Ending suffering of South Sudanese

The three and half year conflict between the forces loyal to the former First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar and the ones to President of the Republic, Salva Kiir  in the country has changed the political temperature from good to bad. Thousands of civilians flee South Sudan because of the meaningless conflict. The conflict has contributed to economic disaster and increases political fragility within the ruling party in the country.

In August, 2015, the government and the rebel opposition led by Dr. Riek Machar signed peace deal on Resolution of Conflict. But the deal is no longer effective and has not stopped the war. Instead it has augmented the flame of conflict to go up. Recently, the SPLM in the government made reunification with the former detainees.  But their unification will not change anything if the question of political wrangling is not contained and not answered with a political wisdom among the SPLM squads themselves.

Socially there are a lot of talks about peace, but politically the talks about peace is getting less and less because the political ground in Juba is blocked due to fear and aggressive attitude by hardliners who are not interested in anything to do with peace and unity with purpose and real togetherness. All the blame will be put on them if the situation in the country worsens further because of their indirect political influence to the system which is not indulgence to peace.

One time, during the United States (US) Presidential race, the system in Juba gave its wishes to Donald Trump to win the election with exchangeable hope to corporate with it for political gain. After the crisis escalated without success for peace, US, Britain and Norway formed what is called Troika, partners aiming to support peace in the country. But Troika is now not much involving with its support to end the political crisis in the nation.

Despite the daily sufferings of South Sudanese in the camps, Troika is not showing up any commitment to end the brutal sufferings of South Sudanese. People are dying of hunger almost every day because access to food is not reachable and not enough particularly within the country. People are dying of treatable disease. Children are dying.  In former Lakes state and Western Equatoria there are people surviving by eating wild leaves.

The economy of the country is on the verge of collapse because war has given wide opportunity for warmongers to enjoy dirty and cursed fruits of war from the situation of conflict. Civil servants are spending more than four months without salaries. Women go to the market with a lot of complain about valueless currency.  The inflation has forced people to sleep and wake up with nothing good except frustration.

The political value in the country from 2005 to 2012 has turned valueless because the elite in Juba are doing something which will not convince or believe that peace will come to the country soon.  The culture of peace and unity in South Sudan does no longer exist because of war, hatred and injustice. Many people from greater regions of Equatoria and Upper Nile were tragically forced to leave their houses, and now the majority of them are displaced civilians in the camps. The opposition in Juba and diaspora are being talking very good about the need to end the conflict. But the system in Juba is not so open enough to talk about peace and unity freely because there is intervention from other silent leaders who love tribalism. Their political thinking is being closed. The only way to open it is by pressure from the international community.

The new administration of US should give more pressure to the ruling government to avoid conflict by engaging meaningfully for peace and justice. The Congress must show up something to end the suffering of South Sudanese. The Congress must listen and understand that South Sudanese are really suffering economically, politically and socially.  South Sudanese needs help and economic rescue.

If we continue to keep the political situation to remain like that, majority of South Sudanese who are struggling to battle with deteriorating political situation and the economic frustration specifically from rural areas and other towns within the country would join another suffering situation of their brothers in the camps. I am saying so because living in camps is not like living in home. Big difference is there. Peace will come if the political controllers in the country are pressurized to stop war. Peace will not come if the political players are just left to do what they are doing.

The writer is a peace campaigner.                

By Omuno Mogga Otto

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