What is your role after peace?
By Akol Arop Akol
This is a question for all of you my dear South Sudanese both inside and outside, am questioning you because many people who are supposed to be doing something for the country were sitting idle and complaining that the conflict have affected their daily activities, and prevented them from promoting development; indeed that is true, a conducive environment is needed for economic activities, but apart from these reasons there are fault complaints and accusations. Some public institutions, civil servants and other humanitarian workers plus individual households have taken the conflict period as an excuse for their failure to provide services.
Some families were answering their children rudely whenever they asked for some basic needs, they would tell them the economic situation was not favoring. Therefore, whenever the children were chased away from school because of school fees, some rude relatives responded negatively whereby sometimes they attacked school administration and quarreled with them. They understood that the crisis affected everyone but if they (schools) don’t understand the situation then they must have intentions.
Now that the Peace was signed and Unity Government formed, it is time now to stop being talkative without working, judgmental and critical on the leaders. It is time to start doing some roles as citizens of this country and in particular the civilians. We were idle for the past years because the conflict affected us in all ways.
The youth have been sitting idle too, playing games that are only good for leisure but not beneficial; they are now to take a challenge of working for themselves and the country.
You can work for our country in many ways. You can be a teacher, farmer, doctor, businessman or woman, Entrepreneur, Humanitarian worker and so on; now the time to stop complaining has come. Peace has come and there is a new Government, these were the things delayed and let people neglect their responsibilities.
It is time now to stop fingerpointing at one another; mistakes can be identified but not politicized because the political methods and systems being used by our politicians have always resulted into physical conflict. It therefore needs the leaders to consider and consult the civil population when decisions concerning national issues are to being made.
Our role as citizens is to show responsibility of a good citizen, a good citizen is the one who promotes peace and always lives in harmony with neighbors. A good citizen is the one who does not tarnish the image of his or her community and the country. When you get someone talking badly about the country, you have the right to tell what you think is good and prove that they are wrong, if they are criticizing the country, you must also be ready to defend.
Leaving other people to talk badly about the country is like leaving a thief to remove thrashes from your house roof, and little by little and this will lead to the leaking-in of water during the rainy season.
The little things you hear circulating around sound simple but they result into wider defamation. People on Social media are good in copying and forwarding or posting information which is not accurate, that information.
All the issues we are facing today in our communities started with hate speech, misinformation and wrong interpretation which people pass on with no ethics.
For the sake of maintaining the signed peace, we must be responsible enough to say no for things that split us apart.
The question ‘What is your role after peace?’ is trying to ask you as a true citizen, no matter who you are, your age, what you do, the major expectation is that you are a South Sudanese. You can be proud of that title.
Leaders were being blamed for not bringing peace, but they have done their part. Now, the pressure is on civilians. Can we go and promote peace at the grassroots? Can we clean our dirty cities and towns now? Can we take tools and go to farm to cultivate to produce enough food? Time has come for each and every one to stand up and work for the future of this country.