It's Christmas In South Sudan And all over the world.
The victims of adults' wars
Even as we celebrate Christmas or Kwanzaa with family and friends let's all pause for a minute and think about innocent children, women and men caught in the line of fire in war zones in South Sudan, in the Central African Republic, in Mali, in Nigeria, in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Syria, in Egypt, in Libya, in DR Congo, and elsewhere around the world.
Many of these wars are result of grownups being unable to resolve disagreements or arising out of power struggles. Many are promoted by outside interests covetous of abundant natural and mineral resources in some of these countries.
People are killed indiscriminately including children.
The latest conflict that's erupted is South Sudan's. Two grown ups, one named Salva Kiir, with the title of "president" and the other named Riek Machar, who once had a title called "vice president" are at war. Each believes he deserves to be "president" and to lead South Sudan's people.
They provide an example of their "leadership" capabilities by having soldiers loyal to them kill civilians from the other side's ethnic group; including children. A foreign intervention force has been authorized by the United Nations.
At the end of the day, most likely, they may come to some sort of settlement, the fighting may stop, and the two men may be compelled to "share power."
This would mean putting off for the future, the day of reckoning. The two men may not stop until one has his sword buried deep in the other's back. Then a true "leader" emerges.
We are sure the people just can't wait.
Yes, it's also Christmas in the Central African Republic.
Over there, adult men compete over who gets to "lead" the people in that mineral rich country. They have managed to make civilians believe it's a virtue for Muslims to kill Christians; and for Christians to defend themselves by slaying Muslims. The man who started the war, Michel Djotodia, has the title of "president."
There too, an foreign intervention force, including France, whose motives are dubious, have been sent to restore peace.
The victims already buried --and the more yet to come-- will not be brought back to life.
In Mali, on-again and off-again conflict continues. Muslims attacked other Muslims whom they believed were not sufficiently devout. So to make them more devout, they killed them and destroyed some of their ancient manuscripts and libraries.
In Nigeria, there's a struggle between Christians and Islamists who call themselves Boko Haram. According to media accounts Boko Haram have slaughtered Christians, including children in churches. The military, on behalf of the Nigerian government, has burned down whole villages and also slaughtered civilians, according to reports.
Someone thinks there is a "solution" somewhere in all this.
In Afghanistan, the U.S.-backed government, which does not want to sign a military pact with Washington faces resurgent Taliban fighters who believe they represent a purer form of the Islamic faith. No question the fighting will intensify after the U.S. departs since the government is sustained by outside support.
In Syria, Muslims who believe they too represent the correct version of the faith are fighting. Occasionally, they cut off the head of people whom they have killed and pose while holding it in their hand. The Syrian government then rains bombs from planes in return.
Somewhere in all this someone sees a solution.
In Egypt the military seized power and said an Islamist-friendly government was becoming dictatorial. The military has mowed down an estimated 2,000 Egyptians.
Just yesterday the country was celebrating what was hailed as democratic elections. Now Gen. Fattah al-Sisi is conducting a Kangaroo court trial of the man elected president, Muhammad Morsi. He wants him sentenced to death and killed "legitimately."
In Libya one side was the beneficiary of intervention in a civil war by NATO. Long-time ruler Muammar a-Quathafi was overthrown. He was lynched after his fleeing convoy was bombed by NATO jets. Libya has become lawless with the only authority the countless militias settling scores.
In DR Congo civilians wonder if the recent peace following the defeat of invading armies from Rwanda and Uganda by Congo's army and the UN force will last. People live under a shadow of fear.
How can more bloodshed --ordered by adults and carried out by adults and in many cases by children-- be the solution to these conflicts?
Yes, it's Christmas In South Sudan And all over the world.