By Dak Buoth,
Sept 15th, 2018(Nyamilepedia) — We, the Unity State community in Kenya would like to seize this rare moment to register our excitement on the signing of the Revitalized Peace Agreement on 12th September 2018 in the Ethiopian Capital, Addis Ababa.
We now have something to smile about. This peace has come at an opportune time for our country of South Sudan. It is a good development that has generated a great sense of relief and breath of fresh air.
The world is also celebrating the signing of this agreement; and we too felt very delighted that the peace we had been working and waiting for is finally ratified in direct watch of the international community.
Thus, we say kudos to all our International Friends and Mediators not forgetting our Leaders who have heard our desperate calls for peace in South Sudan. The clips we saw at the venue remove doubts that these foes have soon become friends who will walk the talk.
Now with this peace agreement we shall soon begin preparing ourselves psychologically to return home and build South Sudan, the country we love so much. South Sudanese citizenry should know and appreciate that this peace is accompanied by challenge not only to work together but to work hard and recover from destructive civil war.
Since December 15th 2013, we have wasted a lot of time and energy fighting a war which is not supposed to be fought in the first place.
South Sudan is a country of one people with similar challenges and common destiny. Hence we must now turn things around and show utmost love and forgiveness to one another as we move our nation ahead slowly but sure as usual.
Going forward, healing and reconciliation are our next targets before kicking off other things which are required of us. We shall knock doors and ask well-wishers to support our initiatives that are geared toward promoting peace and reconciliation in our divided communities.
So far, thousands of our innocent mothers, children and the elderly have been killed. The rest are languishing in abject poverty in many internally displaced camps across the country. Some of us have fled our homes to hide and seek refuge in the neighboring countries.
We are here outside South Sudan but things are never easy. We are safe but not secure because there are no enough jobs to do to make a living. Some of you would know that life in the Diaspora is a life between the rock and the hard place.
However, this news of peace has since yesterday gave birth to hopes in many people in South Sudan. In real sense, this peace means walking shoulder by shoulder, and our Leaders must lead by example in the same spirit.
We therefore call on our Leaders on both sides of the political divides to manifest utmost political will and true leadership of progress as we move to implement this accord. In any case, signing of peace agreement is one thing and implementation of the same is another.
We believe it is ‘just peace’ worth implementing because it was an inclusive deal negotiated and signed by all parties to the conflict. And by virtue of it being a just accord, we expect all principal signatories to a bid by this agreement and implement it to the letter and spirit.
Many would remember fondly that the 2015 Peace Agreement dubbed ARCISS that is now being revitalized is a revered peace agreement.
However, on 8th, July 2016, the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) collapsed and died in broad day light due to lack of political will on the part of some rogue stakeholders that we know. And with this sad experience behind our minds, we hope our Leaders will not lead us down this time around. We expect change of hearts in them. We urge them to act differently for the sake of our people.
They must strive to restore public confidence by doing the right thing which is nothing but implementing this revitalized peace agreement 2018.
On the same note, the IGAD mediators and the International community must not rest and fold their hands thinking it is done deal.
They must devise an appropriate ways and means to shield this Peace Agreement from rogue individuals in our midst who have perfected the arts of violating widely accepted agreements.
Dak Buoth is Chairman of Unity State Community in Kenya. He can be reached for more information at email@example.com