Ayuel Leek Deng, a South Sudanese of the Diaspora, is guest author. He gives his inside thoughts of the state of his beloved South Sudan, now that war has again broken out—this time the government fighting off an attempted coup.
South Sudanese voices, calling for peace and national calm, are getting tired and too low to be heard. No one knows whether South Sudan is a cursed land where human blood flows together with crude oil to generate national funds or if it is the nature of the South Sudanese people to live in a culture of war and of killing each other. Every time one might think of the beloved country, the only thought that comes to mind is the sufferings of the local citizens— mainly the elderly, children, and women who are always struggling to make a living from scratch; a country in which its government has failed to provide food, security, and stability.
The thought of recalling South Sudan as a resourceful country and a colorful nation must remain on hold until the South Sudanese people are united under one flag. Instead of a land of the South Sudanese ancestors cursing its people, why not pray the Lord our God to curse wrong doers, the leaders, and uproot them from power to end their shortsightedness of power-hungry motives, corruption, and self-greed. Some people think those leaders who are seeking power through a coup attempt and force will never succeed and that their days are numbered. How is it that the newest nation on the world’s list could fail to recognize the outcome of its long-term sufferings and the agony of war? How could an oil-rich country and a blessed nation with its 64 ethnic tribes not unite its own people under one nation and dwell within a unifying call?
Millions have died, thousands and thousands have fled to foreign lands for refuge or protection, and still the motherland seems to demand more human blood to quench its thirst. Even amid great despair and mistrust among south Sudanese citizens, there is a ray of hope in God to end such a bloody and unexpected ongoing political butchery in this country. Many people across the globe have stood in solidarity to support the people of South Sudan for decade after decade. Their support, thoughts and prayers have never left us, but it seems the people of South Sudan has failed to embrace the peace and freedom given to it, for which so many have died to achieve. However, now the nation is tiring and failing apart.
The South Sudanese should continue to ask God for guidance and protection since many innocent people have become human shields caught between two sides of the ongoing conflict. Many civilians are dying day after day mostly in the oil-rich regions of Unity State, Jongeli State, and Upper Nile State. Many South Sudanese do believe that no man is greater than God. Everyone in the country is now condemning wrong leaders and are praying day and night to see a change in ethnic tension and brutal killings between Dinka and Nuer. Many people are asking the international community for intervention and for God to help in solving and restoring peace within the country. In Juba, spiritual leaders are calling for all the citizens to live in peace and maintain the spirit of unity and national solidarity regardless of tribal connections.
The only obstacle facing national oneness and tranquility is the presence of power-hungry and greedy leaders whose intention is to destroy the spirit of nationality. They have evil thoughts of toppling the government by force and allowing people to kill each other while their own families are living in comfortable places in neighboring and western countries. They have already stored millions of dollars in their personal accounts. Such heartless leaders deserve lifetime prison sentences and ICC court condemnation to end their short-sighted thoughts of forgetting innocent lives at the grassroots. Most people are asking God to give such leaders peace of mind and thoughts of dignity so that they can at least comprehend the value of human lives.
Some people believe God alone can resolve tribal differences and restore peace and stability among its people. Why is it for us to have no peaceful place of origin, no place to call sweet home? For how long will our people live in exile? South Sudan is known as a land of opportunity and many resources, but we lack the capacity to live in peace and harmony. South Sudanese are still wandering around inside and outside the country, hoping and waiting to hear of an everlasting peace accord, brought through the promised outcome of negotiation. The South Sudanese people need intervention from the international community and pressure for peace from the United Nations.
We the South Sudanese people living in the Diaspora need room to help in nation building, for we bring in different skills sets and experiences. we need to show people at home how to maintain stability and prosperity progression in the country. We need to train and educate the people to embrace national dialogue and to have peaceful thoughts of coexisting among themselves. We must fight tribalism and individualism and restore unity and harmony within this newest nation. We must educate our people on the democracy and allow transformation to prevail at all levels.
I do consider myself an agent to bring change and help in shedding a brighter light to end such brutality and mass killings among brothers and sisters of the same nation. Our people need lifetime guidance and protections from well-wishing individuals and volunteer workers. The people need education to fight against illiteracy and poverty. We must educate our local people to distance themselves from those politicians who are planning to gain power through force and ethnic means. They should seek their right to rule at the ballot box.