By Agoku Christine Taban
South Sudanese always believe that their leaders at various levels present them with genuine answers to their questions in case of uncertainties during debates in parliament sittings and their exact ways of holding each other responsible and accountable for their deeds.
It is worthy sittings while presenting real issues affecting communities, asking bitter questions that will challengingly yield genuine answers and clarifications for the benefit of this sovereign country, because it is our collective responsibility to build the nation we want for now and for the future.
Debates with actions act as a reminder and mind-opener to realize where we have gone wrong and where I am supposed to address or lobby for my constituency and the ministry I am holding.
As a peaceful, responsible, and professional way of directing questions and summoning during parliamentary sitting, the Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs concerning the persistent insecurity across the country as a concerned institution During the summons, the Minister freely expressed himself and said the low payment of the national army is causing them to participate in malpractices. He said the lack of implementation of the national budget for civil and military welfare is a factor obstructing the control of guns and the security of the country.
Therefore, with all those presentations, the communities are still wondering to whom to direct questions concerning the whereabouts of the illegal and rampant guns in the hands of the few who continue to intimidate the poor majority. As citizens, can we believe that there are no other mechanisms to be put in place by the concerned government body to ensure the country is secure to live in? As the defense minister said, “the guns that you see with the population around them are not in our stores. Guns are everywhere in Juba and in the country. Farmers and officials own guns, and where they get their guns, we don’t know.”
If so, are there policies in place in this country about who can own a gun and for what purposes? If yes, what are the police saying about regulating the guns seen and owned by the population in Juba and across the country? And due to the hardship, there are many soldiers who escaped from their duty stations to various areas without proper permission; others turn robbers within their residential areas, stealing and threatening people around, and they are not followed to return them as others are becoming threats to the communities.
As citizens of this country, the unknown sources from where the guns we see owned by the population frustrate others are something disturbing, and it should sound like an attention seeker for the government to do something in order to know the sources of the illegally owned guns by the population so that they can be stopped to provide a safe environment and peaceful co-existence among communities.
Fortunately, approvals of billions of South Sudanese pounds seen on news reports by the National Transitional Committee (NTC) for the unification of phase II and for emergency food items, and concern ministries and clusters should ensure that the money is rightly used for its proposed purposes without diversion to aid the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.