By Tut Michael Wiyual,
August 29, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — To begin with, I want to appreciate and say congratulations to President Salva Kiir and Dr.Riek Machar for signing the Compromised peace agreement that will put to an end the suffering of the people, I also acknowledged and salute IGAD and TRIOKA for their full commitments in finding a lasting solution for the conflict in South Sudan, I do not want to forget to thank the resilient citizens of the Republic of South Sudan who have been enduring untold suffering as a result of 20 months long civil war that has engulfed the nation, in this conflict the country has paid a heavy price in terms of loss of human lives as well as destruction of property where tens of thousands of innocent citizens have died, and others had been maimed.
Since the beginning of the conflict to date, it is estimated that thousands of civilians had been displaced from their homes across the country with some seeking refuge in the united nations mission camps, and others has fled to the neighbouring countries of Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Sudan, a number that could not be properly verified due to poor physical infrastructure such as lack of roads to access the affected number of the civilians across the country .These civilians whether internally or externally are still living in deplorable conditions with little hope for tomorrow.
However, following the signing of the compromised peace agreement by President Salva Kiir and Dr.Riek Machar on 17th and 26th of August 2015 respectively, hope has been renewed for most of the south Sudanese who are the victims of this senseless war. But every citizen should understand that the signatures of the two leaders alone is not and shall not be a guarantee for a durable and sustainable peace as well as realization of a better country that every citizen is yearning for. At this juncture, it is important for all south Sudanese to know that there is a lot of work awaiting them after the signing of this agreement. I recall vividly during the historical signing of the comprehensive peace agreement that brought to an end the protracted civil war between north and south Sudan the words of our late hero Dr.John Garang de Mabior who once said and I quote, “this peace belong to the Sudanese people, it doesn’t belong to Ali Osman Taha, John Garang or president Bashir” and today I want to believe that this compromised peace agreement belong to the people of south Sudan and not president Salva Kiir Mayardiit or Dr.Riek Machar Teny.
Nevertheless, some people might be skeptical about the prospect of the agreement, but let us not forget that the ball is now on our court, the success of this peace accord will significantly depend on the willingness of the general civil population to embrace it and not the two leaders or politicians because, “once bitten twice shy”. Someone once said, “ Don’t ask for what your country can do for you but ask yourself what you can do for your country” Therefore, the next phase of implementation will only be realized through the full participation of citizens by forgiving one another , reconcile and forge a way forward for a new start regardless of the past. It might be a difficult task but, it is possible with a positive heart because we all belong to south Sudan and shall remain south Sudanese forever, we have no other place that we can call home. Our diversity is our strength, therefore let us endeavour to preach peace, unity of purpose in order to rebuild a better country that will reflect our true identity and values, a nation that will depict what truly 2.5 million people had died for before our walk to freedom on July 9th 2011 .
Finally, I want to challenge our leaders to be champion of peace, they should borrow from successful leaders in the region, today there are regional leaders who are doing tremendously well, example is Paul Kagame of Rwanda he transformed his country which had experienced a deadly genocide in 1994 where 800,000 lives were lost but today it is ranked among the few successful nations of the world. South Sudanese leaders should also desist from tribalism, corrupt practices and should be nationalists who are patriotic citizens, they ought to avoid ignorance and egocentrism and put the interest of the nation above that of their own so that we develop a prosperous south Sudan of democracy, rule of law and equality. Nelson Mandela once said, “We better choose to live as brothers or perish like fools”, thus it is either we choose to build a unique country now or never, may God bless South Sudan.
Tut Michael Wiyual is a concerned citizen of the Republic of South Sudan, and an upcoming peace activist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org /email@example.com