OpEd, Politics

In 1999, I wept at an onlyborn being driven to Yinh-Kuël SPLA training field

Our house was close to where SPLA new recruits were being trained. Every morning, I could go to watch at how the recruits were being trained. Some would cry with tears due to the painfulness of some tactics of training while others would even fall sick and die.

There was always a day for marching. When it was a day for marching, everyone wished to be a soldier. Soldiers could appear in their military uniforms and start marching while singing songs of struggle with full bravery and enthusiasm. The singer, al panan in Arabic, who used to ignite songs could sing until his voice became hoarse.

Sometimes, a woman carrying a pot of water could help him cool down his dry voice with a sip of water. I cannot describe it better. The words to describe it better are not in the dictionary. Women could not prepare lunch that day. They could line up along the road as they ululated for the marching soldiers.

On the day new recruits were being driven to bigger training fields, such as Yinh-Kuël and others, it was always a mixture of sorrow and happiness. It was a sorrow to the parents whose sons were taken, but a joy to those whose sons were yet not taken. But the story could be more sorrowful than anything else when a precious son was being taken.

One day, the new recruits were being driven to Yinh-Kuël training field. I heard the whistle being blown at around 5:00 AM. I woke up and ran to the field as if I was one of the recruits. I found them packing their luggage and then I stood at a distance to watch at them with pity. The in charge of the field delayed a bit and that took them up to around 7 o’clock morning.

Everyone in the village was awake and that, parents whose sons were being driven came to the field to bid farewell to them. When the in charge arrived at the field, they started the journey immediately. You could not hold your tears when you see how parents were bidding farewell to their dear sons.

A woman whose only son was being driven to Yinh-Kuël caught everybody’s attention. She caught mine as well. She ran towards the marching soldiers, held her son’s arm and pulled him out. The whole troop, including the officers in charge stood to watch at her. I drew closer to watch as well.

Joined by her husband, the father of the son being driven, she pulled her skirt up and told her son to pass between her legs. The son did it as the mother pleased. By the time the son rose from stooping to pass between his mother’s legs, his father had already pulled a bundle of hair from his buttocks. He then spread them over his son’s head, saying, my son, you will always be protected like the hair around the anus. However fierce the war could be, you will surely survive it, added the father.

The woman then broke down crying on her knees, but her husband cried manly. Then they released their only begotten son to go and returned home without looking back. His father, after seeing him off to Yinh-Kuël, shortly lost hope and succumbed to the consequences of hopelessness.

Everyone who came to watch at the marching soldiers shed tears. I tell you, it was a very moment. Even the Satan could shed tears. I took it personally. I wept bitterly as if it was my relative being taken. I remember I fell sick that day. I developed a severe headache after being scolded to keep quiet.

God was not far those days. He protected their only son until the CPA was signed in 2005. He is a Major now in the SSPDF. But because of the undeserving salary of the SSPDF soldiers, he has ventured into cutting down trees for charcoal to feed his stone-hearted family, including his mother who blessed him to survive the civil war. Happy 41st SPLA Anniversary!

Thank you for reading “Sowing The Seed Of Truth”.

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