By Emmanuel Kachoul, Uganda, MAY/16/2016, SSN;
Dear Editor, and my fellow South Sudanese allow me start by introducing myself. I’m a South Sudanese businessman who has greatly benefited from H.E. President Yoweri K. Museveni’s relentless efforts to stabilize the Great Lakes region AND East Africa at large including my own country South Sudan.
I would like to take advantage of this day when our dear Pan Africanist leader is being inaugurated or sworn in for his new term of office as President to express my gratitude to him, the NRM and the UPDF plus the entire people of Uganda for their sacrifice and contribution towards pacification of my country South Sudan.
Allow me make my submission as follows: The Republic of South Sudan is the youngest nation in the whole world having got its independence on the 9th July 2011. But this Republic has seen turbulent times and the journey to self-determination has been protracted and painful.
Thanks to all regional bodies including the IGAD (Inter-Governmental Authority on Development) and other International friends who played a leading role in negotiations that led to the signing of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005 that brought a semblance of peace which we still hold on until now.
These kinds of conflicts, we as freedom fighters have always prayed that they don’t happen again because they date back during the time of colonialism. Case study in 1974 southerners who had separated from the north, reunited with the north again, in 1955 again southern army officers mutinied forming the Anya Nya rebel groups. And in 1983 a major insurrection involving many uncomfortable southerners led by SPLM/A (Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement) under the able leadership of Cmdr. John Garang De Mabior fought a justified protracted peoples war for 21 years for self-determination, until the CPA was signed.
Although, this war alone resulted into untold suffering of people including loss of over 2 million people and displacing close to 5 million People women and children inclusive. All these wars have played negatively in the political, social and economic spheres of our nation a scenario that we must guard against zealously.
Unfortunately, in December 2013 fighting again broke out between government forces led by President Salva Kiir and rebels royal to his deputy vice president Riak Machar and fighting spread across the country leading to unnecessary loss of lives and untold suffering of innocent people.
Nevertheless, on my behalf and on behalf of my fellow South Sudanese and the fallen freedom fighters in SPLA/M who hold our beloved motherland with high esteem, we salute commander Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and congratulate him upon this well-deserved victory and pray that he continues with his visionary and wise leadership role, which he has manifested to us in the region and in Africa at large and a true Pan African Elder.
It should always remain fresh in the minds of all how his Excellency president Museveni swiftly moved to avert a looming genocide in the young and fragile nation of South Sudan in the just concluded civil war, amidst wild spread criticism across the globe but he single handily stood with the people of south Sudan by sending in well trained and disciplined African soldiers “ the UPDF troops” who didn’t disappoint but rather stood with their SPLA comrades to calm a situation which had run out of hand and saved the lives of innocent civilians and properties.
Bravo SPLA and UPDF for the love of your continent, you are our heroes. The courage and consistency of the Ugandan Army and the SPLA/M in resolving the chaos in South Sudan is the product of the Pan African state of mind and much is owed to the men and women who serve in these forces.
Painful lesson learnt; 1994 Rwanda genocide. One of the major reason this happened was because everybody among the regional leaders then sat and waited for UN and or I don’t know what to come and secure Rwandans.
And the biggest African shameful atrocity befell our brothers and sisters there as if they didn’t have neighbours to help, while our leaders stood aside and watched our sisters and brothers chopping themselves to death for a hooping one hundred dark days.
This should never happen again anywhere on the African continent and the world at large. Good neighbourhood demands that when you see smoke at your neighbour’s house, you know there is fire therefore you must move to extinguish it and this is exactly what UPDF under its able command did in 2013 in South Sudan.
I get disturbed when none of the national and international agencies don’t keep mentioning such a noble achievement. And had the genocide happened, it would be talked about up to date.
I think we should learn how to glorify positive achievements even for the next generation to be able to build on it in our enduring endeavour to make Africa a good place to be. The harmonised political, social and military approach has again brought a semblance of peace in juba manifested in the getting together of the two warring parties of president Salva Kiir and his vice Riak Macher.
Furthermore, All this has happened due to mature political and military engagements within our two neighbouring countries and truth be told, a big kudos must go to Commander Museveni and Commander Kiir Mayerdit, South Sudanese Peace loving people, IGAD Leadership as well as well-wishers.
Regionally, the admission of South Sudan into the EAC and now COMESA opens up opportunities for South Sudan investors and Citizens and this couldn’t have come at a better time since this re strengthens bilateral relations with our neighbours. Of equal importance is the formation of the East African Standby army to act as a deterrent and secure the region in times of imminent turmoil.
Time will come when we don’t have brave leaders who can bridge the gap hence there must be a concrete mechanism of joint security of people’s lives and property. To all my fellow south Sudanese back home and in the Diaspora. Please we must continue working hard and praying trusting in God’s ability to deliver us from the economic difficulties we still face and a passionate call to our governments to at all times uplift peoples’ liberties and freedom.
This can best be achieved if we all cherish and use freedom profitably bearing in mind that we don’t only have to do what we like but what we ought to do right.
Martin Luther king once said “That darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that’’. He went ahead to say that ‘’Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that”. Please let us continue in the same footsteps of loving one another, because surely there is light at the end of the tunnel.
About the writer Comrade Emmanuel Kachoul is an SPLA former freedom fighter who is currently engaged in the fight against poverty and its related vices in South Sudan and trying to unlock South Sudan’s economic potential so that the Young nation can deliver on its promise of developing its people. The writer can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
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