The day after the attack, I went to see what happened and to help clean up the church as a sign of solidarity with the Christian community. What we saw was destruction fuelled by hate. They burned all the Bibles. They didn’t only wreck the church, but also destroyed the school located on the same compound.
This act did not happen on its own. It’s the result of hate speech by people who are afraid of everything that is different from them. The group that is responsible for the attack have used the growing tensions between Sudan and South Sudan as an excuse to commit a hate crime. They have even called for a war against the South. The compound was in part targeted because it housed a church, but also in part because some of the church’s members come from the South.
Even though it has been going on for a long time now, the government does nothing to control this kind of discourse, and it’s getting worse. The kind of hate these groups spout shouldn’t be protected by freedom of speech, and I think that by not intervening, the government is tacitly condoning it. It can only lead to more crimes of this nature. I am afraid that we are on the road to becoming another Rwanda.