The will to resist and succeed.
By: Justin Ambago Ramba.
South Sudan sadly enough continues to hit the headlines for all kinds of disasters, from hunger, thirst, disease, illiteracy, poverty, insecurity, corruption, weak governance, cattle rustling , banditry.......etc , while its leadership stands amid all these chaos completely looking blank. But you will be wrong if you think that any of these are due to natural misfortunes. No it is not the case, at least not in the remote Western Equatoria State (WES).
By all standards, nature is very generous in these parts of south Sudan. It is a region blessed with vast fertile land, ever green vegetations, and reliable rain falls. Good drainage, peace loving communities, and a very high rate of literacy and civility. This is one of Godís several heavens on earth which Man is trying to turn upside down.
Dozens of extremely bad incidents have happened in WES state which started the regrettably killings of those top police officers in Yambio few years ago, the recurrent LRA attacks, the unchecked insecurity posed by the Mbororo nomads, the assassination of the prominent female political figure late Mariam Biringi, the massacre of the school children in the aftermath of the CPA celebrations earlier this year and many others. Unfortunately as if to confirm the hidden hands of the authorities, no culprits have been brought to book.
With the above records, the ordinary person in WES takes it that, the government has either abandoned them or is even beginning to work against their very existence. People are desperate and as with anything else the way out is to have a change for the better, which they sought to achieve through the elections.
It is for the sake of change and the much need liberation from a tyrant administration that the citizens of WES went out to vote in their thousands, enduring all the harassments, intimidations, and threats of bodily harm posed by the security and police personnel throughout the voting period.
Many also had to endure the inconveniences created by the National Elections Commissionís (NEC) poor work, like misspelling of names, misallocation of names from the original centres of registration, long queues, thirst, exhaustion, rains, bad roads, and walking long distances on foot.
Many elderly and disabled citizens (cripples, blind etc) also took it upon themselves and challenged the hot tropical sun to reach the scattered polling stations to vote. All had one belief in mind, and it was to vote in office a new administration that can cater for their interest as opposed to those false liberators who have just over a night,
become new rulers ( Neo- Jallaba) by
exactly what the northern
Arabs did or even worse.
However, although the people are sure that the change that they voted for is forth coming, undoubtedly they were disturbed and angered by
the cowardly act of burning the ballot boxes which were on their way to Yambio, from Yeri in Mvolo County as well as those burnt in Yangiri, Ezo County.
The claim in the media that the burnt casted ballot papers
were the works of some unknown bandits, reminds the citizens in WES of the familiar tone often used by the local authorities in statements
repeatedly issued in this targeted part of south Sudan
the secret hand strikes.
How can unknown bandits just appear out of the blue on a main road between Mundri and Maridi at a time when roads in WES were closed immediately following the last day of the polls? In Yambio itself people were banned from either driving cars or riding motorbikes in the streets. Soldiers were eventually deployed all over the state.
Anyway if Ďunknown banditsí is another word for Ďthose cowardsí, then let it be. Otherwise even without the least of finger pointing, the locals have already reached their verdicts. Nobody in their right state of mind can believe this cheap Ďwhitewashí story. Can anybody explain the miracle, how
the so-called Ďunknown bandits, spared the three people on the truck? Here is a scenario where a policeman, the truck driver and the intelligence personnel all managed to escape the funny ordeal alive and completely unharmed.
If it were the LRA, the overused scapegoat in WES killings, lips and ears would have been cut off or even limbs chopped.
Again to drive the point home, how on earth is it that the ballot boxes were transported on a truck whereas the whole process in its initial stages was handled by choppers? Were the UNAMIS only left with that one chopper that incidentally broke down? Why was the commissioner of Mvolo so ungenerous in providing the much need security escort for such an important and risky mission? Is this not the same commissioner who disrupted Col. Bakosoroís campaign in the first place?
As for what happened in Yangiri, Ezo, the burning down of the school by itself was an act of people dominated by evil spirits. This building was meant to educate the youngsters who will be the future leaders of WES and south Sudan at large. In a very poor country like south Sudan, where majority of the children continue to attend classes under the shade of trees and in the open, to burn down a school is in fact to condemn that community to perpetual illiteracy and ignorance.
In the past five years following the CPA, WES has no doubt suffered from the wrath of its enemies. Man made insecurity and instability is rampant. But no one can break the real will of these peace loving people. WES will continue to triumph and excel in all fields.
It is only a matter of days that this Garden of Eden will reclaim its place as the break basket for the whole south Sudan. And once again the much need security will return to the state under the new leadership.
May the rising emancipation of our people continue to multiple indefinitely and may the love of God and his endless Peace embrace them all. They have wisely used the ballot to make their voices heard. And we hope that all the peace loving people of south Sudan and their friends worldwide will continue to support this democratization process that has started to take root.
We say Ďenoughí, to all the insecurities, the instabilities, and the violence. These are times when the temptations of the devil and his agents run high. But our people will do better to keep their sobriety and composure. Victory is certain and an independent south Sudan is eminent.
ďChanges do not roll on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for freedom. A man canít ride you unless your back is bentĒ.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba, M.B, B.Ch, D.R.H, MD. Secretary General of the United South Sudan Party (USSP). He can be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]