I had no choice but to cry [Part 4]
By Ngor Khot Garang
Dear God, what have we done?In this place what I saw was something horrible. “God what have we done to you” I asked myself. I saw a woman crying. I heard that her child had been stolen by unknown person. This woman, having been widowed at very young age of 17 was a living sign of war that has not only taken her husband but parents and other siblings. There was in this sinful land a war that broke out between the poor and the rich.
She was not on the safer side of the game because she was born in poverty, grew up there and she was to die a poor young girl even worse before her eighteenth birthday. This was heartbreaking. It happened one fateful day when some military officers stormed their house. They were all seated around a table in the morning to eat leftover of okra sticky soup and kisira as their breakfast.
To this poor family, getting a meal is and has always been a prayer request. They eat once and go a day or two without smelling food. This explains the poverty in this rich land. This moment, the rich who have taken control of the country’s financial system were hell-bent to wipe off from the face of the earth these people. It was a well stimulated plan but its success left thousands including children in their early graves and forced millions to flee.
Their homes were burnt to ashes. “Down you fools” They were now being held at a gun point and this was their end except this young girl who was raped in front of her parents and siblings. “Remove your clothes” A commanding officer asked the girl from the top of his voice “The two of you, discipline this girl”. She proved to be very stubborn. He ordered his soldiers to strip the girl naked and they did it in an unimaginable speed. She was pinned down by the two able bodied men leaving her delicate parts exposed to everyone including her parents.
Including the commanding officer, they went ahead to rape the girl while her parents and siblings watched helplessly. When they were done with their work, they killed all the people in the house except the girl whom they thought was already dead. This is how the young girl survived but the saddest part of her story was that God only reserved her life to see nothing but more suffering.
Without education and no husband, what did God spared her life for? I was really sad when I heard this woman’s story and the life she was forced to lead at that very young age. And it is no wonder, this land has a lot of surprises than one could have imagined. When I just left the woman with tears in my eyes, I came across some group of wealthy men living in what I can best call absolute luxury.
They were not working or not even businessmen but their work was to control and plunder every riches that this land has to offer. They have very nice cars and I was told their children were living abroad. These people I was told never gets satisfied untill they see blood. They also weaponize poverty to silently kill the poor but their land to be sincere was made to be one of the richest in the world. There is everything and the calculation I made was very psyching. With a population not exceeding 15 million the resources of this land could be more than enough to make everyone rich in this fragile land.
But where this wealth goes is still unknown and it will remain a secret for generations. But the little research I made while I was there could really tell that this land will never find comfort for generations. There are a people here who came from far destinations to invest in this land but after realizing that these people were asleep and only asks for food when they are awoken, they decided to exploit this rich land to develop their countries of origin.
And it is not a rare phenomenal. Millions of dollars leaves the land every single day and the economy has only been left to bear the pain. Few years ago I was told when this land was not yet declared an autonomous region, the economy was good and life was at its best. The land was put on the topping of the developing countries in the world.
But these people, I mean those managing the affairs of the land weren’t happy with this because it was going to be for the greater good of a common man. Everyone was going to be rich. What pained them most was the fact that everyone was going to enjoy life and feel big which is what they will never allow as long as they still have a chance to disorganize everything. They wanted to be the only big people in the area. So one day they decided to launch their plan and its results was bloody.
People mostly civilians were slaughtered like chickens and sent far away. “My son, on this ground where we are standing something terrible happened about six years ago. Some armed men from the alpha group killed people here, piled them with a young woman they had previously raped but was still alive and set them ablaze. I watched the young woman burnt slowly and painfully in my hideout. It was really a very abysmal moment. This war was meted on us the poor but we survived by God’s mercy”.
A 57 year old woman who was now skin and bones narrated to me a very sad story of the war that was strategically planned to wipe them off from the face of the earth. She was a very beautiful woman before the war but now she looks like a 90 year woman in her mid-50s. She had just returned from the camp where she had sought refuge. I was eager to know the situation in the camp and when I was about to ask, she started crying bitterly. It was as if she already knew what I wanted to ask.
I tried my best to be strong because I was already moved to tears and comforted her. She then wiped her face and go word by word explaining what she had experienced in the refugee camp. I don’t want to complete the story here because it will make you, (my reader) cry but it is true the refugee camp is far better than home. Since the war that took his son and husband broke out, home has never been the same. It was no longer friendly. Home has always been on the run and who was she to remain home when home was asking her to run away?
I was already on my knees. Why God did brought me here to hear all these painful stories. Why do people have to suffer this way in a land that has everything to make everyone happy? “God please do something for us” I prayed. When I was about to finish, I heard a shocking knock at my door. Fear was shaking men like an old man. As I advanced forward to unlock the door, they forcefully pushed it open. No doubt, they were soldiers with guns. I had come to realize that these are the poorest people here followed by teachers and journalists.
They asked me to bring out all the money I have including my computer if there was any or I lose my life. I was mute because I have got none of their requirements. “I am just a writer….and poor”. This seemed to have angered them like never before. “So you are the little rats playing with the government’s testicles in the media”. This is going to be the end of your life. When I begged for my life, it was like I was telling them to go ahead with execution. I saw one bearded man wielding his AK47 assault. This time, I knew this was the beginning of my end. He eventually swung to his feet and pulled the trigger. I then woke up from a very deep sleep and realized that it was a dream.
To be continued…Thanks for reading Finding Hope and for been a part of a community working toward positive transformation of South Sudan.