church, our leaders also go to Church on a regular basis.  I don’t see where we are missing out. The Pastors are preaching about forgiveness and the leadership is failing to forgive each other or to initiate the reconciliation process effectively. Is the Pastors and High Priests failing in their duties or the leaders have the heart of stones?

I respect my leaders. They must also respect themselves and the interest of the people they serve. Above all, they must respect the Most High and be accountable to the people who gave them power to lead. 

Leadership is an opportunity, don’t mess it up. When you die, leave a good legacy behind. History will remember all of us for our deeds. As it’s in the Bible, it’s what we do that will lead us to salvation and eternal life.  God gave us the world as a practice ground to test our skills and talents God gifted us with.

We are all gifted in different ways. Let’s use our talents wisely to the benefit of mankind. Those who are gifted in leadership, take the lead and lead by example.  Be someone whose presence will be missed. Don’t be like someone who died and people would be saying ‘Let him go to hell’. Whatever way you are gifted, don’t sit back.

Let us realize our South Sudan dreams, the dreams of our forefathers who had fought hard for independence. 

The world knows we are good fighters, but our fight should not only be through the barrel of guns.  Let’s use our brains to fight for complete economic freedom and eradicate poverty. 

Let’s bring our families safely back to South Sudan where our future belongs. Let’s be both producers and consumers.

 Let’s build roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, electricity, and dams. 

Let’s invest in our local towns and villages taking the towns to the villages (By fulfilling the dream of our founding fathers). 

Let the local native towns and villages taste the fruits of our labours.  Don’t just bring your dead body to be buried in your native towns and villages. 

 Let us teach our kids to live by what they earn from the work of their labours. Let’s teach our kids our languages and positive cultural values which encourage respect for the elders and immorality of stealing of any kind and do away with negative cultural values and traditions which are doing more harm than good. 

 Let’s do away with corruption and unhelpful tribalism. Let uproot the seeds of hatred, tribalism, and corruption planted by our colonial masters and buried them deep in the earth where they will never grow.  Let sit and ask ourselves, what are we fighting for?

Your peace is my peace. Let collectively work for peace and make South Sudan great again!!

Written by Paul Ruot Bayoch. The author can be reached at paulruotbayoch@gmail.com,


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