By Tong Kot Kuocnin, 28/AUG/2015, SSN;
With a lot of jubilation and celebration while witnessing the signing of the IGAD-Plus long mediated peace agreement by the President of the Republic, many breathe with relief and hope that peace has come back home once again after a very destructive and costly useless and senseless war that was indeed unexpected and uncalled for.
It is and has been a belief of many of us who were born in the war, brought up in the war and even took up arms and participated in what then many world media houses termed as the longest civil war in Africa and indeed the world over, that we had enough of all the consequences of the war and it is high time that we enjoy the dividends of our hard won freedom.
But little did we know that someone somewhere was still unsatisfied of all the hardships, suffering, starvation, death and all sort of war related consequences that the people of South Sudan had endured for so long, ignited and set ablaze the little gains we had for the last nine years of our self rule as a region.
With all high hopes and determinations, the people of South Sudan put behind them all the odds the war had inflicted on them and chat their way forward in order to forge a new beginning for a prosperous South Sudan cemented by the precious blood of our fallen heroes and heroines.
These expectations didn’t last long as we again on the 15th of December 2013, slipped back into chaos and despair, turning nine years of the internationally concluded famous comprehensive peace agreement between the SPLM/A and Government of the Republic of Sudan, in Nairobi Kenya in 2005, robbing the state building efforts to dust.
On Wednesday the 26th of August, 2015, South Sudan’s President signed a regionally and internationally negotiated peace settlement since returning to military confrontations in December 2013 following disagreement over the manner and procedure of how party’s elections rules and regulations should be enacted.
It is our hope that the signing of the peace agreement will reduce daily violence and ongoing instability due to the ongoing undercurrents of conflict.
It is pertinently acknowledged fact that the provision of security is the number one priority of the government in peace-building and increasingly that the building and rebuilding of public institutions is a key to sustainability which constitute the successful political and governance transition which must form the core of any post-conflict peace-building missions and strategies in the war ravaged society.
In reflecting on the consequences of the current conflict, the disunity it has caused, hatred, segregation, nepotism and tribalised mindset it has shown is quite detrimental and hurtful. No unity and peace between the communities without dialogue in a society where each one sees another as an enemy instead of brothers and sisters.
Our main focus must be on how to forge and preserve both unity and peace among our communities in south Sudan in the context of which response to the demands for peace and unity should be thoroughly considered because the persistence of poverty within the opulence of a minority in a country marked by great neglect of humanity is a typical scandal, one of the serious situations that hinder the realization of one’s humanity, hence curtailing the quest for peace and unity of the people.
The current conflict reveals more tangibly the grudges that exist so far among the communities in our country. It is however one thing to understand the problems that motivated self consciousness among communities and it is quite another to have the will to merge together those conflicting and diverging views of those communities if those demands restraint and hence no commitment to uphold them.
This conflict is a litmus test to the capability and competency of the leadership of south Sudan and its people. The leadership must rise up and devise mechanisms to salvage the unity of the people and preserve peace, cohesion and love among all south Sudanese.
Our country is slivering at the verge of collapse due to grudges that have filled everyone’s heart in south Sudan. This is a challenge to our leadership where exist a prevalent tendency of using violence in appealing for community consideration which is a cynical pole that needed to be avoided at all costs.
Our peaceful co-existence is our common good and our future too because any political difference between Salva Kiir and Riek Machar shouldn’t be misconstrued as the problem between the Dinka(s) and the Nuer(s).
This must be treated as a difference between the two individuals and not the communities where they hails from, because each one of them is not the community. We hope that nobody creates war again in South Sudan for it is not in anybody’s benefit or interest.
Tong Kot Kuocnin is a Master of Laws (LLM) Candidate at the School of Law of the University of Nairobi who specializes in Law, Governance & Democracy. He is a practising Legal Counsel at Deng & Co. Advocates – Juba. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.