Our independence came in a blood-stained plate

By Chol Peter Majoh

South Sudan liberation struggle dates back to the era beyond the 1955 Torit mutiny and mutineers, Anyanya 1 and 2 and SPLM/A. From the first line down to SPLM and A, this journey wasn’t a visionless one.  The liberators had envisioned what South Sudan would become and that vision persuaded them to pay the required price.  Not even just a price, but more than a mere sacrifice. It was, rather, a huge sacrifice paid.  It took lives, blood and limbs to have South Sudan as an independent and sovereign Country.

Our independence did not come in a silver plate, it resulted from the sacrificial and tireless effort by the liberators.  That tells it came in a blood-stained plate.

When you see a limbless person today in South Sudan, just remember he or she lost his or her limbs for the sake of this country.  Collectively, all South Sudanese contributed. Many contributed their sons and daughters as manpower to fight against the government of Khartoum. Others gave bulls, goats and some foods stuffs for soldiers’ welfare. All these were done, because everyone believed South Sudan would become independent and her citizens wound enjoy the fruits of this sacrifice.

Years later, South Sudan lifted its flag high into the sky as an independent Country, the dream came true. It was all joyous and euphoric that day.  All South Sudanese celebrated it with hope and joy. They knew freedom and independence had finally dawned.

God forbids, this dream got shattered after the independence. Few elites (an informed person would call them armament-resources-lavishers cartels) have taken advantage of the South Sudanese’ struggles. These folks (I don’t know them by names) are enjoying at the expense of the majority. Even the wounded heroes and heroines are forgotten.

After paying that huge and bloody sacrifice, they are forgotten.  Who remembers them?  No one!  The only favor they have is the freedom to freely stroll with their crutches and others in wheelchairs, singing liberation songs. If there’s another favor, that’s, maybe, drinking and begging the V8s’ drivers without any question.

For more than 21 years of working with the government, who has remembered to pay their annuities (pensions)? They just worked without getting paid. And because they are good hearted, they aren’t complaining.  But what disheartens is that, aside unpaid annuities, their families still continue to suffer after the independence.  So sad!  Why? Because what was believed South Sudan would become, has turned out to be a different case.

The country’s government has become like the government of Khartoum it fought against. Neglecting the interest of her people, it spends money on luxury, buying V8s for its executives, ammunitions, weapons, and cars. All these do not benefit the local and the civil population in anyway.  Instead, it’s favoring the few and neglecting the majority of whom were also contributors to the independence of the country. Imagine!

Not to dwell on that, South Sudan doesn’t need that politics of tribalism, sectionalism, and nepotism. This politics is a volte-face to that our liberators envisioned. Actually, it needs a better politics and those politicians who are not sectionalists, tribalistic and who do not embrace nepotism and favoritism.

The politics we now have, has put our country in two countries: the eased South Sudan and the uneased one.  The eased South Sudan is that of those favored by the oil money and Salva Kiir’s government.  Her citizens enjoy a variety of privileges; they have lucrative positions in the government, their children are in good schools abroad, they eat good foods, they go to good hospitals for treatments, they drive good cars, sleep in beautiful houses and a lot more.

Meanwhile, the citizens of the uneased South Sudan eat one or no meal a day, go to Juba teaching hospital, drive no cars, sleep sometimes outside, have no jobs (leave alone big or senior positions) and no businesses to run. All is as hard as the word uneased itself.  Things are just the opposite of what Dr. Garang thought South Sudan would be.  Even his dream of “taking TOWN to PEOPLE” has become “bringing PEOPLE to TOWN.”

Can’t we switch from this split South Sudan to the eased South Sudan?  The question should be answered by the citizens of the eased South Sudan.  If they want to equalize these two citizens, let them do it and do it very fast, for that’s the solution to the problem of division and conflict.  And by the way, switching to that unified South Sudan where unity in diversity is embraced and everyone enjoys equal privileges, brings the South Sudan our liberators envisioned.

The author is reachable via email: cholpetermajo@gmail,

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