“The South has no intention of separating from the North, for had that been the case, nothing on earth would have prevented the demand for separation. The South will at any moment separate from the North if and when the North so decides, directly or indirectly, through political, social and economic subjection of the South” Father Saturnino Lohure Hilangi, the spiritual father of South Sudanese’ liberation struggle, on the 2nd Sudan parliament (1958).
By PaanLuel Wël, Washington DC, USA, Planet Earth
On this special occasion, marking the first Independent Day Anniversary of the Republic of South Sudan, this special day is a towering tribute to the fallen heroes and heroines led by Dr. John Garang de Mabioor Atem whose blood watered and flesh nourished the tree of liberty under whose shelter we celebrate this day; an unsurpassed gratitude to the gallant SPLM/A war veterans led by Comrade Salva Kiir Mayaardit that remained loyal to the SPLM/A—by sticking to the cause they went to the bush to struggle for—without which the Republic of South Sudan might not have seen the light of this day; a sincere appreciation to the SPLM/A returnees under Dr. Riek Machar Teny without which the fruits of the CPA might not have materialized; a big congratulatory message to President Salva Kiir Mayaardit for serenely guiding South Sudanese people across the turbulent waters of River Jordan into the Promised Land; a heartfelt homage to the Torit Mutineers—the Equatoria Corps—of 1955, to Father Saturnino Lohure Hilangi and to Joseph Lagu Yanga of Anyanya One Movement, our beloved forefathers-in-arms who implanted the everlasting seed of South Sudanese’ liberation struggle; and above all, a celebratory kudos to the very determined and most loyal masses of South Sudan for their unyielding support and precious contributions to the liberation of the Republic of South Sudan. To you all, we owe everything. In your cherished memory and highest honor we commemorate this day. In your battled-tested spirit we promise to build and protect this country. So help us Nhialic; history is our witness! A reflective, soul-searching, but a happy, Independent Day to all and each of us; we made it to Canaan—though one deprived of milk and honey!
“I and those who joined me in the bush and fought for more than twenty years, have brought to you CPA in a golden plate. Our mission is accomplished. It is now your turn, especially those who did not have a chance to experience bush life. When the time comes to vote at the referendum, it is your golden choice to determine your fate. Would you like to vote to be second class citizens in your own country? It is absolutely your choice”—-Dr. John Garang speaking to South Sudanese people in Rumbek, May 15, 2005, about the just-signed CPA and the right choice to be made by the South Sudanese people in the then forthcoming referendum which, unfortunately, he never participated in.