From Forest Back to the Bush
The indigenous people hoped to gain changes as the reward after the long struggle. They fought with all their power. The land has taken many lives and property. When freedom was finally achieved, musicians composed songs saying free at last!
Every South Sudanese giggled and blew the trumpets to show how joyful they were to be called citizens of an independent state. Some years back the country was full of hopes and dreams where the generation would stand up to build it.
After the year of independence, instead of being a country of happiness where citizens work together for common success, it’s now the land of massive conflicts and economic crisis. People are unable to understand and forgive one another.
They think that fighting is a solution for achieving their interests. At the end of a battle the loser and winner must be named, but demolition is another consequence the two cannot escape.
The fallen ones have gone, and those alive seem not to care or feeling pity and mourn for the lost souls. Death has become a roll-call. People sleep with worries of being attacked by criminals or unknown gangs.
The poor and the powerless have no option but forest is the only solution to get rid of emergent death that is not destined to them by the Creator. Due to economic collapse and scant food in some areas in South Sudan, people are severely starving. If some families get a cup of water a day, they are lucky enough.
Those who have run into bushes for safety have lost loved ones and their homes. The robbers and unknown thugs fueled the insecurity that is putting life at risk. Houses and people’s property were destroyed. The little buildings were ruined.
And people who were living peacefully before have turned against one another as enemies. The violence erupted amongst civilians and it continues to spread widely. People are used by evil spirits to hate and to point accusing fingers at themselves.
At every corner of the country, there are targeted attacks, rape cases, gender-based violence, night looting, highway day-robbery, kidnappings and murders, and the humanitarian organisations are working hard to deliver services such as food items, medicines and education materials, but they are ambushed and the items they deliver are often taken by force on the roads, the situation which is making it difficult and hazardous to reach the needy displaced groups.
How would poor families survive in poverty and insecurity? Some of them demoted themselves to live a free and a simple life style. They never wanted to associate themselves in tribal and political issues, but they are confronted and assaulted innocently.
The people of this young country need our help, and amongst the world’s other crises; we must not forget them, but it starts with you to work hand in hand to save their lives. We are seeing now how our people are scattering around the corners of the world. What is chasing them away from the land they chose to be?
Why should they be isolated? Those marginalized widows and orphans are the victims of Sudan and South Sudan long civil wars. As they have no access to modern life and their rights not well respected, they still live in rural areas where services don’t reach them.
They have limited transports, schools, hospitals and other social activities that promote interaction. In most cases the villagers and those groups living in shanty and slums near towns could not get equal services or job opportunities like others. When conflicts erupt, they are the ones to suffer most. They may speak out but their voices are not heard and positively answered.
Economic crisis has paralysed the country and those households in misery have difficulties to sustain life. Working families may get their salaries late, but budgeting is tough. Imagine if no clean water and the prices of basic commodities are high in the market, how could a widow who is just a cleaner in a restaurant find food and school fees for the children?
Life is beyond hardship in South Sudan. It is a life that makes people hopeless and no wonder that many people are likely getting mad. Now it is common to get passengers talking alone due to horrible situation in which they live.
We can now understand that where we were living was better than where we are now. That time, rural survivors depended on their crops and animals. They never waited for things from towns. They worked in farms and produced food for themselves.
Peace existed in their hearts but it is now casted out and they remain in sorrow and tribal terror. Poor civilians who believed they could not afford this expensive life in the county have decided to go to refugee camps where (food) and accommodation are freely provided by world humanitarian agencies.
Daily a big number of South Sudanese arrive to the area and provision of services would be hard to handle soon because the crisis is escalating and people are evacuating. We were comfortable and peacefully living in our forests, but we are now forced to run to the bush as a result of violence and resources scarcity.