What are citizens saying?

By Akol Arop Akol

The right for an independent state was granted. Celebrations were done in peace and harmony. But just a year later, the war broke out and the beloved people who were united and shared life in the beginning were divided and unglued from one another.

Out of expectation, there comes a time when dears become sources of fears, friends turned to be enemies with evil thoughts that made them warlords. Death has taken many souls and tangible properties were destroyed without mercy.

Resources are misused, looted and corrupted by those who are clever, powerful and greedy. And people are left in confusion with hesitation that who is bad or good!

Complaints are centred on gruesome criminals called unknown gunmen. The suspect is not only those in uniforms who turn to be attackers at night but some hopeless citizens have preferred to participate in stealing, robbing, raping and murdering and attacking innocent passengers on high ways.

The heavy conflicts and crisis came upon the people like a night-darkness and filled many hearts and minds with fear, hatred and evil thoughts subjected them to suffering that’s difficult to stop.

At first, people were not aware of the direction they were leading to until lately they have come to understand it was only misunderstanding and confusion that torn them apart. It is too late to regret.

It is a wish that it would have been better if the problem was early discovered, understood and solved before it erupted and resulted into continuous fighting and the unstopped increase of commodity prices. But history cannot be changed.

In one way or another, civilians took part in the conflict. They are the mobilized and the traumatized ones at the same time. They are motivated and easily decided to either say no or follow deadly paths. If they were to be united and see who is proceeding with conflicts they will be stable in a peaceful environment where they sit together around one table to share.

What are the citizens saying now? They are sensitively feeling, thinking, wishing and hoping that their leaders forgive themselves and agree on hard issues in order to bring everlasting solutions. These civilians are not happy with how life is going on. They desire reconciliation and unification starting from leaders and among them for the sake of peace.

Signatories go to Addis Ababa for meetings but several agreements failed to be signed while wholehearted people remain sleepless and restless every day and night praying and hoping that the leaders come back with the divine thing called peace.

If processes are attempted but unfortunately failed, what would be the next steps to be taken? The leaders know what they need, what the citizens need and what we collectively as South Sudanese need. The peace severally failed due to different concepts, perspectives and hidden interests. But if our common goal and expectations were one, we would have achieved what we wanted possibly without any hardship.

The citizen’s hope for their government leadership to struggle and settle but the results turned out to be disappointments. How much should they maintain hope when life is becoming hard every day? They gave the chance for their representative with trust and confidence that they would do better change but things always end with same.

This time, the civilians need to be tried too. They must be asked about what they want. What are they looking for? It is peace. They are not only crying for the government to give them food or employment but they also need stability for them to work with their ability and make daily life better than relying on begging and confiscating things for survival.

We have to understand that peace must start form home. It is not only in the papers that are to be signed. Documents are records stored as evidences for the future references. The real peace should be captivated in the hearts instead of putting imposed agreements. Leaders should give a chance for the people they are leading to have free expression of their opinions.

Leaders are not leading themselves but they are representing people. Everyone is a leader for him or herself. And to take care of majority is a wider responsibility. It is not by self-power that uplifts someone up as a leader but true leadership must be characterized by care, humility, kindness, peacefulness, creativity, inspiring personality among other qualities.

Leaders must not think of their wealth and power as a tool to oppress the minority who are poor and powerless. The government belongs to the young ones and the old. So why should citizens be silenced and left out in contribution to peace building and nation development?

Peace is for them and they should have their voices heard. Addis agreements are slow. It is a time for South Sudan leaders to ask themselves. Are they truely patriots who love their country? Do they care, respect and preserve the lives of their fellow people? Are they working for the welfare of the country for present and coming generation? Do they know despite the hard life today their people still love and follow them? And what citizens are saying?





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