Scars left behind

Written by: Vicky Tsiluma

I saw a man die once -brutally stoned to death - … I didn’t blink… - That’s what war does to you. You can’t heal a machete wound by placing a bandage over it, can you? And yet that’s what they do. Peace conferences held in five star hotels Foreign policies discussed by legislators and ambassadors, bounded into reports… And yet the scars remain- covering the rotting flesh. The land divided by the Equator; peaceful, blissful… -the calm before the storm I often wondered what would make a whole country plunge into chaos - Now I know. It’s the mass hysteria effect… once it catches on the voice of reason departs. A man’s character is judged by the company he keeps … Try bordering Rwanda, Somali, Ethiopia, Sudan… And yet the ‘it-could-never-happen-to me’ syndrome prevents precautions. ‘Terrorists cannot attack their haven’ – that’s what she said. Tell that to the 200 souls we buried. ‘The other tribes cannot turn against that tribe’ – that’s what he said. Tell that to the 1000 souls we buried. And still they forget. Freedom means nothing until a cage is placed over it… What’s your cage? The parents who watched their children burn alive inside a church; the boys who watched their grandmothers, mothers and sisters get raped; the girls who watched their fathers and brothers manhood mutilated; the children separated from their parents; the villagers whose ears were chopped off- Where are they now? Sleeping in paper tents and rusted iron shelters – the camps of refuge renamed as the camps of oppression: corruption, rapes, brutality… The scars covering the festering wounds. 200 souls, 1000 souls – countless others maimed, destroyed, scarred- you don’t have to be a mathematician to do the math – still they pat themselves on their backs – praising their tainted reconciliation efforts. And yet…nature never lies… See the lands where they torched the houses with families inside to the ground – Not one grass has grown…the scar remains… And still we choose to forget.
by Vicky Tsiluma