April 16, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — Although the adults South Sudanese have mixed feelings about the government, teens like Juzee, a Murle ethnic and Puk Guk, a Nuer ethnic, do not confuse the government for an enemy.
Juzee, a 16 years old, is a member of Cobra group, while Puk a 17 years old is a member of white army. The two teens joined different rebel groups in Jonglei and Upper Nile state after they both lost their mothers and siblings to government forces.
Juzee lost his mother and a brother in Pibor during a “brutal” disarmament campaign by the government forces, while Puk lost his mother, two sisters and uncles during a house-to-house raids of Nuer ethnic group in the capital city, Juba, following a political dispute in the ruling party between president Salva Kiir and his former deputy Dr. Riek Machar.
Puk, who is fighting alongside Dr. Riek’s forces in Upper Nile state, is dedicating his life to what he believes worth offering a life for, the future of his sister, who is now in Kakuma refugee camp.
“However, I know you are already gone and my two sisters in Juba. So I am not fighting for Machar but for the freedom of your daughter in Kakuma camp who have been there since independence. If you were not killed and my uncles in Juba today I could be doing my final exams in Ethiopia by the end of this year. Something I wish you could be proud of, but now you are gone.” Puk vividly stated the reason he is fighting.
Whether the boys are making rational decisions or not remains a mystery, however, one thing is certain, they have their guns and committed to fight the war. When asked why he is fighting, Juzee responded:
“You are asking why I have a gun? It is because there is no school for me to go and I need it to stay alive. I will only leave it when we have freedom and our own state. Then I can go back to school.”Juzee replied.
Unlike Juzee, Puk was fortunate that he was attending school in Gambela, Ethiopia and was committed to graduate from high school this year, as he narrated in his letter. But now they are both committed to defend themselves, to fight until peace returns.
Puk, who pledged to be writing letters as he goes to war in memory of his mother, believes that he will one day goes to Juba to see the mass graves where his mother was buried.
“I will come to Juba through God almighty power and see the mass grave that your ashes was dumped in. We are strong here and victory is certain. The world closed its eyes to see our suffering and the guns I am using I got it from the battle field we fought last month in the town of malakal in which for the first time in my life I saw river of blood and thousands dying.”
As stated in his letter, “Dear Mother”, Puk Guk is heading to Paloch, an oil town in Upper Nile, while Juzee will be part of the Cobra team that will be monitoring a recently signed peace deal with the government.
Although, Juzee was expecting a federal state from the peace talk, Cobra has compromised with the government and accepted an area administration under Greater Pibor Area Adminstration(GPAA) agreement. Whether the deal will be implemented and obeyed is questionable but Pibor is relatively calm.
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