Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Let Us All Die From Inside

By Pal Chol* (Guest Writer)


Mr. Pal Chol
 (courtesy of the author)
With the escalating destructive war, many South Sudanese people have been forced to flee. Others live to seek protection in the congested UN camps resembling Nazi concentration camps under very squalid conditions. The international community is working and exerting efforts to make sure the war stops and life returns to normalcy.

The civil society organizations also work around the clock to make sure the war stops. If my memory serves me well, the President said he is not happy seeing his people dying always and running for their lives. Nobody knows whether the concern is real or imaginary. Leaders who are concerned by the lives of the people usually devise ways and means of stopping what is making people suffer even if it costs them their jobs. South Sudanese honestly have no problems among themselves.

The problems are the liberators who, because they had gone to the bush, found themselves at the helm of power. They have broken our social fabrics. They negotiate themselves into positions of authority. They don't address people's concerns. The rallying cry of all South Sudanese is to have the war ended at all cost. It has had its highest toll. The UNHCR has made it plainly clear that it cannot afford hosting and feeding the South Sudanese refugees in Uganda, now numbering over one million. There is nothing wrong if bringing peace can make rulers lose their jobs. South Sudan is a resourceful country with abundant riches. There is no reason why we should squabble and fight over Chinese rice.

It is a shame. What is in China which is not here? China has arable and vast land just like here with people (manpower) inhabiting it. These people put to use these resources to produce the rice by tilling the land. It didn't come like a manna. People have toiled for it. Perhaps, the only difference is because their leaders care for them; they love their country and keep the peace,  thus paving way for the people to work. It is an open secret that the ordinary South Sudanese have been confronted by their tribal leaders. They are at each others' throat. It is not now Dinka versus the Nuer nor the Nuer/Dinka versus the minorities. It is them [leaders, elites] against us, the citizens.

There is a need for unity of purpose. It is time to put aside our differences and work for peace and unity. No tribe is not affected by this dire economic collapse. I challenge even those who might have had the chance to look with impunity to come out clean that they still have their kids in the schools, afford three meals a day, and live a comfortable life. Even with the election being talked about by the power wielders, I don't think it would be transparent, fair and credible given the fact that most of the would-be voters are not in the country unless it is done in the African way:  entrenching dictatorship by rigging elections.

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*Pal Chol is a concerned South Sudanese. He has written extensively on various South Sudanese websites and in newspapers on social, economic and political issues.  He is reachable at palcholnyan2016@gmail.com


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SELF-ESTEEM AND DISCRIMINATION

As someone who grew up in war conditions and lived as a refugee for a long time, I'm sometimes considered by many people in the 'west' to be prone to (or have) low self-esteem, be poor or illiterate. Living as refugees or displaced persons, who depended on the good will of others put people in a situation where they don't think much about themselves. But that's not everyone though.

As I stood by our front desk at my place work talking about Race and Identity in relation to my book, Is 'Black' Really Beautiful?, the issue of why many African peoples in North America become so over-sensitive when racial issues come up! For many rational people, this owes its origin to slavery and racial segregation.

But one of my coworkers, a person of European descent, was surprised to realize that her 'black' friend, a very intelligent woman, easily becomes irritated by simple things she [friend] considers racist. The friend considers any mention of a watermelon racist; and complains a lot about 'white privilege.' This means that discrimination is considered something 'whites' don't face because of 'white privilege.' In any discussion between 'blacks' and 'whites', 'white privilege' issue comes up!