The price of war is high. If you love war, and want to have it in your country be ready to pay highly for it. You may even pay with your life.
War is evil. War is nasty. War is destructive. If someone is advising you to take war as an option to achieve your dream, the person does not love you. The person may want you dead or does not care about you. Or the person may have some secret plan of how to gain when you go fighting.
I have seen the horror of war. I have lived through it and can say with conviction that peace is better than war.
A peaceful settlement is better than a war option to resolve differences. We have seen people fight for years and lost so much just to end at the negotiating table and nothing better than before was achieved.
I remember a time when my country was proudly brandished as a haven of peace in a turbulent region
Many of her neighbors were battered by devastating wars while we quietly went about our business unperturbed. Leaders from far and near filed in to get a sip of what they saw as the spring of wisdom flowing from the wisdom tank of our leaders, and which enabled them to keep the country in peace over the years. In public declarations, we were extolled for our ability to live peacefully with one another despite the more than 240 tribes that make up the country.
Only a few alert minds refused to go with the flow. They shouted out loudly enough for their voices to rise above the crowd, that the absence of war was not peace. But nobody paid heed to them. They said there could be no peace without justice. They were still ignored. They said peace without justice was a time bomb. Again, no one gave them a listening ear.
Some of those people have left this world. I can bet if they were to come back to life today, I can hear them saying, “serves you right! This is what we told you and nobody listened.”
What we have in my country today is not what many people ever imagined could happen. There is nobody in the whole country who can boast of not being hungry and thirsty for peace. No one, in his right senses, is not yearning for peace. We are all praying and crying for peace so that we can live quiet lives and enjoy the blessings that God has so generously offered us.
We who live in the war zone in the country and wear the shoe, know where it pinches.
We are tired of the horrors of war. We have had enough nightmares of brutal fighting and killing. We are exhausted. Completely worn out.
*What have we not seen?*
We have seen villages and institutions burnt down to ashes; thousands of human lives lost; untold, and outrageous atrocities ruthlessly committed against innocent men and women. The common people have paid a high price.
We have seen people kidnapped, arbitrarily arrested, exploited and tortured. We have seen thriving communities in ruins.
We live in fear, doubt, worries and insecurity.
We have lost some of our most talented men and women.
Everywhere, there is fighting and killing. In some areas at certain times, corpses are not rare to find lying in farms. In my part of the country, people have lost their lives in almost all the villages.
These were people who loved life like every other person and wanted to live on. Think of those who lost loved ones; whose loved ones have been brutally murdered. We have seen horrific images on social media.
Thousands of people have lost their homes, and other properties; thousands of people have been displaced from their homes and they are living like internally displaced persons (IDPS) or refugees in foreign countries reduced to beggars. Many businesses have been ruined; dreams shattered. People have lived in tents on hills; and some in the open air like animals.
If you look at the area of roads, we no longer have roads in some parts of our land. To travel from one town to another in the war torn zones is a night mare.
Our peace has been tossed by waves into the high sea.
We lack peace even in our hearts. We lack peace in our homes. We lack peace in our families. We lack peace in our communities. Like rain drops on leaves on a sunny morning, our peace has evaporated from the country; a country that spotlighted her peace to all the world.
Every honest person living in the country agrees we really need to get out of the war that has devastated us; that we need to have peace. We all agree that we have suffered more than enough; more than anyone ever imagined; and that the time has come to look into ourselves; be honest with ourselves and agree we need peace. That the damage is too much to bear; that we shall, for a long time, be traumatized by what we have seen and lived through.
We absolutely need peace. But we must make it clear that the peace we need is genuine peace; not fake peace; peace which will last; not peace which will one day crumble again and plunge us even deeper than ever.
*What does it take to have genuine, enduring peace? What must we do?*
Everyone knows what we need to do. There is no one worth their salt among us who does not know what we need to do to bring the problem that has devastated us to an end and have lasting peace.
What we lack is not knowledge of what to do but the will to do what we know we should do.
It has already been said again and again that true peace must pass through the door of justice.
We shall not have peace unless we have justice. For, any peace without justice is cosmetic peace; fake peace; a time bomb.
Those who have articulated this repeatedly are right.
The words of Martin Luther King Junior will always ring in our minds:
*”…injustice anywhere is a threat to peace everywhere.”*
No serious effort to procure peace can undermine the profound words of truth from great minds who have told us clearly that only justice can bring us lasting peace.
And there can be no justice unless we are ready to find the truth and let it prevail.
If we cover the truth, suppress the truth, try to bypass the truth, but say we want peace, we will only be fishing on the banks of the ocean hoping to catch a whale that can only be found in the middle of the ocean.
Let us go to the heart of this problem and establish what snatched our peace from us. What is the problem? What do people want that they are so infuriated as to pick up arms and go up the hills, ready to fight to death?
We need to talk, listen, and accept our differences and errors and correct them. Call it dialogue if you like. We need to dialogue; genuinely dialogue
We cannot refuse to talk and listen and hope to find an end to this problem. We cannot sit on the same spot, without moving an inch and hope God will toss what we want to us.
All the stakeholders must be aware that they are answerable to history; that the truth always prevails; that whatever mansion you build on a foundation of lies, against the truth, is an elephant on sandy feet. The day of crumbling for such a mansion always comes no matter how long it takes; and no matter how far your mansion may piece into the sky.
The media have to play their role and contribute to genuine peace during these trying times so that we get a lasting solution to the problem at hand. Truthful information about what is going on is paramount. The media must refrain from playing a public relations or propaganda role, spreading inflammatory and untruthful information that worsens the situation, sets minds in confusion and makes people unable to make right choices. That only sinks us deeper and deeper into a bottomless pit.
We have to have genuine peace once and for all.
And we each have our role to play.
Each of us owes present and future generations a duty to become a vehicle or instrument of peace during this most turbulent period of our history.
We cannot continue to do nothing and witness human beings being slaughtered like animals that can be tortured and killed at will. We cannot continue to have this
horrible violence, burning, destruction of property, and gruesome killing of people.
Since we know the right thing to do, let us all be honest and end this trauma! We cannot fail to rise up to this great challenge of our time. We cannot wait for others. We must each ask: “what is my contribution?” All hands are needed on deck; all hands; including yours.
Without peace, we cannot enjoy this world. Without peace, how can we go about our businesses and jobs? How can we live our normal lives? Worship our Lord and Creator? Without peace how can we develop?
We need peace. We don’t want to be running up and down hills and valleys as we run away from war. We don’t want our population to be decimated by war. We want to live in peace. We want to live peaceful lives so that we can go out and come in when we want; so that we can go wherever we want without fear for our lives.
God gave us this world to live freely. We want peace to live freely.
We have not even talked of the economic devastation of war. It leaves the economy in most cases in shambles. And it takes a long time to recover.
Poverty, disease, and untold human suffering installed.
Humanity does not need war.
Humanity needs peace.