OpEd, Politics

Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves

Confucius deserves my respect for this great quote. It was as if he was speaking to South Sudanese. One time, two brothers had a fight. The younger one had wrestled down the elder one and that made the elder one so furious to the point he could not come to normal senses.

Of course, wrestling the elder one down was like breaking a norm. It could put a bad mark on the elder one. So, the elder brother was being told to take it easy when he was holding a very big stick, wanting to hit hard the head of his younger brother. A throng gathered at home watching them and the elder brother could not swallow his anger.

Elderly people tricked him by bringing beautiful girls so that he could swallow his anger, but it was as if they have increased it. It was already at 1 O’clock and the elder brother was still restless, wanting to wrestle down his younger brother so that the game became a draw game, but people present could not allow him to do so.

Having tried almost everything and he was still insisting, one elderly person became annoyed and told him that, why do you want to kill your own brother? If you are to kill, then get informed that your grandfather was killed longtime ago and that, you should go for revenge if you are a man.

The elder brother immediately picked a gun and went his way to attack the grandson of someone he was told killed his grandfather. What else could the younger brother do? He picked his gun and followed his elder brother. It was as if the old man has separated them, but he dragged them into a tragedy. Whether or not someone has alerted the one they were going to kill, nobody knows it to date.

Reaching the house, they found their target together with six others and they exchanged bullets immediately. As they wanted, they killed their target, but both of them were gunned down. Imagine two brothers dying on the same day as chickens. When the news reached their community, it was so shocking. Many people blamed the old man for telling them that their grandfather was killed longtime ago and was not revenged for.

Two graves were dug, and the bodies were brought for burial. But since then, the communities have not accepted to learn from this tragedy. They continued staging revenge attacks, and the same tragedies continue happening. Looking at the communal conflicts in South Sudan, you would find that they are recycled by revenge killings.

Such revenge killings could be blind revenge killings or specific revenge killings. Blind revenge killings are revenge killings where the deceased’s relatives kill anyone, they see is equivalent to their murdered brother from the other warring side. Such killings are more recyclable than specific revenge killings. Specific revenge killings are revenge killings where the deceased’s relatives kill a member of the family where the murderer hails from.

You have to dig two graves before embarking on a journey of revenge. One grave may be yours and another may be your own brother’s or cousin’s. So, why would you go for revenge? The best people to go for revenge on your behalf are law and God.

The author is a medical student, University of Juba.

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