Finally the day has come for South Sudanese, the African Continent and the world. A new nation is born, the people once marginalized have now spoken by bullets and ballots and the struggles to achieve an identity have been realized. For South Sudanese, the old slogans of Aluta continua and comradeship, which to many, the meaning and overtone are shadowy, must now continue in different forms - the forms of social-economic development, social cohesion, moral justice, and above all, nationalism and patriotism that can be translated into action for the well-being of citizens who have been devastated by protracted wars. The challenges are still great and the wind of change is still blowing.
The next war is somehow unconquerable, but maneuverable: the war of development. It demands correct and astute application of democratic ideals. But with wisdom and good watchfulness and national pride, an impetus in the willpower to advance can be created and this new nation can meander around the giants to the top. It is a small world but there is a place for all that breathes.
So far South Sudanese have learnt in the first and second Sudanese civil wars, 1955 – 1972 and 1983 – 2005, that it is not wise to take a bull by its horns. But there are incidences that the only thing you can catch of the bull is only the horn. The impasses of a multifaceted development must be taken squarely on by the horn.
Ideally, on this day of independence, this is not the central theme. Expectations of South Sudanese seem to suggest that they know what lies ahead. I must advise here that economic development is a kind of war that a nation should prepare adequately for. The tides are rough, but manageable if correct and honest strategies are formulated, adhered to, and consistently applied.
The rest of Africa is waiting to haul South Sudan on to the truck of economic development, where the monsters with which several economies wind around, are the Economic Blocs of different kinds: The World Bank, The IMF, and other financiers. It is a figurative and calculative arena that requires a country to prepare its human resources or workforce very well for the competition. Education would be the key for success in such a whirlpool of interests, often marked by legal manipulations. We have a world where we must tread carefully and always lay a low profile.
South Sudanese should now know that the path towards progress has many potholes of problems, with not a single panacea for these problems. It is where a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
It is a world where no one helps you sign deals but baits you to. Many countries have signed agreements and with that they lost the trend and poverty became commonplace. And often times you get into eternal hereditary by your own signature. Wise and lucky ones become wealthy. In such countries, children are born with 'original debt' they can never pay in their lifetime. But there is little you can do to surpass the economic mightiness of those familiar with the game. Remember, man has already mass-produced the ultimate weapon. They have a name for it. Human feet have defiled the goddess for some of our communities, the Moon, already. The blue sky that forms the everlasting mosquito net over the South Sudan has some people living in it up there.
My dear young nation of South Sudan, welcome to the world of perfidy, the world of national interest, the world of alliances, the world of masters. It is the world of agreements, treaties, memoranda of understanding, and so on. We can live there can't we? It is better in this world than it is in the land of Janjaweeds and Murahaleens. And if you are asking for the solution, then the solution I don't know. Just don't borrow where you can never repay. Own no masters or at least be a master. Develop your human resources or perhaps be a test case in a different scenario. South Sudan can benefit if it chooses to follow in the path of successful nations.
The main focus for the people of South Sudan was to end marginalization and set themselves free. This had been a subject that often carried emotional charge. Today South Sudanese have a geographical confinement. The truth is that they have always been around. Even prophet Isaiah talked about them. The long desired Promised Land is now here. It is the milk that is yet to be seen. We needed a home country, a cocoon to recline to when necessary. It is now a full realization and an achievement worthy of attempt. It is a national identity that was lacking. South Sudanese have so long lived with the misnomer that they are part of the Arab world and therefore Middle Easterners. Arabs – black Arabs? The misnomer is great and yet no one seemed to give it a thought for at least half a century.
Now they have got a country they will forever hang on to till the end of time - The Republic of South Sudan where the word Sudan will really insinuate the ‘Land of the Black.’ With the creation of this new state comes the excitement and jubilation for millions of south Sudanese whom maladroit of war have made to assume the tunnel they were in had no exit where light would appear. Today it is shining at the tunnel’s end for the people of South Sudan. And into the tunnel goes no hope, desire or willingness for turning back. We are out and free.
In his speech, Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary General on July 9, 2011 in Juba said South Sudan has become the 193rd nation that will soon acquire membership in the United Nations. The African union welcomes the Africa’s 54th, sovereign state. The East Africans want them on their economic bloc for the next war. South Sudan is a country!
The Africans who have put up with the pressures of Sudanese refugees influx and have borne the brunt of malevolent of a lingering war in the Sudan have also expressed their joy and support for the new nation. At least a neighbor is at peace. South Sudan was a no go zone for the rest of business Africa and the world. It is time now for Africa and the world to come and see what Southerners have been fighting for in this land of Sudd and The Mighty Nile. South Sudanese are saying, ‘You are welcome!!’
