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Salva Kiir declares 16 May National Day in South Sudan

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May 17, 2007 (MALAKAL) — The Sudanese First Vice President and president of Southern Sudan government Salva Kiir Mayadrit declared the 16 May “National Day” for Southern Sudan, Blue Nile, Abyei and Nuba Mountains.

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Salva Kiir during the celebration of the 24th, Anniversary of the SPLM on May 16, 2007 at Peter Gatkuoth Gual’s Stadium in Malakal.

In speech delivered in Malakal on May 16, during the celebration of the 24th, Anniversary of the SPLM/SPLA, the Chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and President of Southern Sudan Government declared “the 16th of May as an official national day to be annually celebrated throughout South Sudan, Blue Nile, Abyei and Nuba Mountains. We will work towards annexing an Act to declare this day, “The SPLA Day”.

Salva Kiir said this declaration aiming to “Keep alive the memory of those great sacrifices by our people and fallen heroes, and to acknowledge the tremendous contribution made by our gallant SPLA forces in the marginalized areas of Sudan.”

He said the emergence of the SPLM was a “reflection of the political reality in our country, that the suffering people in Sudan could no longer tolerate repressive regimes and the monopoly of state power and national wealth by ruling cliques.”

He reiterated the determination of the SPLM to create “a new political dispensation in the Sudan.” through the creation of a New Sudan vision. “A New Sudan in which all citizens enjoy equal rights, irrespective of their color, religion, ethnic origin or geographical location.”

Adding that this vision is achieved by the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the SPLM/A and Government of Sudan in Nairobi, on January 9th 2005. “That Agreement was the realization that Sudan can never survive as a nation if there was no democracy, no equality and no justice.” he underscored.

He also, said that no peace without security. He urged the militias in the region to either join the SPLA or the Sudanese army. Also, he called upon the National Congress Party, to handover those responsible for the Malakal massacre.

The Southern Sudan president reaffirmed that his government should have zero tolerance to corruption. “GoSS was not created for the enrichment of the few.”

“The decisive action I have already taken has only uncovered the tip of the iceberg. Let all know that there shall be no return from this course till we unearth all the dirt. Should this require a political decision from my side, I shall act firmly.”

Salva Kiir also reassured that the implementation of Juba declaration of Januray 2006 —a deal related to the integration of the SSDF forces of Gen Paulin Matip – has entered the final stages. “I recently commissioned seventeen officers at the rank of major-general. Officers at other ranks will soon be commissioned.”

(ST)


Below the full text of the speech of Salva Kiir Mayardit, First Vice President of the Republic, President Government of Southern Sudan, Chairman, SPLM and C in C, SPLA, On 24th, Anniversary of the SPLM/SPLA on May 16th 2007, Malakal.

Greetings to the dignitaries:

H. E. Governor, Upper Nile State

H. E. the SPLM Secretary General

His Honor the Reath of Shilluk

Excellencies, Advisors and Ministers; GONU/GOSS and Upper Nile State

Hon. MPs, of various levels of the Legislative Assemblies

Representatives of the UN, and Diplomatic Community

Members of the UNMIS

The SPLA Chief of staff, Officers and men/women

Greetings to all people of Malakal,

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I wish to start my speech on this historic day, May 16th, Anniversary by remembering all our fallen heroes and heroines who have sacrificed their lives towards the realization of peace in Sudan. On the top of them is my dear brother, and great hero, Dr. John Garang de Mabior, who on this day in 1983, spearheaded the founding of the SPLM/SPLA.

May we stand to observe a moment of silence in remembrance of our departed leader, Dr. John Garang de Mabior, and all our other fallen heroes and heroes

Greetings to all men and women in the SPLA, whose bravery and sacrifice have, brought us this joyful day. I take this opportunity to remind ourselves once again that the transformation of the SPLA forces from the guerrilla to an organic conventional force, trained and combat ready for the challenges of the 21st, Centaury is a priority, noting that the SPLA is one of the guarantors to the CPA. Equally, the SPLM should continue with zeal preparing the way for the second SPLM Convention.

For our fallen heroes and heroines we pay our special tribute to them for without their ultimate sacrifice, this day would have been in the dustbin of history.

For our rural population in the entire marginalized areas of Sudan, we salute you for your contribution towards the war effort for without it your sons and daughters would have not been able to continue the struggle that has yield fruits today.

For our people in the Diaspora, we salute you for being instrumental in making the suffering of our people known to the international community at large. Your efforts have contributed to achieving the objectives of our celebrations today.

