Drastic times call for drastic measures to rescue suffering civilians in South Sudan

By: Luka Geng Geng, lukagenggeng@gmail.com, University Campus, Wau, JUN/10/2016, SSN;

Whilst we look into the future of our country, we must also not forget to learn from the past; taking this country in our recent past perspective, 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 a 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 from 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, murder cases, massive displacement, raging human rights violations and dire food shortages which all amount 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 needs 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 prepare to give you the tip of iceberg, I’d first and foremost like to plainly point out in a high tone that our civil population must be the only human population that has 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 don’t believe that our country is already in drastic times.

How would you best describe or call such times in country were civil servants must spend three to four months without being paid their salaries? 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 strikes 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 grade.

However, these attempts were not correctly put right, they are totally naive and unpopular and they couldn’t be called 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 bond to ask ourselves with regards to independence goes this way; did the formal independence bring 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 rests 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 tolerance so as to allow them an opportunity to deal with current situation by putting drastic measures that may rescue the suffering civil population.

South Sudanese leaders must practice the leadership that brings 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 lukageng@gmail.com


  1. Toria says:

    Obviously you being a Jenge from Bahr Ghazal, what could one expect different? I really wonder where are the so-called intellectual and civilized Jenge hiding? As a University student, you are supposed to think liberally and take a balanced approach. But from some of your statements as quoted below here I doubt about your intellectual judgement.
    “South Sudanese leaders must practice the leadership that brings people together regardless of their ethnicity, religion, belief and gender and enable their full participation in society.” There are no leaders in South Sudan, but there are thousands of bloodthirsty tribal warlords.
    “The repercussion of December 15, 2013 Juba coup attempt……” You are still singing the old song while everyone have moved on that there was no coup?
    I strongly advised that you focus on finishing your medical school and go and help the sick in the hospital instead of adding the fuel in the already a burning house by writing a biased article.

  2. @TORIA of unknown father, first and foremost, I apperciates u for taking time to read my op-ed article which allowed u selling out yr taking it thru yr comment here. To my judgment, u fell short of taking the intended substance in the piece but one thing u should knw is that, I am not a triblist to trace yr tribe as u did for me. When I mention about S.Sudan leaders, I didn’t finger point at either tribal leaders from Nuer, Dinka, Shilluk, Bari or any tribe in South Sudan, perhaps, specifically I was pointed at where our problem is, which is leadership itself; where do u think my opinion went unbalanced? Apart from waiting people’s judgment to comments on, it is wise and advisable that u too should provides us with yr view since the nation is build out of human intellect. If u are a diehart supporter of Riak, then u must learn to call spade a spade. What happened in 2013 couldn’t be denied, even u may burst at pple like us yet the history will n’t forgive u and yr co. What shows u did fully copied my article is that u labled me as a singer of old song while u didn’t take to consideration my introduction at the outset which says” while we look into the future of our country, we shouldn’t forget to learnt from the past” what did u think we should have learnt from our recent past? As per your advice to continouse my studies, you are applauded but never attempt to throw at people when u don’t have a cealed wall. Gud day!

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