March 4, 2014 (KAMPALA) – South Sudanese who fled the conflict into neighbouring Uganda say failure by their government to instate a platform for free interaction with citizens was creating elements of mistrust the country.
Various citizens, in series of interviews with Sudan Tribune, claimed government’s failure to involve the public in activities seeking an end to the conflict remains a setback to the process.
Bilyang Nyuon, a South Sudanese who have fled the conflicts in Juba, says he believes South Sudan would not be a free country, unless democracy was reinstated for peoples’ participation in the nation building.
“What I wish my country to be is that, it has to adopted sense of democracy, country that respects the rule of law, a country with a sense of inclusiveness and accountability,” he said.
Nyuon, however, said South Sudan biggest problem was “lack of leadership”, but stressed that real leader should be the one who involves people at grassroot levels.
He said, “If given a chance, the first question I would ask the leaders is what next now that we have gotten freedom and we had independence? Now what is tearing this country apart? What is the problem why should political differences disturb the citizen of South Sudan?
Nyuon stressed that the current tension in the country, largely between President Salva Kiir and his ex-deputy Riek Machar, should not create permanent enmity between the two leaders.
“There are no permanent enemies, as many have been saying they can become friends that are when they are all ready and they have a political will. The country is there, and no tribe can exist without the other and this definitely calls for restoration of justices,” he said.
David Kai, another South Sudanese living in Uganda, says he believes justice application could restore peace back home. He, however, says proper laws should be applied and those found to have committed crimes in the conflict be held accountable for comprehensive reconciliation to be achieved.
“The high rate of illiteracy in the country is also contributing to the negative impacts of national progress. Most of people in the country were ignorant about their constitutional rights,” he said, adding that education was a means to non-violence in a new country like South Sudan.
The mid-December 2013 outbreak of conflict in South Sudan has displaced nearly a million people with nearly 10,000 killed, according to the International Crisis Group (ICG).