Contributor's Deng Vanang Opinion

Problem is not the absence of peace; it is what causes its absence


By Deng Vanang,

A large number of people waiting for food air-drops by the International Committee of the Red Cross, outside Thonyor, in South Sudan, on Feb 3, 2016. (Photo credit: AFP)
A large number of people waiting for food air-drops by the International Committee of the Red Cross, outside Thonyor, in South Sudan, on Feb 3, 2016. (Photo credit: AFP)

July 29th, 2018(Nyamilepedia) — Many screaming voices have been heard enough. All groaning about an absence of peace in the country. They are not to blame. Since absence of peace is both social and physical pain due to colossal deficiencies. It means war that either pits neighbors or brothers and sisters against one another. It is the dislocation of people from their own natural habitat to strange land unfit to live in. Could be loss of loved ones or their death in the melee and never to be seen again. It means confinement in certain locations, denying people of free movement.  It causes lack of shared thoughts and communication between people, preventing them to plan together and do something productive for themselves. As well as loss of most cherished traditional values in the heat of trying to survive and see yet another day.

That means shortage of food and all other basic necessities that make them biologically subsist as living and human beings. It is the most degrading and regrettable thing that happens to human beings, even animals themselves that live in the surroundings. But, big question remains unanswered. Is it the absence of peace the problem or what causes its absence being the problem to be tackled first so that peace prevails and never disappears in our midst once again? The question leads us to an answer in form of an allegory about a certain farmer crying and praying for rain so that crops grow and subsequently food becomes available.

Not oblivious of the fact that the lost rain he is seeking hides in himself. It is himself being absolutely responsible for rain failure. Simply because he cut down trees and burnt all the plants and grasses in his environment which normally attract rain. Conversely in our case, it is greed for power and resources in some of us, including those crying and praying for peace to return, that deprived others of their right to live a healthy and dignified life.

Those deprived of basic livelihood could not be expected to remain in undignified silence. They must react to right the wrong and hence, the backlash from those who amassed power to control life-saving resources. Until they the inward looking greedy fellows relent to share the controlling power over resources and resources themselves with those they have deprived, peace can be a mirage as none likes to get starved to death while sniffing an irresistible aura of delicious food next door. If you want peace, cast a glance at most popular Biblical maxim that says do unto others what you want them do unto you. Peace is solving the problem that defeats it by identifying it first and not the forceful defeat of one enemy by the other.

Dealing with effects and not root causes of what makes peace absent only results in short term solution that keeps unraveling perpetually. The past wars are more than enough to serve us with relevant experience. Conflict with Turco-Egyptians from 1820 -1898 ended when they beat a lasting retreat. The war between us and Anglo-Egyptians from 1898 -1956 ended with the attainment of independence by non-equals. The war between us and Afro-Arabs in the North from 1956 – 2011 came to conclusion when durable solution was complete separation. Similarly, conflict of today shall end when we resolve what causes it: wanting to live and denying others of living.

Deng Vanang 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

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