Opinion

Witnessing the fall of a young nation [Part 2]

By Ngor Khot Garang

As a young man born at the time when the liberation struggle was about to bear fruit, I fully understand what it means to be under the leadership of those who only want to keep you down. I also noted that the reason as to why we are here today as an independent country was not a decision made by God; it was a decision made by men and God was in position to help them. It is true that God, their strength and gumption to move on even in the midst of daunting challenges opened the way and that is what brought South Sudan.

But what I will never understand as a young man who is trying to figure out his life in a very rough world is why South Sudanese are still suffering. I’m well fed with the fact that the only reason as to why people who are not here today paid their precious lives was for the sake of these people who are suffering today to have a very good life and a country they will call their home. Many people and if people were to still think in their graves, they would still have it in mind that their widows and children are enjoying the fruit of their struggle.

They gave their precious lives without fear of death because they were so sure that the young ones will be proud to live in peace and enjoy the resources through equal distribution, building of schools, hospitals and roads in a country their parents died for but what changed the story after the country gained her independence is what will take years or a lifetime for these young ones to fully understand. This was not the South Sudan we were expecting after all that we have been through. During the liberation struggle, when it was hard, when there wasn’t food, water and everything. When the Southerners were at the verge of giving up.

Everything was handed to God and all the South Sudanese, men, women and children altogether were willing to die unless the mission was accomplished. Women took the task of brewing local alcohol for those in the battlefield because there was no food while children collect firewood for the fire at night. All these were done to encourage men who were bones and skins so that they fight really hard for the liberation of this country.  And God on the other side was walking behind the scene.

In 2011, South Sudan through God eventually became an independent country and tears of joy were finally shed. Bulls, sheep, goats and chickens were slaughtered to celebrate the new move. Children began to go to school. People began to plan for their children’s future. Foreigners started coming to South Sudan to do business. Tears were finally wiped and no one was expected to cry except for causes related to natural death or joy. Widows who have lost their husbands during the war ventured into small business and they were putting food on the table for their children as well as paying for their school fees. The young nation was moving at a high pace and it was expected that it would outcompete some of the African countries within 5 years period. Everything was going on well and hope was completely restored.

But in 2013, the same people who through thick and thin fought for this country decided to return the country back to chaos and people were surprised. Someone at the back seat wanted to replace the one in the driver’s seat and the mayhem that was to end between two people went on to kill thousand of people and displaced million others. It was unthinkable after 21 years of painful struggle only to end up in civil war? This was pathetic. To millions of South Sudanese who ended up victims of this power tussles, this to them and some parts of the world was not the South Sudan they have been fighting for. The martyrs who are honored once every year did not die to make life harder for the people of South Sudan; they gave their lives for the freedom of the South Sudanese. But if they were to rise up for a day or two to see the suffering of the people they paid dearly for, they will hang themselves again.

In life, there is always purpose in suffering. We suffer knowing that something good will happen regardless of how long it would take but for South Sudan, this is a different story. There is no purpose here; this is as to put it right is beyond suffering. Many people are not sure whether they will live to see another day. The struggle to get food for most of the people has always been a prayer request. Children on the street out number stray dogs, poverty is forcing most of the young girls to quit school to be married.      

There is now and it is everywhere killing, high crime, hunger, tribalism, rape and wide spread corruption and looting of public resources by few individuals who put their personal interests above the country’s interest. Foreigners on the other hand are silently busy milking dry the country’s wealth and the people of the land are busy killing themselves day and night. When you stand to witness this drama, you will only want to cry. Young ones are carrying guns and the old are in the government offices. 25 years old young man is a bodyguard to an 80-year man. And life is still going on. These are the same young people who are used to kill their own people and we the voiceless citizens are just watching with tears in our eyes thinking that the young ones will take over the leadership of this country in years to come and turn everything to its original state.

But if we will continue to live this life of an eye for an eye and life for life, I will be counted among the few people who will stand boldly and say South Sudan has no future. And get me right; if we look around, there is absolutely nothing to tell us that things will get better in this country. Everything is out of hand and it is even getting worse daily. It will be upon us as the people South Sudanese and downtrodden to decide where to go or we remain like this for the rest of our lives because this drama will never end. It will continue for generations to come if drastic step is not taken today to save the future generations.      

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