By Gabriel Tor
Not in a failed, headless state of affairs of South Sudan, as seen in over 5 million refugees in exile, and internally displaced people, including, IDPs in the capital, Juba. In just 9 years of South Sudan Independence. The civil population in exile had never been seen in Sudan story, since, Sudan’s independence in 1956. The national leadership has openly brewed hatred, murderous attitude, violence, civil wars, looting, raping, land grabbing, intimidation and greed of all kinds, throw lawlessness and lack of punitive measures against immoral actors in the country, from Juba, the capital to the remote country-sides. A suffering and starving nation by folly, has no heart to celebrate blank liberation, but rather mourn.
Absolutely – there is nothing to celebrate; on South Sudan’s Independence Day – on this 9th of July, 2020.
May the fallen heroes and heroines, in the role of honor, Rest in Peace. They brought independence in a silver plate, 15 years ago and now constrained in bloody plate.
My first celebration was when South Sudan was given an autonomous state’s status in 2005, that lasted until 2011’s July 9th – when South Sudanese were globally reminded of the over 4 decades of struggle, fighting civil wars with Sudan government, aspiring for freedom, integrity, justice, and prosperous development, aiming on which path to take; Independence, or united Sudan? And of course, the South Sudanese took the route to independent South Sudan, where Abyei, Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains states were hoped to lean on a stronger independent South Sudan, with a lesson learnt – “Old Sudan”. The South Sudan state of affairs had been headless, since then to date. No visible development has been carried out by the national leadership, than hunting for critics and democratic transformers. The same critics who helped us spread the word of our suffering and independence. Why these dissidents are become our enemies, for crying out for the wrong path, the country and people had taken, since the assumed freedom?
In 9 years of South Sudan independence, plus 6 years of its autonomous government from Khartoum, is equal to 15 useless years of the country’s existence, because, the widows and orphans, who were a result of the 22 years civil war of liberation, were sent back to the old forgotten refugee camps, whereas, creating new camps of “Kiir Matasip”, “Bashir Malesh” refugee camps in the old Sudan, that South Sudan ran away from; so, shameful! Not saying, more than 7 refugee camps; hosting South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, DRC, and Central African Republic. The total displaced South Sudanese living in exile across her borders, total to approximately five million refugees, according to UNHCR statistics.
So, if those whom their partners and fathers liberated South Sudan from El Bashir’s Khartoum, were, or are being forced into fleeing the country into the old country, Sudan which we broke away from, then where does your celebratory mood come from?
I do not celebrate the stolen and distorted South Sudan integrity, wealth, education and robbed human capital – disrespectfully taken after the said, gained freedom. I refused to live in the boot of a boot-licker, I refused to live empty glory. We robbed ourselves of the glory we fought for, for all the fallen generations. I refused to celebrate heedlessness and a folly belief, as a fellow, comrade, Aluel Atem, who “Refused to be a prisoner of fear” and “refused to live in her mind” by telling the world and South Sudanese in particular, that we are not living to the standard of independence, we fought for, but self-destruction in her article, “I refuse to be a prisoner of fear”.
My celebration was cut short, shortly after July 9th, 2011 victorious votes of 99% – that lead to the country, South Sudan independence. I can’t celebrate, not now, until, the looted billions of dollars by the country leadership team, including the president are returned, until the abducted kids are returned to their parents, until the stolen land, cows, sheep and goats are returned to their rightful owners. We are not to celebrate until, all the communal conflicts are solved for peace and peace co-existence.
I am not going to be happy until the assassinated excellent brains, the supposed national human capital; in the names of educators, medical doctors, the journalists, writers, human rights activists, liberators, and over 400 lost and not found Juba residents, since Juba became the national capital city, among other fields of professions and the innocent thousands of citizens murdered by the current government and its proxies in J-1, are investigated and responsible goons are punished for the crimes they have done in the past 15 years.
Remember, you are celebrating the same country’s independence, where a military officer, turned a business man, in recent story, was called a hero, for digging out the resting heroes in their tombs, as he placed the shop foundation in place, that later lead to brainless madness, where officers in the line of duty killed their commander among others, for not being from their ethnic section. That is not a country enjoying freedom, but fractions of sections hating themselves, for not being from the same nativity.
We must mourn for the mess and shambolic nation that we see before us. We should help correct and build without fear, what our fallen heroes and heroines have fought for, selflessly. Let’s not betray them, because no amount of falsehood, hatred, corruption, or bootlicking would amount to patriotism.
I am not happy to celebrate today, because I saw its glorious beginning in the early 1980’s to today’s being thrown to wolves. I saw it then in my father, who assisted in recruitments and escorts as part of the paramount chiefs administrative conscription to recruit forces, who went and trained in the boot-camps and returned to fight, to liberate a country as Sudan People Liberation Army – The SPLA. I saw it in my own brother and brothers, who volunteered to carry guns and fight, giving up school as minors, so we can gain independence and practice that independence with love and honesty. I saw the struggle, the fight to liberate us, in my neighbors, whom some of them gave and sent between 2 to 5 sons and daughters from one family; from one household, dreaming to create a great nation, that would know how to rule and educate herself.
Gabriel Makuei Tor,
The author is a disappointed Jesh El Amer, a published author of multiple poems and articles.