By Luka Geng Geng
University Campus, Wau
June 16, 2016, While we look in to the future of our country, we must also not forget to learn from the past; taking this country in our recent past prespective, we may note down the huge differences from today, in the past few years after independence in July 2011 South Sudan should be a country full of hope for freedom, prosperity, bright future and hope for no more suffering.Instead,the country found itself in the grip of a massive, man-made humanitarian crisis.
Despite the fact that handful peace agreements were signed between the government and rebels,with the most recent one being the ARCISS peace in August 2015, the suffering of civil population still deteriorating as that couldn’t end sooner to our expectations. The repercussion of December 15, 2013 Juba coup attempt coupled with the economic crisis which is extremely felt today is a far cry from the scenes few years back when the entire nation took to the street in jubilation to celebrate the hard won independence.Everybody thought that the suffering has come to its ending on that very day after when the country became an independent state in the hands of merciless Arabs.
Nevertheless, the young nation continued to be stormed and shaped only by violence, violence towards civilians has been widespread, including several reported attacks by unknown gun man, kidnapping, murdering cases, massive displacement, raging human rights violations and dire food shortages which all amounts to untold suffering of our civil population.
For the sake of the millions of innocents who have already suffered so much….and for millions whose lives and future hang in balance today, I think it is appropriate for me in this article to question the measures undertaken by the government to address such untold suffering of civil population in the young republic of South Sudan. But prior to putting any question across, one need to clearly explain the level of suffering that is endured by an ordinary citizen in the republic of South Sudan for better understanding of who want to know.
While I prepares to give you the tips of iceberg, I would first and foremost like to plainly point out in a high tone that our civil population must be the only human population that have faced such a long term dramatic suffering since the end of world war II in 1945 (Second world War). The fact that the two rounds of longest running civil wars spanning nearly 40 years fought over ideology, religion, ethnicity,resources, land and oil in Africa’s history took place in the present day South Sudan proves that its inhabitants suffered most than other people on the planet Earth.
During the times of wars, South Sudan citizens were subjected to various forms of human suffering and hardships both economically and politically.At the same time, what is felt today is not an exception;our civil population still suffering to no end, yet many people still doesn’t believe that our country is already in drastic times.How would you best describes or call such times in country were civil servants must spend three to four months without being paid their salaries in your own words? Times in country where the rate of US dollars against its local currency has reach to its peak of decline in value? A country where prices are all in record high in the markets?
A country where there is no visible sign indicating that this suffering is short-lived? A country where higher education staffs in the universities and Doctors in the hospital so far went for strike and still on hold striking for their last three months payment without appropriate solution? Agree with me or not, using my own vocabulary, a country in such a situation is automatically in drastic times, and as we know, drastic times call for drastic measures. But where are the drastic measures adopted so far by our government to address the untold suffering of our civil population in the republic of south Sudan? Just for trial I think or in an attempt to bring back the situation to its normalcy, the minister of
Finance and economic planning alongside with the governor of central bank in the last few months took to the radio station to announce the free floating policies against US dollars, they also went as far as announcing the increment of government employees salaries from lower scale to super scale grades , however, these attempts were not correctly put right, they are totally naive and unpopular and they couldn’t be called a drastic measures to address the current suffering of our civil population from economic crisis.What the duo as well as the whole government of president Kiir should know is; “extreme situation can only be resolved with equally extreme action, which means drastic measures must always be put in place for drastic times like the current situation”.
Under article 18 and 20 of the international covenant on civil and political rights, each UN member state has duty to protect its people. So South Sudan government must do it best to alleviate the unprecedented suffering that has been inflicted on civil population. Although it could not be denied that the same government that worked hard to ensure the independence of this nation in the recent past, the question that we are always bonds to ask ourselves with regards to independence goes this way; did the formal independence brought to an end the civil population suffering in the republic of South Sudan?
Ostensibly, the answer to this question couldn’t be fully provided but the answers from majority have always been a big no in capital letters. Initially, it was thought that the suffering which was endured by our civil population in the hands of Arabs from the north could only end with the independence, but the formal independence could not put to an end the suffering of our innocent people. Today that the suffering continues, the key to ending the suffering of innocent people in the republic of South Sudan must be devised and I think it rest squarely on leaders’ shoulders.
The key to ending this stagnant suffering is leadership, it is up to the leaders of this country to adopt the spirit of reconciliation and tolerant so as to allow them an opportunity to deal with current situation in the by putting drastic measures that may rescue the suffering civil population. South Sudanese leaders must practice the leadership that bring people together regardless of their ethnicity, religion, belief and gender and enable their full participation in society. If our current leaders are not to this standard then the suffering of our innocent civil population will be difficult to reverse, but we are still advocating for righteousness and spirit of reconciliation and tolerance to end the current economic crisis in the country
The writer of this piece is a medical student in the University of Bahr el Ghazal; Wau, He can be reached at email@example.com