Opinion: Moving forward as a Peaceful Nation

From January 2014, friends of South Sudan and South Sudanese uncomfortably dismissed violence for peaceful resolution of a conflict generated by individual politicians in the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and few politicized generals in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). The rejection of violence and campaign for peace gathered a tremendous momentous impact on the then warring parties: the SPLM, SPLM In Opposition and South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) to accept dialogue, negotiation, and reconciliation. In the process, from 2014 to 2018, the committed Regional Bloc of the Horn of Africa, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), in alliance with African Union (AU), the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and Troika (the US, UK, and Norway), exerted their diplomatic experience and successfully mediated an agreement which seems capable to end “the senseless war” of 15 December 2013. The Revitalized Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS), signed on 12 September 2018, is now holding and correctly being implemented by the political parties with support by the IGAD countries and the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

Now that peace is here, what is the role of the South Sudanese civilians, in terms of critical support of peace, security and upcoming government of national unity?

Yes, we have national roles and obligations as citizens of the Republic of South Sudan. These roles and obligations are of two facets: (a) the protection and services provisions by your country to you as a citizen. (b) And “what you can do for your country.”

What we can do for our country now, for R-ARCSS to succeed, should be focused on the following: (a) commitment to the unity of purpose and necessity; (b) sustain and maintain our obligatory commitment to peace and security; (c) support the political parties in their efforts and endeavors to correctly implement the R-ARCSS in the pledged spirit and letter; (d) remind the upcoming Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) to critically abandon dictatorship, tightened legislation to prevent and fight corruption, theft, and mismanagement; and (e) finally, save-guide the future of system of government (federation) and good governance, liberalism, democracy and the rule of law. Above all, the National Legislature (parliament) and the Judiciary must prevail effectively in the transitional legislation and application of interim justice respectively.

In my opinion, it is time to regret the past (2005-2018) and acknowledge the failure of the state in all fields of customary livelihoods. Worst of all, the culmination of the country’s political, economic and social failure into anarchical violence, chaos, and war, has recorded a historical shame on our country. The humanitarian death and plight shall remain among the top worst in world records. To repair the image of our country, we must accept our mistakes, learn from them and correct them amicably. Such actions can win us a reconsidered recognition worldwide and restoration of our national pride. Let’s bury our differences if any, and reverse back to the long liberation (1955-2005) solidarity which gave us the independence we deserved. Let’s go for the change because the past had messed up, decayed and impossible to retain and maintain.

– Aldo Ajou Deng

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