By Deng Machol
Juba – South Sudanese president Salva Kiir has ever promised to lead and unite the country to realize the vision of the founding members of the liberation struggle as the world youngest nation is due to convalesce from the five and half years’ conflict.
President Kiir was speaking during the commemoration to mark this year Martyrs Day at Dr. John Garang Mausoleum in Juba on Tuesday, July 31st, 2019.
Southerners, uprising against Khartoum government was the greatest demonstration of love for Southerner individually and the personification of patriotism; the love for their country, though, the country which gained her independence from Sudan in 2011 after the decades of scorched-earth civil war, shown unenthusiastic honor to the sacrifice its fallen heroes and heroines.
He said those of them, who have been fortunate to have survived the heat of their struggle bear the greatest responsibility to honor the commitments and sacrifices of our fallen heroes and heroines of the five decades’ civil war.
“In doing so, my message this year is to expound on what it means to remain committed to the vision and the cause for which millions have given lives to bestow freedom and prosperity to the generations of South Sudan to come,” said president Kiir.
Millions of South Sudanese have died for the cause of freedom since the rebellion erupted in the then Sudan.
“We should deeply reflect on their sacrifices and pay tribute to their heroic actions. Their blood has laid an unshakable foundation for our country and their names and their contribution to our struggle is indelibly written in our hearts and our history. Let no man or woman in this country ever forget that we rode on the backs on these men and women to achieve our independence,” said president Kiir. “Freedom is not cheap, in fact, nothing causes more than freedom and it is the basis of this that our fallen comrades ultimately gave their lives to buy our freedom.”
As the president and one of the lucky surviving founding members of the armed liberation struggle, saying his work is to achieve unity of all South Sudanese, adding that this is one of the visions of the liberation struggle.
However, when the armed struggle was waged against Khartoum regime, the first vision was to seek total liberation of South Sudanese people, which was achieved through.
“My job as the people and as a surviving founding member of our liberation movement, is to pursue unrelentingly the path that we promised to our people,” said Kiir.
He said he owed it to his fallen comrades [martyrs] and to the people of South Sudan to redirect the country toward the achievement of unity.
“The second stage of our struggle is to consolidate the unity of our people; liberate then from abject poverty, illiteracy and ignorance and ultimately restore their dignity and worth. Unfortunately, we got distracted from pursuing this path and got bemused into pretty politics, power struggle and the pursuit of rents from the state,” said head of state.
After achieving unity, Kiir said the next task will be rapid political, economic and social development of the country that places it the center stage of the African and world affairs.
“This is, we should contribute to the achievement of world peace, culture, scientific advancement and all other wild dreams that have come to define human race,” he added.
President admitted that these focuses may sound so wild and farfetched given the current state of affairs, but they are all within reach.
“This is precisely the reason my government has been at the forefront in pursuing peace by all means and at all cost. For without peace, we cannot dream – leave alone achieving any dreams,” said Kiir. I invite all our citizens within and outside the country to answer our call for peace and to join us in our efforts to rediscover our liberation path and to seek and pursue the core objectives of our liberation struggle. We cannot rest on our laurels just because we have achieved liberation stage one. Our liberation struggle cannot be declared complete until we have achieved the second and the third stages.”
“My surviving comrades and I have the duty to show you the way, but the work of the next generation has started and that is to pursue without waver, stages two and three of our liberation struggles. Let no man question the will, the resilience, and the determination of the people of South Sudan to achieve these objectives. We have proven to the world that when we set our sight on something, we have always gone to achieve it,” president Kiir concluded.
South Sudan is at a new dawn after president Kiir and the key opposition groups, including the main opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar signed the peace deal on September, 2018 to end the conflict, which has killed nearly 400,000 people and uprooted four million people from their homes. The plans to form a power-sharing in May, this year were delayed after there was no funding to disarm, establish cantonments, rehabilitate and integrate militias and rebels across the country to November 12, this year.