By : Alfred Kamanda - Sierra Leone
This Nation Must Be Great: A Young Sierra Leonean Congratulates the
People of South Sudan for Standing for Peace
This meeting on 31st of October 2018, brought smiles to many faces, healed many wounds and returned hopes of a peaceful, united and prosperous South Sudan to a people who have lived for five years without hope. I saw women and children, who have been the most vulnerable during these troubling times, smiling with strong certainty for a Peaceful tomorrow. Their smiles are so deep and rich that you could tell they are from hearts that have been hoping and praying for a better and peaceful South Sudan ????????. And it shows clearly on their faces that they are happy to drink from the ocean of peace this agreement finally brings.
I am also very pleased as I saw Former Vice President Rick Machar return to his homeland for the first time after two years in exile. The fact that he will be reinstated as Vice President come next year is a step in the right direction for a sustainable peace agreement, freedom, unity and cohesion.
I want to at this juncture thank all stakeholders especially the United Nations, African Union, civil society organizations, members of the fourth estate, women and youth groups, religious leaders, the first Female President of Ethiopia ????????Sahle-Work Zewde, the political leaders of South Sudan, and the people. I hope the commitment shown to a lasting peace would breathe fresh air and hope to every South Sudanese. The people of that great nation have endured five years of a brutal conflict that centered on a “naked struggle for power”.
The commitment and dedication shown yesterday by all for the country to enjoy lasting peace could be conveniently likened to the Lomé Peace Accords which we committed ourselves to as a Nation and ushered in lasting peace in 2002. Today, the once conflict ravaged Sierra Leone has been ranked as one of the most peaceful countries in the World. As a Nation, the people of Sierra Leone know what peace means from an experienced point of view. We the people of the Lion Mountain want peace for the great people of South Sudan. Rivers of Smiles Flow in Freetown as the Wind of Peace Blows in South Sudan.
Before my pen sleeps, I would want to admonish the President of South Sudan, Salva Kirr and the former Vice President Riek Machar; your meeting was a critical first step to building the confidence measures required for a realistic peace in South Sudan. For a realistic peace, both of you must respect the ceasefire in its entirety and stick by the pieces of advice offered to you by the international and local players so that the drums of peace will continue to beat and the people will continue to dance to its rhythm now and always.
Please as we push for peace, I want to admonish the warring factions to allow food aid to reach the people in affected communities. Let me use this opportunity to wish you all happy African Youth Day and I pray you join the rest of Africa in recognizing the role of young people and tapping from their huge potentials so that they will contribute to peacemaking, post war reconstruction and peace building.