For the past four weeks we seem to have had one aggravation after the other. It started with Mary losing her purse. It was sitting in the passenger seat of the vehicle as she was driving through town. Then, without her realizing, someone picked it through the open window as she was waiting to turn into a busy street. She lost her phone, her license, a little money, alot of documents with information important to her, a couple of necklaces and who knows what else. The painful part of this is that she identified a couple of men whom she was absolutely sure were involved in taking the purse, but we couldn’t get the police to help us. We think the men passed some money to police to let them go.
Its been frustrating since then. I am waiting on some payments for a couple of jobs I have done and people are taking their time. I lost the chance to get a work permit because I was a couple weeks late to pay for the visa. grrr… Last night we bought a new phone for Mary and today she lost it while traveling to another part of town. This one is a bit strange cause she was never anywhere with it that someone could grab it. She is suspecting a couple of people that she to whom she had given a lift.
On a slightly different level, we keep hearing alot of bad news coming out of Sudan. There is a lot of tension between the North & South governments and quite a bit of talk about the possibility of going back to war. Watching and waiting what the outcome may be is a bit like riding on a roller coaster at the moment.
We have felt a little of the tension here in Nairobi. We have been trying to plan another music show for Mary in collaboration with the Sudan Embassy and several other agencies. She was wanting to do it to try and raise funding and awareness for a project she is wanting to start in Juba. With all that is taking place at the moment, she is now concerned that the Sudan Embassy will no longer be willing to support the endeavor. She visited the embassy on Wednesday and found that security was greatly increased and the people she went to talk with were no longer very helpful. She said one of the embassy staff mentioned things were the way they were because they were expecting fighting to start very soon.
We also have been hearing alot noise coming out of Jongeli state where Mary is originally from. There have been accusations flying out of Bor town that Murle have been raiding cattle, stealing children and causing lots of chaos. Because of this, leaders in Bor are pushing for the government to allow them to use military action to attack Murle and find the criminals and retrieve their stolen goods. The problem with this is that the majority of the military that would go into Murle land are from one tribe that have a history of poor relations with the Murle community. They would probably take this opportunity to get a bit of revenge on the Murle and cause quite a bit of destruction and chaos in that region.
This could also have the potential to spark the resumption of conflict between the North and the South. Before the signing of the comprehensive peace agreement there was a militia group from the Murle that was aligned with the North and fighting the southern rebels on the North’s behalf. After the peace agreement, these militia agreed to join the government of the South and integrate their soldiers into the army of the south, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army(SPLA). At the moment the Murle see that the governing body they have joined is now threatening to attack them. There are many that feel if the Southern government does not want to take steps to protect them, then they might as well accept weapons and protection from the North so they could defend themselves. If that happened, and fighting broke out, then that would be a major violation of the CPA and the war would most likely begin again in earnest.
There are some that are pushing for negotiations and talks between both groups. But there are also many others that are calling for a fight thinking that military force will stomp out the “Murle menace”. All it would do is bring fire down on their heads and the heads of all their Southern brothers.
I am hoping that in both situations, the possibility of war again and the possibility of attack on Murle, that people will manage to talk things out and find solutions that way. Sudan doesn’t need any more war.