For our women in the marginalized areas of the Sudan, we give you special thanks for being patient with us. For without your patience, your men would have not been able to pursue the war. Many of you assumed men’s responsibilities and did very well with the children education, as your men became fully engaged in the struggle and defense of the SPLM/SPLA gains in the then liberated areas.

We give many thanks and appreciation to the IGAD Countries for their tireless efforts in bringing the then two warring parties, the SPLA and the Government of Sudan (GOS) into the negotiating table and subsequently signed the CPA (2005).

We also thank the friends of the IGAD forum for their role and assistance in keeping the peace talks on until the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was finally signed.

We will not forget our friends across the globe, whose moral support for our cause gave us courage and determination to pursue our political objectives, during the 21 years of our bitter, but noble struggle.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

24 years ago today, your sons and daughters in Bor town, Jonglei State decided to end the political hegemony of the then successive ruling clique in Khartoum. The decision was the last resort of other attempted peaceful means to resolve our country’s political problems.
The celebration of this day in Malakal today is not by coincidence, this is the historical Capital of the Greater Upper Nile, where the first bullet was shot in 1983. It was from the soil of the Greater Upper Nile that the seeds of peace were sown.

Dear citizens

In order to Keep alive the memory of those great sacrifices by our people and fallen heroes, and to acknowledge the tremendous contribution made by our gallant SPLA forces in the marginalized areas of Sudan, allow me to declare the 16th of May as an official national day to be annually celebrated throughout South Sudan, Blue Nile, Abyei and Nuba Mountains. We will work towards annexing an Act to declare this day, “The SPLA Day”.

When the SPLM/A took up arms in 1983, under the able leadership of late, Dr. John Garang de-Mabior, it was not because they liked war. All of us know the terrible consequences of war, and no one can therefore fight for the sake of fighting. Our people took up arms in order to end the many years of undemocratic governance, repression, discrimination, and injustice perpetrated by successive regimes in the Sudan.

Dear citizens

The emergence of the SPLM/A in 1983, was a reflection of the political reality in our country, that the suffering people in Sudan could no longer tolerate repressive regimes and the monopoly of state power and national wealth by ruling cliques. This clearly explains why the SPLM/A became very popular in all parts of the country. Our people were looking for change.

Based on the above principles, the struggle spearheaded by the SPLM/A for over 21 years was mainly to create a new political dispensation in the Sudan. This new political dispensation is to be realized through the creation of a New Sudan, based on democracy, equality and justice. A New Sudan in which all citizens enjoy equal rights, irrespective of their color, religion, ethnic origin or geographical location.

This vision of New Sudan, was finally achieved through the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the SPLM/A and Government of Sudan in Nairobi, on January 9th 2005. That Agreement was the realization that Sudan can never survive as a nation if there was no democracy, no equality and no justice.

Dear brothers and sisters

The CPA has brought about real changes to the lives of our people. Today, we can all be proud for having our own Government in Juba that can take decisions on all matters relating to Southern Sudan. Our people can no longer spend sleepless nights for fear of being attacked from behind or bombed from above. Our children can now go to school without being disrupted by wanton attacks.

Southern Sudanese are returning from exile, and displaced camps, in order to take part in the reconstruction of their country and to participate in the forth-coming census, elections and referendum.

Fellow brothers and sisters

As our late hero and leader Dr. John Garang de-Mabior stated during the signing of the CPA in Nairobi, all of us have the responsibility to nourish and safeguard this Peace.

Unfortunately, there are still elements among us who do not want our people to enjoy peace. These elements are responsible for the insecurity that still plagues some parts of Southern Sudan, including the unfortunate incident that took place in Malakal last November 2006, where many innocent lives were lost. I seize this occasion to call, once again, upon our partner, the NCP, to handover those responsible for the Malakal massacre. I also call upon all the militias and other armed groups to immediately disband and to either join the SPLA or SAF, in accordance with the Security Arrangements of the CPA.

The SPLM and NCP are currently engaged in a dialogue to address all remaining issues pertaining to the redeployment of forces in accordance with the CPA, including SAF withdrawal from Malakal. The security of Malakal must be handed over to the joint integrated units.

Dear citizens

I know that your expectations from peace are great. Peace is neither complete, nor comprehensive if it is only limited to cessation of hostilities.

The dividend of peace also encompasses building roads, hospitals and schools for people, and providing them with necessary basic services that matter to their daily lives. Let me take this opportunity to appeal to all our people to be patient, because it is not easy to rebuild in two years what has been destroyed for over 21 years.

