By Dr. Ben Guarken Chiman, Juba, South Sudan

My Son, my daughter, look at it now, look at it well! It was once known to be a glory of the world; everyone wanted a banquet with her. It was formerly the gratified crawling nation, all wanted to be here, this nation was once decorated with all currencies of the world though currently abandoned by all- all colors were flying to and fro. By God, it was a dream land, the land of giants, the land of Abraham, and the soil of Kush.

It took giants to produce freedom. But then what, it wasn’t far after the liberation from slavery of centuries, the giants are back to barking in such a solely SORROW, they are back to valleys, back to refuge-though it was not long-since the symbol of freedom was first raised. All shouted OYEE! They courageously congregated to congratulate, to yield and ululates. But soon, that symbol was swallowed in anguish of anger.

After that long struggle since 1955, the land is forsaken for years again; the country is rusty in ruin. Elderly, children, and pregnant mothers are back into refuge. They beg their once masters and foes to welcome them without grudge and greed- All is agreed though with grief of the past. None has been forgotten; women that were raped, bombs that were dodged, cattle that were raided, husbands that never return to whisper love.

Vividly, the refugee remembers the past. Nonetheless, the new master insults them without remorseful in the past. “We gave you the land, the country, and here you are begging. You can’t rule yourselves”. The country is left in ruin. Honey and gold is left to gods of ghost.

Once again, the war is declared over but the country is clumsily rusty in dust with little hope if any. They are now coming back as strangers in their houses. Some buildings have been taken or occupied by strangers; they have to rent or buy their own land. But look around, nothing is grown in refuge; some children have mummified in the red sand of the desert, some are far covered with bricks, others were picked by beast of the jungle.

Some have joined army, police or unknown gunmen. In once a united country by cause is now divided by the same cause. Friends no longer trust each other; they run away from one another. Woeful, a smiling man is your night enemy!

But what brought this upon us? Were we curse by our cause of liberation? The answer might not be with us, maybe with our forefathers and mothers, but they were more united. Their fresh flesh was eaten by beast under the foot of the same mountain, their bones mingled in unity. The hyenas did not prefer one over the other. Perhaps, we quickly forgot the past. We became our foes.

So, what went wrong? Maybe, the flame of 21 years is burning in our hearts. But can we go to the Nile; the mighty Nile needs to extinguish it. Will it purify our hearts and put off the flame once and for all?  But who owns the Nile? Maybe we do on behalf of others. But, what really went wrong?

Wait, perhaps, the thunder of 2013 brought this upon us when we pointed our weapons against us without mercy, the same weapons we used to liberate this land, the same weapons we use to protect each other during slavery. Because of that, we have men and women who will never be same again, we have crippled men and men, people who have really changed in mind and bodies. This could have taken our ONCE a glowing glory!

But wait, what brought us here? Yeah! Years back, it was 2016, we fought the bulldog fight in a place that resembled Jerusalem, the foot stool of God, and we fought in a place like Rome, the stone of the Roman Catholic Church. That might have taken our glowing glory. All is gone! There is no freedom in freedom Hall, we again live in darkness of twenty-one years, our solar lights are gone, and our streets are retreated with fear all times.

But how did it start? Was it from foreign or us, the inhabitants of this ruin city and country? Maybe, our leaders changed if not us. The leaders might have dined with devils in their dreams. May be they dealt with crooked minds that made them crooked too. Who knows? Good minds fought wrong minds, all became wrong.

Two wrongs make one wrong altogether. We betrayed each other; we befriended what was more alien. We eat in darkness fearing our own brothers and sisters in the hope of safety. We thought hiding from our citizens will bring us glory. We are now sorry! We are now destroyed. We betrayed our nation, we betrayed each other.

Let us repeatedly repent and do the penance of forgiveness and unity. Maybe, ‘Kator Cathedral’ will purify our sorry souls. This country was once glowing in glory!

About the author: I am a graduate of Bahri University, Sudan with MBBS, currently specializing in General Surgery.

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