As COVID-19 engulfs the world, South Sudan is losing people of all ages.
As COVID-19 engulfs the world, South Sudan is losing people of all ages, and many aging war veterans are losing their lives. Africa World Books holds grave concerns for the lives and the undocumented stories being lost. On 26 May, Beny Matur said, “Feeling sad the library of Rumbek is burning every day.” Across South Sudan, libraries are burning. Veteran heroes/heroines who fought in the war are dying before their stories have been told and preserved. At Africa World Books, we want to convey our heartfelt condolences to all families who have lost loved ones to COVID-19. We want to express our sorrow to South Sudanese families and the South Sudan Government for the enormous losses experienced over the last few days. A few months ago, I had a phone discussion with the Minister for East African Affairs, John Luk Jok, who was working on his manuscript. I encouraged him to finish writing his book. Still, he struggled to find time as he was fully committed to his ministry work. Sadly, I heard of John’s demise today. I send my condolences to the state and to John’s family. I also learned of the passing of my uncle Yakdit de Baak and Veteran John Diing. They were wise, humble, kind-hearted people and were highly respected in their community. I am an advocate working to encourage South Sudanese people to write books about their cultures and economic and liberation struggles for the benefit of the coming generation. We need to preserve these histories. Due to the lack of health facilities in South Sudan, many lives are being lost in the absence of medical support and intervention. The government must deploy more resources to support South Sudan’s population, hiring or purchasing health-related tools and resources and employing qualified health workers to lead the COVID-19 task forces. Many South Sudanese professionals currently living abroad have offering their time, free of charge, to support their country. Likewise, many workers in the educational sector are willing to assist South Sudan in its time of need. Please support our people with financial aid and/or food resources throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Please help us to improve security; currently, raids are occurring, and the government is remaining silent. At Africa World Books, we wish everybody a speedy recovery. We congratulate Australian people and the Australian Government for the support given to citizens and the control strategies used to control the spread of COVID-19.
Let us sing: “We are one, but we are many, And from all the lands on earth we come. We share a dream and sing with one voice. I am, you are…”