Peace is living in harmony with the environment. It is good health; the freedom to choose a course in life and follow it; the liberty to use the massive human and natural potential within Southern Sudan and the liberty to create and own wealth from one’s own efforts and decisions. Peace is protecting our natural resources ranging from the teak trees that characterize our fertile soils to minerals in our great land.
Peace is saying Yes to people who share our vision of building the New Sudan and saying No to those who would divert our attention from the vision. Peace is looking out to your neighbors’ welfare, appreciating the fact that man is interdependent. It is not crying for help at all times but always trying to innovate solutions to problems. It is getting started in whatever we plan to do without overlooking the efforts of the least placed in the society.
Promoting peace is giving a hook to the people and teaching them how to fish, but not giving them fish that is eaten once and for all. We should not live on fish that comes from other peoples’ efforts. The Sudanese shall be rewarded when they turn their eyes to what is around them and utilize it.
The struggle for peace began with the efforts of the Anyanya I (black soldier), continued in the struggle against the Arabs until the time of Anyanya II (the Late Col. Garang). The resolve of the Anyanyas have made the rays of peace to shine in our land. The days of shedding blood are over.
Another war awaits us, the war against poverty. This has its root, not in the lack of resources, but the head. We have to map out on how to face this inclusive warfare. It can never be won when one party plays the big brother while the other one plays the minority role. Accountability measures have to be put in place to enhance total participation of all the parties.
Many Non Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) fighting the problems in Southern Sudan have achieved very little a result of ignoring the local input. They have placed the Sudanese at a point where he has remained a beggar, surviving on other people’s sweat in spite of the massive potential around him.
Our objectives shall never be achieved by sitting with our hands stretched to receive. Remember continually receiving donations breeds dependency, retrogression and underdevelopment. This trend has blocked us from being productive.
Development involves saying no to what is impractical and welcoming that which creates optimism to our societies. It involves taking up the courage to draw vital lessons and experiences from what we go through as a people and using them as stepping stones towards realizing our sole goals. Development comes by hearing and applying the knowledge we have.
In remembrance of the late John Garang’s words of commitment and Sacrifice, redemption and optimism, I leave you with the words that drove him to see Sudan where it is presently. That: “my people, do not be afraid, your resolve shall lead you, to your utmost destiny.” The war is over: peace has come. Now that what we worked for so long has come, what else do we have to wait for? Let us put on the full armour of hard work, pick up the pen and go to school, pick up the hoe and go to the farms, engage in business and make money to develop.