Opinion by: Deng Chol (DC)
Am happy again that our young freedom fighters have been released unconditionally. I thanked the police, security units, and the country’s leadership for listening to the calls of young people across the country.
We are not foreigners. We are your children, relatives, and friends. We don’t hate you or our government but we hate your policies which are pro- foreigners and anti-your people. We need jobs, security, good health facilities, roads, and learning centers. We want a stoppage to corruption, tribalism, and all vices setback our national progress.
If you can provide all these, we shall always be on your side. But if nothing changes, we shall continue to mount a peaceful protest one after another not meant for regime change as speculated but to pressure you to provide these badly needed services and public goods.
As I write this, there is an exponential rise in the prices of consumable goods in the market, with no clear explanation yet the usual scapegoat of a ‘rising dollar rate’ narrative is not the cause this time. The dollar exchange rate has stagnated yet the prices of goods are steadily rising, who are these people sabotaging the market?
A healthy nation with a functional government is disturbed for it to function well. A case of corruption where a government employee embezzles millions of dollars and threatens to rebel could be addressed through peaceful protests. Activists can be very vital in that, they can invite the public to stand behind the government in dealing with mega corruption scandals without fear. In which case, if a thief tries to run and station himself as an opposition to the regime, the same activists could help in skinning his propaganda to zero.
To the youths of South Sudan:
You have marvelously seen what a united people could achieve. You have shown maturity for the first time by standing up for your fellow members to get released. The task ahead of us is to destroy tribalism and regionalism if the government has to listen to our calls for a change to inimical policies.
Advice: One negative thing I was told which involved the protesters earlier today was the ‘violence’ elements of the protest. Vandalism of property and causing harm to persons at the time of demonstrations should not be part of your future actions. Civility and humbleness make an idea more credible and important to policymakers.
If we want to be taken seriously, we must always inform the authorities about the planned demonstrations and reasons, to be provided with a reasonable police force ahead of time so that criminals don’t intrude and create mayhem that would derail what was a peaceful and civilized protest aimed at an objective target, not a regime change.
To the political opportunists who had wanted to exploit youths’ anger to effect a regime change agenda.
Youths will not fight for you. We are an independent entity seeking public goods and services, not leadership. If you want to use our strength and energies to get in, we will not allow that to happen. The only route to leadership must be through democratic elections. Wait for elections and market your ideas to people to vote for you not scheming clandestinely behind us and suck our blood to your advantage.
The match was a win-win although we painfully lost our dear sister Trisca C…May her soul rests in peace!