Press Release

Finding The Lost: Crisis That Separated Loved Ones

May 31, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– The calamity in South Sudan alienated families, loved ones and friends. It is one of its kinds whichever occurs. Rape and destruction of civil property conquered the drive for war. It is a terrible beginning for the people of south Sudan, a young nation which gained her independent 9 of July 2011.

Michael Riek Banguot…
Michael Riek Banguot…

The anticipation to restore harmony to the young nation is currently scrambling with no little prospect of hope beyond the horizon. The only expectation this young nation have at the moment is the peaceful settlement of more than 28 months of disaster.

Two years and half since the catastrophe in South Sudan occurred, tens of thousands killed, half a million displaced, and thousands under the protection of UN compound across the country and millions more facing an inadequate food supply. The question of how many face death from curable diseases every day is left for victims of war. Even the few who may get the helps from the Humanitarian Agencies, the state of emergency obstructing humanitarian agencies in some of the regions torn by war to do their jobs is worsening the situation.

The civil war stories coming out of South Sudan are pretty disturbing, rarely befalls in this century. Ethnic cleansing testified, rape cases surface in all the reports from the International Humanitarian agencies journalism the wars crimes and human right violations during the period of more than 28 months of civil disorder and anarchy.

Atrocities marked how the war is fought. South Sudan continues to bleeds and the leaders seem not to see the real truth behind putting aside their differences and form a commendable Government of National Unity to calms the situation. Despite the formation of Transitional of National Unity last month, still there is no progress seen to restore hope for the displaced population to return back home and struggle to make a living.

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But what I love about the people of South Sudan is, even in the hard times their ability to hides a deep sorrow of sadness behind their smiles is a sign of faith and hope. This strange beginning of social builds up is massively manifested in the spirit of hospitality, and kindness embedded deep inside their social, culture and political structure.

Michael Riek Banguot didn’t escape the effects of the conflict in South Sudan. Born in Nasir county, Kiechkun Payam, Mr. Riek thought the war wouldn’t be one of the wide spread civil naughtiness ever happens in his country. That evening, 12th of January 2014, Mr. Riek lost members of his family in Malakal. Upto the date he never see them again.

When Riek contacts me last month to visit him in Pagak, the armed Opposition headquarters to writes about his story of war and family lost, I couldn’t believe what had change so much in months. The war separated him and his family since January 2014 and today he still have that hope of reunification.

“I still believe they are alive I will see them one day. I am missing my daughter and my beautiful wife. They are the only gifts I have in this life.” Setting under scattered shades of roughly planted trees in Pagak, I could see the deep sorrow in his heart looking forward to see his family again.

He is a short man with bold eyes displaying the spirit of strength and courage hoping to see his family again one day. Few friends of his joined us in talking and the whole things turned out to be a conference. One man, a slim dude wearing tiresome military uniforms stretched out his hand in greeting, we shocked hands heavily.

“How are you young man?” I nodded in agreement.

When Malakal came under the heavy attacks from the government forces in January 2014, Michael Riek an innocent civilian trying to enjoys the freedom the South Sudanese earned from the North Sudan, abruptly lost the hope for a better South Sudan. Searching for reasons to explain what just had happened, Mr. Riek found himself between rock and hard place. He was forced to pick up a gun for self-defense.

“I was forced to pick up a gun to protect my life and the lives of the innocents people who had nothing to do with the political disagreement in the ruling party.”

His eyes puffed out in sadness, he begun to moves his head from one side to other spinning his fingers; signed of seriousness. I felt what he was going through. Mr. Riek wife is nowhere to be found. She is a Shulluk from Panyinkang County, Tonga Payam. The last time they see each was 12th of January 2014 and until today Mr. Riek couldn’t figure out whether the wife is alive and the daughter or not. But his hope of seeing them again is unflinching.

Achol Joseph Onuer, the wife to Michael Riek Banguot upto this very day is nowhere to be seen. Whether she is still and her daughter or not, her husband now half traumatized by the separation of the family couldn’t be sure but keeping the hope of seeing them again burning.

“I am not happy since the time the crisis occurred in Malakal, I never heard about them and hopefully to see them again some days.”  Sound like a franchise movie.

With no sight of progress in peace implementation process, the hope of building a better nation, meeting the lost families is unpredictable. Tension is very high in the capital due to the presence of the two fictions army in the city.

The lost: Achol Joseph Onuer, Wife and daughter

The finder: Michael Riek Banguot, Husband

Any information leading to their whereabouts in the region of Upper Nile will be highly appreciated.

You can reach the author via elbow.chuol@gmail.com

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