As we light up the night sky and ring in the New Year, we wish our friends and colleagues in South Sudan peace, resilience and silent nights (and days) in overcoming the unnecessary turbulence that has gripped their country. As a year full of challenges, hopes as well as successes closes, let’s work to make sure that what was a tragic error shattering the fragility of the new state doesn’t spill over and drag South Sudan back into the dark days of eternal struggle. The fight now is neither against an outside aggressor nor an enemy within, but against senseless and narrow-minded political jockeying. It is a struggle for education, literacy and what should be the adventurous complexities of building a truly free society open and respectful to all its members.

We salute our colleagues, and the many new friends we recently met in South Sudan, quoting a New Year’s message by one of our new acquaintances from Kuajok, which we hope will be echoed by all across the country:

“Friends, the new year may be challenging, but with our determination in our various capacities, let us work with cooperation to bring peace back to our nation, we too remember the lives of our fellow citizens unjustly lost, what comes first is our nation not power nation.”

This message evokes the tenor of exchange, creative collaboration and the sharing of open knowledge for peace and development that we as r0g_agency together with our South Sudanese and international partners have been working on throughout 2013, and this sentiment is now more important than ever. Dear friends, we let you know that we hear and support you in your ambitious struggle for an open and self-confident world of peace, opportunity, and equality – an equality that places you on unshakable footing amongst peoples … not as subjects of political speculation but as truly respected peers within the global family of nations. Happy and Prosperous 2014 to all!!