By Chol Peter Majoh
If you are a young person, ask yourself, and if you are an adult, remember and remind yourself of this question “where is the love?”
Before the independence, during the twenty one perilous years of war against Arab, South Sudanese had an indescribable affection for themselves. A Dinka, in the bush could in deep sorrow and tearfully bury a Madi and a Madi could sweat with sorrow digging a grave for his Acholi brother killed by Arab. Everybody shared a load of bread, shared a cup of water, cooked on the same fire using the same saucepan regardless of whatever tribe one was.
Where is that love we had then? As boldly joined together by a common goal, same purpose and determination, South Sudanese were in one accord, fighting in the bush and those who were left especially the vulnerable; the women, students, disabled and children still, could hide from the bombardment in one trench or curve regardless of tribes.
None of the South Sudanese could see the other as an enemy, because both had one enemy, the Arab in common.
Where has that love gone? Few years after the independence, an old woman from Equatoria region could call a young lady or gentleman from other regions as her son or daughter. If she found her hungry, she could give her something to eat and survive on and vice versa. Where is that love?
The roads linking the state to Juba city, from Yei to Juba, from Bor to Juba, from Nimule, Torit to Juba and from Bahr-el-Ghazal through Terekeka to Juba which have turned into places of blood shed nowadays, were an expression of true love and co-existence. On the roads, especially when accident occurred, the first aid had to come then from the nearby people residing alone the roads though what tribe involved in that accident which doesn’t at all now happen. Or else if a car got some mechanical problems, although the passengers and the drivers lacked something to eat, the first help had to come from the people along the roads. The reason being was that the spirit of brotherhood was in the hearts. That spirit did hide the spirit of belonging to a mere tribe.
Look, a tribe is defined by the language and some cultural activities people have in common while a nation is diverse and heterogeneous. Which one is better?
The love we had then as South Sudanese could answer this. But today, I certainly don’t think!
The parliament seemed not to be small for the MPs of various tribes those days unlike today.
Where is that love? Let’s not be overshadowed by the mere spirit of hatred and enmity when we have a great task to do. We have the poor roads to tarmac, the industries to establish, the cities to build, the resources to extract and use to uplift our country.
Why do we hate ourselves over minor issues among tribes?
This hatred among the South Sudanese though defined as a political issue, I personally term it as a result of laziness.
If each one of us (South Sudanese) fines his or herself a task to do in order to uplift this nation, we wouldn’t have time to remember that ” Mr. so is against our tribe. He did this and that during the time of war.”
Those thoughts come to an idle mind.
We must remind ourselves of the things we used help ourselves during the hardest period of war.
It’s a question I ever asked myself that I want us to share together this time round. Let each one of us take it as a personal question and put into consideration.
We have suffered enough. Therefore at this time, we must reflect on the love we shared before we became so messed up. I know, there are hearts that are burdened by these mess and do feel like doing something. I want to assure them that, it’s the right and highest time to brainwash the minds of those who sit at tea places, sharing the messages of hatred so that they know of the good things and the love we had shared then. It is a devil’s wish to bring our minds into his control and use them for spreading contagious hatred and enmity among ourselves.
Let’s make our minds acquainted with the love of the past than the state of total enmity we are in today.
God bless you.
The writer is a student of Development Communication and Public Relations at the University of Juba. He is reachable via Email: firstname.lastname@example.org/Cell: 0922295373