By Sebit William Ker
So someone asked me a question today that I wasn’t prepared for.
He said “Sebit, you people have always been calling for peace in the country and also keep blaming the leadership for not doing enough, if you were the president, what would you do differently? ”
Well, I took a deep breath and answered him honestly in the best way I could.
I said, “First, I would pick the phone and personally reach out to my rivals and tell them: Look, comrades, we have failed the people of South Sudan! They expected a lot from us but we have let them down. You all know we can do better than this. Let’s put our differences aside for the sake of the women and children of this great country. They have suffered enough. I am genuinely willing to listen to you and forge a way forward together without reservations. It’s never too late. This country belongs to all of us and, having sacrificed years to archive this independent country together, it is only us who can create and set the future of this country for generations, generations that will be proud of our history.”
While doing this, I will record the conversation to expose who is not for peace. This will be followed with a genuine declaration of ceasefire. The underlined word here is ‘genuine’ and I would warn my generals that I would personally hold them accountable for any violations.
Secondly I will start cleaning my inner circle of anti-peace elements, those benefiting from the war without fear or favor, not only removing them from power but also letting them face the rule of law (meaning some will end up in jail).
After a genuine reconciliation with my rivals and then implementing the peace agreement to the latest. I will declare, “I am not standing for the next elections. I have done my part.”
But before that I will genuinely work with my rivals in reforming the major institutions to help anyone be held accountable for their actions.
After that, there will be a major disarmament operation countrywide and putting the right persons in the right places.
Of course, I will ask for the help of the regional and the international community here.We are living in a global world.
Finally, I will stop looking at my rivals as enemies but rather partners for peace.
That was my answer.
He looked at me and said, you have used the word “genuinely” many times and I said yes unless it’s a personal commitment and it comes from the heart, it won’t work.
Then we continued drinking till I retire home where am writing this piece.
Peace is all we want.
Sebit William Ker Tony is a South Sudanese journalist working with Miraya FM, a UN radio in Juba.