Youngest Country in the World – Then Civil War?
Juba, South Sudan
YOUNGEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD – NOW CIVIL WAR?
The Inti Raymi Fund in collaboration with Generations for Peace and Elia Saikaly -our Documentary Creator) went to Juba, South Sudan to see for ourselves, what Hope and Disappointment look like simultaneously, well we found it. South Sudan is the Youngest Country in the world since gaining independence in 2011 from Sudan to their north. No one could sleep with all the excitement and festivities in the streets, the Nuer Tribes consisting of roughly 40% and the Dinka Tribe consisting of roughly 50% of the population united for a common theme…to finally share in the county’s oil wealth, which for decades had been siphoned off and shipped north to Khartoum, Sudan. This celebration was short lived, because in just two short years after gaining independence, the former vice president representing the Nuer reportedly attempted a coup against the Dinka majority lead by the current president, triggering horrific atrocities.
This bloody civil war caused one tribe to pit against the other causing a reported 300,000 deaths including vile genocide and gang rapes of tribal members. Included in these numbers is an estimated 2,000,000 Internally Displaced People (IDP’s) and thousands of villages & homes plundered and torched.
How can this brutal savagery happen among the Nuer and Dinka Tribal members without Outside Interference and Abuse of Power? The answer is, it cannot!
The result we see today in South Sudan is a county operating with a brutally abusive military regime, which relies on extortion for funding, a failed agricultural sector incapable of feeding its people, no immediate water source, rampant disease (HIV/Malaria/TB/Dengue/Yellow Fever/Hep A-B-C) and so on. They have not had an educational system whatsoever since 2013. The hospitals we visited periodically had a few hours per day of power from generators using “imported diesel” from distant refineries since their power grid is sporadic at best. The hidden police constantly pulling people over in traffic, simply to extort whatever they can get to support themselves. Many we observed were either on the sidewalks sleeping or on the hospital floors or cardboard mattresses on a 50 year old metal bed frame. A new hospital beds there cost only $50!
All the while this gross dysfunctional government is pretending to lead, there are billions and billions of dollars of rich oil just beneath their feet, which no one can agree on how to extract and share reasonably among the citizens of their newly formed country. This is simply pathetic and disgusting, all the while their people are malnourished at dozens of official UN and unofficial and unsupported Refugee Camps. We heard first hand from the UN drivers of how even the UN food delivery trucks were extorted from by the South Sudanese Military every several hundred meters, multiple times as they approach the UN camps to deliver food. “If I personally were a UN food delivery driver, I’d use a 45 revolver to teach those greedy military bastards a lesson on sharing with those less fortunate in their own refugee camps!” Damn them!
Well as my late grandmother always said…”There are three sides to every story, your side, my side and the truth”. So right she is as we drilled down and did additional research only to find out a number of international players in the region and abroad, helped instigate, empower & embolden and weaponize the parties in this conflict. All the while, the majority impoverished “simple people” from all of the remote villages only wanted to be left alone to tend their flocks of goats or farm their land, then genocide was thrust upon them like a gasoline soaked rag lit on fire.
In as much as we arrived with objective minds and hearts, we could not but feel the sadness, pain and paranoia, which permeates the South Sudan country and people. The people are loving and kind, and are just like you and me; however, those in power have sucked the blood and life from her people and should be ashamed they cannot work together and stiff-arm outside influences with their pursuits of greedy goals of oil riches under South Sudan.
WHAT THE INTI RAYMI FUND DID
The Inti Raymi Fund supported the Generations for Peace Non-Profit Organization based in Amman Jordan with $25,000 towards their local efforts with Peace Building. Their efforts are implemented through dialogue among the two majority tribes of the Dinka and Nuer Youths through sports as a common thread. There were workshops and interactive fun sports related activities which were specially designed to break down the prejudices and hatred learned among both sides of conflicts, replacing negative memories of what they painfully witnessed and experienced with respectful friendships with the other tribe. These are not just distant memories from the past, many of them especially those defeated through genocidal acts have painful scars which must heal, not to mention financial ruins to be rebuilt while living in oppressive and suffocating refugee camps. With no jobs or way out, did you ever wonder where militaries around the world recruit from? The most disadvantaged peoples of the world are the “low lying fruit” for the hired militaries of the world. These hopeless souls are doing most of the fighting for the elite pushing the pawn pieces from afar, which you only read about and never see!
The Goal of the Inti Raymi Fund is to provide the Dignity and Respect to each of the 10 Nuer and 10 Dinka Youth Delegates who participated in this week long program as well as real specific coping and communication skills to be carried forwards. These communication, mentorship and leadership skills are then replicated and repeated over and over by these 20 Peace Building Delegates within their refugee camps or communities. Additional financial support is given to these members allowing them to continued basic survival; however, their efforts are primarily on a volunteer basis with the model replicating itself through a volunteer base over and over to affect thousands of tribal members on both sides.
A complete 7 page detailed description of the programs can be viewed in the PDF file below.
To provide further value and support to the Generations for Peace efforts, to clarify the Inti Raymi Fund’s Global Initiatives, and to continue the Humanitarian Efforts led by the UN and others in the region, the Inti Raymi Fund Engaged Elia Saikaly of Canada to create a high quality detailed documentary about this causal story in South Sudan. Along with this South Sudan story, we will be presenting 9 other diverse global stories about the Endless Ways to Share with Others. We hope this Documentary to be aired in 2017, will inspire you to visit and or support new creative causes, which speak to you.
Chaski, Chimu & Elia Saikaly