Shame on our leaders who have failed to put the interests of their citizens above their personal needs..
Opinion | By Mary Nyibol Maker
To my fellow South Sudanese across the globe. It’s with deepest regrets and a ton of frustrations that I write to you. My heart is heavy as I jot down what I am about to reveal to you all.
As we all know, we are all scattered throughout the world. Some are fortunate enough to be exposed to a less toxic environments but many are caught up in the hands of people with bent rules where those in power tend to use those rules to suit their interests.
It’s obvious that, over the years, our people in Egypt have been going through a hell of time in the hands of Egyptians and yet our government has done absolutely Nothing to intervene. This is a shame, isn’t?
In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Africans were thrown out of their residential apartments and beaten almost to death in China. It’s certain that our own people were among this group being humiliated and tortured by the Chinese, yet there’s something called “China-South Sudan relations” and the Chinese of all the people have come, exploited and exhorted our God-given resources, and our leaders just watched on. Isn’t this a shame, too?
Again, 2020 in Uganda, some of our young people were found not far from their home and the police stomped towards them and beat them like animals for no apparent reason. What is Uganda to us, a brother or sister right? The president of Uganda is the foster carer of our own president and yet, the children of the client are being mistreated in the watch of their parent by the foster father/carer, Mr. M7. Isn’t this just too shameful guys?
Nevertheless, just this Saturday gone, the 30th of January 2021, a bunch of our young people who were eating out like any other young persons, were again stomped towards by the Kenyan police, rounded up and asked to pay TKK( Toa Kitu Kidogo. Which means give whatever little you have. In other words, bribe us so we can let you go).
This is the reason as to why they were caught. Kenya has its curfew starting at 10:30pm( I was informed). The boys left home just before eight in the even to buy food. They met their friends and they decided to chit chat a little. At 21:00 pm, they decided to go home because they were mindful of the curfew time.
While approaching their house, a police car pulled up and the police officers (Affande) stomped towards the young people and immediately handcuffed them. When the young people asked why they were being handcuffed while the curfew time was still, the police offices asked for TKK.
The young people told the officers that they had no money. The officers got bitter and demanded for five thousand Kenya shillings each, otherwise, they threatened to drag the young people to the prison, and if by morning they hadn’t paid, the young people would appear before the court and explain why they were before the Judge.
As if that wasn’t enough, our young people were tortured through beatings, thrown into a dark room filled with urine and bad odour. On top of that, they were abused that they needed to go back to their country(SS) where there were no rules and where people do whatever each one pleases. “Go back to your country”, they were told. What kind of humiliation is this my people? Isn’t this too shameful ?
Kenya, like Uganda is a sisterly country with a head of state that has been initiating the return of peace to the people of South Sudan. If our people are being mistreated in Kenya, it’s because our leaders have failed us. Kenyans don’t see us going back to our country anytime sooner, hence, the reason they see us as a burden on them.
My people, the equation the other countries are using to arrive to their answers is simple: “If South Sudan is mistreating, torturing, dehumanizing her own people, who are we not to do the same?” This is the reality and it’s a sad reality!
The question is, how much longer should the people of South Sudan continue to suffer in the hands of people who are not even close to them by all means? If it’s intelligence, we have it! If it’s education, we have highly educated, highly qualified professionals who could do so exceedingly well. If it’s resources, we have a country that flows with milk and honey! And if it’s hardships, sufferings and struggles, our forefathers and present fathers and mothers have bitterly experienced it. What exactly don’t we know or have really for us to be treated like a piece of “sh**t?
What we need is simple so that all this humiliation can stop! We need a stable, peaceful and secure country. Please give us back our country!. We want to go back home!!! South Sudan is the only home we can walk freely and proudly.
The writer is a South Sudanese activist and human rights defender.
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