This Christmas season South Sudan is making me and many others panic. Too startled by the news we’re hearing and reading and unable to prevent the creeping sadness at the familiarly of the consequences of what is unfolding.

This morning, I arrived to the El Fashir office and found the article “South Sudan: The State that Fell Apart in a Week” in my inbox.

I’ve been following the events closely and bitterly. Amidst many things, I’m angry at the international media-fest, angry that we’ll never really know the real story because there are the all-too-familiar “ethnic divides” and looming “ethnic cleansing” narratives pushed full throttle by governments, media and ignorant people alike.

I only have one hope for the civilians at the forefront of this conflict and all media-frenzied conflicts around my country and the world; to not internalize this hateful agenda of ethnic divides. The root of conflicts is always about power struggle over resources and polarization is just a means of fueling conflicts – divide and…? you know the rest.

The all too easy cookie-cutter of ethnicity is out-dated and absolutely horrendous to the simple people who have to deal with it on a daily basis. We are basically telling neighbors to fear each other, when they’re indiscriminately killed by raiding tanks and machine guns. Can we at least preserve the dignity of the social structure?

With a heavy heart but a strong will, I wish you all a happy and blessed holiday season – and to everyone at the forefront of development, peace and conflict as well as democracy work, good luck with the never ending challenges, our work is immense.

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