Why we should say no to war

By David Gaaniko Daniel

We have been telling war mongers… Or are they war lovers that peace is better than war. They don’t listen. Now see the consequences, former Western Equatoria state that used to be the bread basket for South Sudan has now become one of the states worst hit by hunger with hundreds of civilians starving to death because they have nothing to eat. All the farmers have run and abandoned their farms because of insecurity; all the bushes are full of robbers. All the roads going to Western Equatoria are blocked by unknown gunmen, the traders fear to take goods there. One bar of shop costs 100 SSP and one small packet of salt is sold between 75 to 80 SSP, the poor old woman or window cannot afford to get one bar of shop for her clothes. The entire civil population is facing serious hunger – the worst in the history of former Western Equatoria state. Arrow boys are there in all the bushes surrounding the roads leading to Congo and Central African Republic with their brutal behaviors and Riek Machar is here blocking roads leading from Juba to Western Equatoria state. How are people going to survive? At the moment there is no hope for goods going to former Western Equatoria state because of insecure roads.

Juba used to be the center for trade where goods were brought from Uganda, Kenya and Sudan. Nowadays it has become a small village where it’s very hard to see goods in town. The route to Sudan through the river is blocked. Ugandan traders are based at Nimule boarder fearing to enter South Sudan with their goods because of insecurity. Foreign national are fleeing the country, businesses are closing down because of the scarcity of the dollars, one cup of tea in Juba used to cost 1SSP, now it costs 10 SSP and even more in other places. Getting house for rent in Juba used to be a big problem but nowadays many houses are empty without people to rent, many cars are parked because of lack of fuel and people have resorted to the traditional way – walking to work or market. Public transport used to be 1SSP per person now is 5 or 10 SSP and the salary of a civil servant has remained the same without change. Young girls have dropped out of school and entered into prostitution in order for them to earn a living, young boys have entered into criminal activities for them to earn a living. They grab people’s bags and pick money from their pockets due to the current economic situation and its not their intention but the terrible situation has forced them to do so.

Former Eastern Equatoria state used to be a loving state with a lot of traditional dancers and cultural norms, but these days we are only hearing the numbers of people dying every day of hunger and diseases, problems are everywhere, and I can’t event talk about other places like Bor, Wau, Malakal etc. only God knows what is there.  Why can’t we stop the war and resort to peace as means of solving our own problems, why can’t we South Sudanese learn from other countries? We have been travelling all over the world and have seen how people are living and many of us have acquired properties in those countries because it’s save to live out there. Why can’t we also do the same so that other people come to our country and live here, many countries tried war but were defected thus came back to peace.  War is a destroyer, it separates families, friends and lovers. It also creates enmity between countries etc…

Instead of wasting millions of dollars importing guns and war planes, let this money be used in developing this country, we need to develop like other countries, we need to see many people alive not only graves and skeletons of our friends. We need schools and hospitals. When are we going to educate our kids? We voted for referendum to get our freedom not kill ourselves otherwise it would have been better to remain under the Arabs.

Uganda and Kenya are tired of us because they are the only countries harbouring hundreds of South Sudanese who have been fleeing since our problems started. Don’t we think they need to get fresh air? Lets give them some space to rest and time to develop their own countries. Are we not ashamed, every other minute we run to Uganda and Kenya, why can’t we come back to our senses and say no to war in the Republic of South Sudan.

You can get me on gaanikod@yahoo.com

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