Under different circumstances, I would have relished such an opportunity to address the continent. However, the issue at hand is so disturbing that there is absolutely nothing enjoyable about making the statements that I am about to.
It is about South Sudan – the continent’s newest nation that we welcomed in 2011 with pomp and celebration.
Only a few years later, we’ve abandoned South Sudan at a time when they need us most. We have chosen to stand by and watch in silence as innocent people of South Sudan are butchered in a conflict that they are mere pawns.
Whatever happened to Ubuntu — the African humanness! The Ubuntu philosophy stresses humanity towards others, which is at the core of being African. As a people, we have abdicated this responsibility. Apart from the gallant social media citizens, we have remained silent to the cries of the people of South Sudan.
It is time we rose up and took action. In our own little ways, we have a contribution to make in addressing the suffering of the great people of South Sudan. Let us show the rest of the world that indeed ‘it is time for Africa’ — and that this is not just a line from a song. Which better opportunity is there to demonstrate that we can develop African solutions to African problems?
And when all is said and done, the buck stops with our leaders — nationally, regionally and continentally. This is the time for the AU, EAC, COMESA and other blocs to step to the plate. Surely, we can come together for a good cause that benefits us all; and not wait to rally together for selfish initiatives such as withdrawal from the ICC. A stable and peaceful South Sudan is in the interest of us all.
The world is watching keenly. Don’t we harp on and on about our sovereignity as a people? Why are we still waiting for others us to deal with issues in our neighbourhood? How many more people are waiting to die before we take action? Let us speak out, declare sanctions against the protagonists, convene peace talks, and do everything else in our power. The time is now.
In conclusion, I leave you with the wise words of Irish statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke, who famously noted that “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. Let us listen to South Sudan, and do something.
Proud Son of Africa