And what do South Sudanese think of the day?
The world that has stood with the people of South Sudan through humanitarian sustenance; the world in which generous countries like Australia, UK, America, New Zealand, Norway Canada, and others stretched their generosity further and offered millions of South Sudanese resettlement, deserves our appreciations. It is on this day that we acknowledge their generosity. We the South Sudanese thank them abundantly. We say unto them “Since you have been with us during our times of need, you are friends indeed and we say thank you.” The new president of the Republic of South Sudan never missed the point of thanking them overwhelmingly today, July 9, 2011 during his sworn in Juba when South Sudan legally declared her Independence.
It is today that many South Sudanese believe that the Arab (Jellaba) dominated ruling party in Khartoum, which signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement with the Southerners in 2005, has acquiesced to sitting down and watching them raised their flag and singing a brand new South Sudan National Anthem. To South Sudanese, it was a dream comes true; it was the day of reckoning. They have wisely and courageously refused to be dragged back into war willy-nilly in the months leading up to the Independence Day, and vehemently avowed to secure their freedom, land and their future. Aspirations of the people of South Sudan have now been realized after a rough ride.
To the Arabs in the North, they saw it as a failure in the policy of Arabisation of Black Africa which had been broken by unpardonable resistance by southerners through insightful determination and en masse ejection of Islamic policies and beliefs. African stubbornness in demanding freedom through opposition of the Sudan’s Mahdism and Muhammedanism of the country had been portrayed throughout the 54 years of war. No South Sudanese ever admired it. Southerners have since demanded their rights while steadfastly inclined geopolitically to the free world where human dignity and freedom is prized above religious dogmatism.
It is madness to see some people fighting wars in the name of God. God, from the all-powerful angle He has been displayed in most Holy books is truly capable of winning His own followers and does not need human succor and actors for the mission. In the name of whom do the weak humans fight for the powerful? The philosophy of religious affiliation must be psychological to a certain degree.
South Sudanese quest for a secular democratic system of government in Sudan had always been met with ululations and religious chanting that called for war in the name of God. Really! But this is what we have been through. We have been through it long and hard that some boys and girls parted with parents at the tender age of ten and have ever since known nothing but themselves to rely on for the past two decades.
The breakup of Sudan does not make us happy, not in the least. We the Sudanese citizens both North and South have always wanted to be together. But something went horribly wrong in the political systems of the country. South Sudanese had no options left in their armory of togetherness in a united Sudan. Islamisation policy has destroyed the hopes of many. Southerners had to go and to go they went with everything that is South Sudanese above and beneath the ground. That includes the oil and other Divine endowed natural resources. And in the sky and heavens above, we have gone with part of our God that does not declare war on His people for submission.
The break up may leave North Sudan with a sense of fear that a country with more than five hundred ethnic groups, in which 63 tribes of South Sudan have already chosen secularism, will surely stand the test of hypothetic Arabisation in Africa and not more implosive disintegration. Many experts believe this. Erroneous and palpable of this anathematic Arabisation policy nominally stated that Sudan is an Arab Islamic State while ignoring the fact that a sizeable and above average population of the country is truly black. Additionally, this group of non-Arab neither knows nor understands anything of the policy of ‘Die or Believe.’ Sudan’s government’s call for Holy War or Jihad upon its own citizens as previously witnessed in Darfur through the use of Janjaweed as a force of counterinsurgency against the African Muslims, and more recently in Abyei will stand as a testimony for the world that needs to know the truth.
To South Sudanese, both at home and in the Diaspora, it is a freedom worth celebrating. It is a break in posttraumatic stress that we often fear to speak about. It is a search light that exposes our confidence and assertiveness. It is a sudden sigh of relief for unpredictable questions that led to our displacement. It is a calming and sedative force for those whose hopes in the survival of their families have been dashed and replaced with pain that seemed to go on for eternity.
Independence Day is a great day. This is the day that Southerners amputated, maimed and artificially deformed as a result of gun wounds, snake bites and animal attacks shed the tears of joy and pain, the day in which those whose bones remained scattered in the open and under the trees of Sudan and Africa for the course of their freedom will be remembered by the living, the day that those whose empty stomaches stopped them from breathing will be called to mind, the day that we recall our bodies became deficient of fluids and people fell dried and dropped dead while the mighty Nile never runs dry, the day that the entire social structure of the people of South Sudan which had been devastated by war and its concomitants will certainly be given attention. This is the day that announces the end of a blatant devastation and heralding a new day-The Day of Contentment. The day is July 9, 2011.