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After peace, wild life returns to South Sudan

By Luc Kodah

July 12, 2006 (NIMULE) — In the atmosphere of eternal distrust and mutual
suspicion you may wonder who is this moron making such
outrageous statements. Certainly it is not me, a mere
human being! The stamp of approval on the prevailing
peace and tranquility and the success of the CPA have
been given by the wild animals who are returning to
the jungles of South Sudan. Yes, herds of wild
elephants and other animals have been spotted
throughout the forests of South Sudan.

Elephants at Nimule (Luc Kodah)

Why these wild animals have fled these forests earlier
and why are they coming back now?

Throughout the decades of war their habitats were
taken over by different fighters as safe hiding
places. There were so much of gun fire, deafening
sounds shells exploding all around and men hunting the
wild life just for survival. All this mayhem driven
out the wild animals out of their natural habitats to
neighboring countries. Once thick equatorial forests
of South Sudan became devoid of its rich animal
resources due to the conflict which was raging in the
region.

Signing of CPA and the relatively peaceful interregnum
prior to that created a peaceful environment. SPLA
soldiers vacated their hiding places and returned to
the human settlement areas leaving the jungles to its
natural inhabitants. Intermittent small arms fire
ceased cracking the serene air. There were no booming
sounds of Artillery bombs to scare away the animals.
The whirring sounds of the attack helicopters which
used to circle around the forests vanished leaving the
open skies for the wolves and jackals to howl at.

The herds of elephants (in one of the herd there were
more than sixty elephants) spotted near Nimule and
around the Jungles of Malkkal are the best examples of
the success of the peace process. These animals know
the safety of their habitats than any other Doubting
Thomas. Another reason for these animals to return may
be the unprecedented drought in Kenya.

If the scheduled talks with LRA fructifies into a
peace deal then even the last remaining fighters will
be out of these forests leaving the area for these
mighty beasts to roam free. And if the same peace and
tranquility remains unsheltered even South Sudan can
dream of organizing wild life safaris like Kenya do
drawing valuable foreign exchange. Too many ifs! Wait
and watch.

- To read more about Southern and Eastern Sudan, please go to the writer blog http://sudanexperience.blogspot.com/

(ST)