However, this must not be taken as an excuse for our failure to deliver. Failure to deliver the dividends of peace is also blamed on some of us who hold senior positions in government, both at the ministerial and civil service levels. I, therefore, call upon all concerned to mend their ways. Two years is long time enough to do this. It is also long time enough for your leader to draw the necessary conclusions and take decisive action. And that action he shall take let everybody know. GoSS was not created for the enrichment of the few. It was created to serve the multitude of our people with ability, honesty and diligence.

Dear citizens

When I called for integrity in government, in my inaugural speech as President of GoSS two years ago, I meant what I said. Now I want everybody to know that it is my constitutional and moral duly to stem the tide of corruption.

The government, like me, should have zero tolerance to corruption. As for me, I shall act decisively against any corrupt public figure. Our people have suffered a great deal, and it is our duty to ensure that they enjoy fully the dividends of peace.

The decisive action I have already taken has only uncovered the tip of the iceberg. Let all know that there shall be no return from this course till we unearth all the dirt. Should this require a political decision from my side, I shall act firmly.

Fellow brothers and Sisters

All the same, let us not despair. Despair is an unforgivable crime. The SPLM/SPLA did not struggle for 21 years to end in despair. So, we all need to mobilize to fight corruption and mismanagement in government. I need your help. We also need to mobilize and prepare ourselves for other urgent duties such as the forthcoming population census. The population census provides the first opportunity in the history of Sudan, for the people of Southern Sudan to be counted properly.

The accurate recording of population in Southern Sudan is a very important factor in determining the provision of services and allocation of resources. However, the success of this census shall depend on our people returning from neighboring countries and displaced camps in Northern Sudan.
I therefore call upon the State Government of Upper Nile to facilitate the return of our people and providing the necessary services for their re-integration. This census will also be a determinant factor to the forth-coming elections, and ultimately in the 2011 referendum. You cannot run a successful elections if you do not know your population.

Dear citizens

Many of you may like to hear about the progress of the CPA implementation. In this regard, I wish to inform you that the SPLM and NCP have created mechanisms to facilitate dialogue and the resolution of contested issues such as Abyei, Oil, re-deployment of forces, North-South border and a genuine democratic transformation. In this respect, I take this opportunity to reiterate the SPLM’s commitment to the full implementation of the CPA. I therefore, call upon our partner, the NCP, to also re-commit itself to the full implementation of the CPA.

Dear citizens

There shall never be comprehensive peace in our country, so long as war continues to rage in Darfur. To put an end to Darfur conflict, I have appointed a Task Force in Juba to facilitate dialogue by bringing together the Darfur Movements that have not signed the Abuja agreement. It is only by uniting all factions in Darfur that any negotiation between them and the Government of Sudan can bring realistic peace. The SPLM also welcomes the deployment of an international force to protect the people of Darfur from the atrocities committed by the Janjaweed, ensure protection for the displaced and assure delivery of humanitarian assistance.

Dear Citizens,

The integration of SSDF forces, as per the Juba Declaration of January 2006, has now entered the final stages. I believe you are all aware that in my capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the SPLA I recently commissioned seventeen officers at the rank of major-general. Officers at other ranks will soon be commissioned.

Despite reports of sporadic attacks on our civil population in both Eastern and Western Equatoria by elements of LRA, the government of Southern Sudan remains firmly committed to mediating the peace process between the Government of Uganda and the LRA. As we speak today, the peace talks that had stalled for more than three months have now resumed in Juba.
We are hopeful that this round of talks will lead to a successful conclusion and restore peace not only for Uganda, but also for Southern Sudan.

The SPLM is engaged in normalization of relations with our neighbors, for instance it was our noble role in the SPLM to bring about peaceful relationship between Sudan, Eritrea, and Uganda. And we are determined to do so with all our neighbors.

Let me, Dear citizens, end my speech by appealing for unity among Southern Sudanese. Unity is strength and it is the duty of each of you to fight the root-causes of disunity such as tribalism, nepotism and factionalism. For united we stand, divided we fall.

Equally, I wish to thank on your behalf the UN and other members of the international community, to whom we are indebted for helping Southern Sudan in the maintenance of peace and reconstruction.

Thanks also to the Government of National Unity, led by President Bashir, for the contribution to the reconstruction of the South. We call upon all to continue supporting the people of Southern Sudan and to do this in a timely manner. For the people of Southern Sudan, time is of the essence.

Thank you,

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