Opinion

Give Due Respect to our Freedom Fighters

By Agar Mayor Gai

In Africa, fighting for freedom is the most risky thing. To be free in our continent, you must by any means add other more sufferings to the ones you are already having and fighting against. You have to leave your whole family with hunger, epidemics and join the others to start pointing a gun at your oppressors. And in any fight, the fighter is always between the border of death and life. Either you are killed or you take off someone’s life. In our country, the fight was a somewhat different from what other Africans had to go through.

We were fighting Arabs, those in whose minds, killing a non-Arab or a non-Muslim is not a sin or a violation of human rights or a breach of international law. It is always their pleasure to see you dying as long as you have not accepted Mohammed as your savior. With Whites, your freedom is easily granted to you if you possess well stated reasons for putting to an end their rule in your territory.  This was seen in India where sound of a gun was not heard but given their freedom. The Indians never lost lives because they were with good masters. With our master brothers being Arabs, the South Sudan case was a different one.

Not all could make it to the bush. Others feared of their lives, others were bribed and used against those who made it to the bush, others went abroad where they could not hear of all bad news e.g. deaths,  hunger and lack of guns in the movement. These people considered their then state of living as that which they could not lose for a thing that Arabs wouldn’t allow to happen in their existence.

On the contrary, there are those in whose hearts and minds were filled with strength and a sense of feeling that it was their duty to pave way for the coming generations to pass with their heels stepping comfortably without any thorn piercing. These people slept in the bushes with their bellies empty; some were wounded or killed in the battles. They left their food, shelter and other enjoyments for something which they could not see physically but were just having a picture in their minds of how life would be if given that freedom. They knew that this freedom won’t be for them but an asset for their descendants.

If not for the sake of the coming generations, an intellectual like Dr. John Garang would not have offered his whole life just for the birth of this country which he did not know the kind of people to enjoy her resources with freedom and peace.

Garang would have got for himself a well-paid job, good house and stayed with his family up to date just like other people did. His competency and capability, which later helped him to succeed in this freedom fighting game, could make him fit in any kind of society. All those other people who fought were also capable of making good lives for themselves and families.  But they had it in their minds that even if they and their families alone had to live a good life, who were they? Who are you if your brother suffers in the hands of an enemy when you have the power to rescue him?

They did whatever it cost them to have us enjoy the freedom today. Now that it is 9th July, 2019. We should appreciate and reward these heroes and heroines with due respect and love. We ought not to forget them in our stories. Who are you if you always forget of a good thing done to you yesterday by a friend?

It is not good in God’s eyes that for the last five years, our freedom day has not been honored and celebrated. Just because of a fight between two individuals over who should lead, we have forgotten the fathers and mothers of this nation.

We have forgotten that this power has its roots in these people whom we ought to remember on this date every year. It should be a must case for all generations of South Sudanese descent to remember the good works by the fighters on this great day.

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