SOMETHING VERY TELLING IS IN THE OFFING
With Odongo Odoyo
Many a time and more, when the search for permanent peace was intensified by the leadership, each and everyone wanted to be home in their backyards and indeed they did all they could to see that peace was attained and the country formed a unity government. The expectation then and even now for those refugees and IDPs who had ran away from their original birth places, was that one day, it will not be the same again and that one day they will go back to their homes. It has come to roost and now reports from almost every corner of the country indicates that many of them were going back to take charge of once their loved surroundings and environments. May be the return is faced by moribund of problems, including the economic nosedive and the Covid-19 pandemic which is terrorizing every part of the world. It cannot be said that we are any better but the hope and happiness that accompany the returnees is something that cannot be taken for granted which is an indication of belonging. They feel part and want to be part of that for the development of the country. They want their children to grow up in an atmosphere prepared for them. They want to tilt their land to produce enough food for their families. They want to see that the children are in school and they want more health facilities available. Above all, they want peace for the whole country where there is no more running or leaving behind the loved ones and at the nose of guns. They want books to be above guns. They do not want academic dwarfs among them. They want everybody to read and know the benefit of learning. These are just not imagination but a reality which could be witnessed or deduced from the faces of the 64 IDPs who were recently repatriated from Juba to Unity State. They were happy despite the uncomfortable condition on the ground, but the happiness was that they were back-home. They were not the first one, others had been taken before them and those others are settling down. They need shelter and humanitarian assistance but with the hope that this should be short-lived because they want to make their own and be masters of their own. At this time of returnees and the building of the backyards, there should be those with goodwill to support this cause which cannot be left to the government alone. If the heart of collective responsibility is anything to go by then that time is now. All should stand up to be counted irrespective of their origins. It is a walk that must be walked together to the conclusion. The journey has been long but the end is nearing with the ray of light at the end of the tunnel. There should be no giving up until the end where peace awaits all of us.