THE UNITED DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT/ARMY (UDRM/A)
OFFICE OF THE CHAIRMAN AND COMMANDER IN CHIEF
August 17, 2019
By Gatwech Koang Thiech Zuor, PhD
“Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders. Millions have been killed because of this obedience. Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obediently filling our jails full of petty thieves while the grand thieves are running the country.” Howard Zinn
August 17, 2019 (SSNA) — Three years ago, I asked: “Would South Sudanese ever learn the truth and free themselves from the yoke of SPLM/A leadership?” To my dismay, I realized that people didn’t grasp the message I addressed to them. I said it then that South Sudan will never be a country without all its sixty-four tribes. Dinka will not purge the Nuers, Shilluks, Fertits and the Equatorians from South Sudan and vice versa. You have to manage in one way or another to find it within you to forgive, while the one who victimized you must accept wrongdoing and apologize to be wholeheartedly forgiven. For the apology and forgiveness are sides of the same coin.
Therefore, together you must stand united as citizens who have been deceived by narcissistic leaders in order to obliterate them from this cycle of corrupt leadership. Because with them in any form of government, you won’t have any harmony in your beloved country, South Sudan and your families will continue to be tormented forever.
Forever in that those leaders don’t have your future in their hearts since their common interest is to amass destructive power and monetary gains such power brings forth, while what makes them oppose one another is how to gain access to such ill-gotten privileges. When they exit political scene by the dictate of natural law, they won’t give you way. And instead, will ensure their children hidden in comfort and safety of the West and neighboring countries succeed them and carry on with inherited seeds of unbearable destruction and corruption.
Three years later after saying the above heartfelt statements, I now find it difficult to perceive how you, the people will obtain any peace in the country with the same types of leadership that are playing endless tricks on your innocent minds.
My fellow compatriots,
Since December 2013 your brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, and grandparents have been living in various UNMISS camps, not knowing the bad news of war-related deaths of close relatives and unimaginable property loss that are awaiting them outside and when this ordeal is going to end. You are moreover made foreigners and lost your humanity in your own country simply because you demanded to be heard about your suffering. Those forcefully driven out of their homes into semi-arid and waterlogged areas are now living at the mercy of the international community to bail them out of their daily lives. Others who are working with this corrupt government find it even more difficult to rescue their families from the merciless jaws of deadly starvation and sicknesses, as the nation’s wealth is channeled into the luxurious lifestyle of a few elites who control it.
Ladies and gentlemen,
For the last three years, I have not been convinced that the South Sudanese know their rights. And as you keep watching helplessly, your country blessed with all the natural resources such as oil, minerals and fertile land is increasingly disappearing into the bottomless stomachs of greedy individual leaders and their thieving foreign allies. The same foreigners are taking advantage of conflict they partly caused by drawing away natural resources and annexing juiciest parts of your land. This unbecoming behavior has made us no longer independent in our own country but moved from one colonial entity to another.
Their immense lack of empathy in your situation brings us to pertinent question: why are you not demanding your rights to be free and live a dignified life like any other fellow human beings around the world? Since it is rightly said, God helps those who take the initiative to help themselves. Similarly, the rest of the world will not come to your aide unless you recognize your problem and take a step to solve it. The problem is the fact that current leadership is playing mindless tricks on you, while some parts of the region are urging you to implement a peace meant to preserve the self-interested status quo.
Change in any nation is always demanded by people’s ability and selfless sacrifices and you have such capability to charter your path. If you don’t seize your rights, no one will come and give it to you. Don’t you have aspiration to live in a peaceful nation? Don’t you envision your country to be better for future generations? Have you all given up on your freedom?
Fellow country’s men and women,
If not, I call up on all sixty-four tribes of South Sudan to remember why 99% of the people voted for independence during the referendum. You fought a just war for more than twenty-one years. In those years, nearly 2 million of your children gave up their lives in the struggle. You achieved your independence on July 9th, 2011 and I remember on that day that the entire country was filled with utmost joy. But two years later, your leaders betrayed the hard-fought independence that you have earned with your sweat, tears and blood.
Don’t you remember when you were all dancing your traditional dances during the independence celebrations? You believed it then that the new nation would offer each one of you a right to exercise your own freedom, if it is to be religion, speech, and so on. You believed it then that your children would go to school and have a successful life. You believed it then that your families would get the best medical attention whenever they fell ill. You believed it then that you would have a place to work and support your families. With all the untapped resources your country has, your wishes would have been fulfilled if the right leadership were in place.
The leaders you entrusted to lead have now kept most of your population in UNMISS camps for at least six years and made you fight among yourselves. They succeeded in installing hatred within you, making your God-given tribal or clan identity a curse that divides and kills you. You are even made to believe that the oppressor is another tribe and not anybody who denies you your God-given rights to live a life worth living. You now kill and rape women and young girls as well as castrate your young boys. Was this the country you envisioned? Was this the country you danced for on the July 9th, 2011 on all the streets of your towns, cities, and villages? When will you realize and come to grip with the fact that the current leadership has no vision for the future of the nation?
My final appeal,
You must demand and fight for your rights. The world will not come to your aid unless you demand and stand up to your leaders. I haven’t lost hope that you will rise and claim what is yours. It is not too late to stand up together as one family and say to your leaders enough is enough.
The leaders pushing you left, and right are few in numbers. You cannot let the whole country be destroyed by a few people that don’t care for the future of your families as well as the country. They are only interested in filling their pockets with your petro-dollars. Unless you tell them to stop, they will continue to rob you of your future and that of your children. Claim the future and seize it firmly in your own hands.
Gatwech Koang Thiech Zuor
Chairman and Commander In Chief, UDRM/A