Neglected Heroes: South Sudan’s Betrayal of Liberation Fighters
In the heart of South Sudan, where the echoes of battles once fought for freedom still linger, a new battleground emerges—one of neglect and betrayal, where the very heroes who sacrificed for their nation find themselves abandoned.
James Maker’s story embodies the plight of countless wounded heroes across South Sudan. His body bears the scars of battles waged against the oppressive rule of North Sudan, yet his cries for the promised medical assistance from his government fall on deaf ears. Injured in the fierce conflicts of Sudan Safari and Malakal, James is among many who languish, watching hope fade as their health deteriorates while awaiting support that never arrives.
Government promises of allocating funds for medical treatment abroad offer a glimmer of hope, but the reality is grim. Reports reveal a systemic failure tainted by favouritism and corruption, where funds meant for the deserving are diverted to those with connections. James’s tale is emblematic: while he suffered, a colleague with influential ties effortlessly secured the aid denied to him, underscoring the deep-seated disparity in treatment.
As the calendar turns to 2024, over two thousand wounded heroes remain unaided, their cries for justice echoing across the nation. Their sacrifices, spanning from the liberation struggle of 1983 to 2013, demand recognition and support. The government’s obligation to honour its commitments and uphold principles of equality and fairness rings hollow as these heroes are left to suffer.
Yet, amid the neglect, a controversy brews over the misuse of funds earmarked for compensation. Shockingly, top generals like Gen. Santino Deng Wol Chok and Gen. Gabriel Duop Lam stand to receive significant sums—$150,000 and $100,000 respectively—despite their lack of recent injuries. This glaring inequality sparks outrage among citizens, who question the whereabouts of true wounded individuals in this distribution.
The betrayal of South Sudan’s heroes serves as a damning indictment of a nation’s failure to safeguard those who fought for its very existence. Liberation, it seems, remains incomplete as long as those who sacrificed remain neglected and forgotten.
As the nation grapples with this moral reckoning, the voices of these heroes grow louder, demanding the dignity and recognition they deserve. South Sudan’s journey to true liberation must encompass not only breaking free from external oppressors but also honouring the sacrifices of those who fought bravely for its future. The time for justice is now, lest the wounds of betrayal deepen, leaving scars that may never heal.