Home | Comment & Analysis    Thursday 6 September 2007

18 August 1955, South Sudan heroes day


By Charles Olukok Onyo-Ihari Langairio

September 5, 2007 — 18 August 1955 is not only national day but is also heroes day, it is a day when South Sudanese openly open fire and told the government in Khartoum that enough is enough.It is aday when Southern Sudanese were transported in thousands to Port Sudan to dig salt for the survival of the Northern Government,it is the day when other regions in South Sudan come together to give support to Torit mutineers and to shade their blood for the land God gave them without negotiation and argument.This is the Town which brings peace in South Sudan and it is a town where SPLA/M survived the final devolution or from coma stage which was blown by Dr.Riek Machar/the current Vice President of South Sudan government under his Nassir faction and Khartoum government allies.Torit is atown where their own sons and daughters will never betray the aspirations and the wills of the people of South Sudan and those in need freedom and justice.

The declaration by President Salva Kiir 18 August 1955 as a national holiday ,though it is too late,we the concern citizens of South Sudan still welcome it.We the Otuho and people who belong to Torit county and other neighbouring counties (Who shared the mutiny in 18 August 1955 when they were one district under Torit) will still celebrate it as national day and January as heroes day because these are some of the major historical memories of our struggle and assassination of our freedom fighters,First Fr.Staurlino Ohure the Founder of the South Sudan problem and who used forced to overcome the Southern Problem than the bible was assassinated on 27 January 1967 in Uganda and January 1991 is one of the worst massacre by SPLA/M on his own SPLA/M supporters and freedom fighters ( This is known as Kor March Massacre in Kapoeta) where ever village in Torit lost five to ten SPLA freedom fighters,another incident in EES is the firing squad of 15-17 officers from Torit or LOPA county during inter factional fighting,this for me remains heroes day,the 15-17 officers died innocently without any justification from Dr.John Garang Torit main stream faction and Dr.Riak Machar SSIA/M know as Nassir faction.

The President Salva declaration has alot of argument in terms of academic and political understanding as I quote and underline words in question or that are not clearly explained to the people of South Sudan and Torit in particular "
“Since Torit is a town of history, I am declaring 18 August a national day because it will remind us of what happened on the 18th August 1955 when our people mutinied in this town,” he said. Quote by Abalu gurtong correspondent.

The word since has mean alot and for it ,it means the President is forcefully or he was under pressure that he declared the 18 August 1955 a national holiday that is why he said ’since" as to me it seems he does not know that 18 August 1955 was a liberation day for South Sudan.The national holiday have to be explain to the citizens of South Sudan and Sudan in particular because their are alot of national holidays in SPLA,Sudan,NIF/NCP etc. Iam not going to explain all of them because of interest of time and other commitment that need my attention and SSCCI.So it is us the concern citizens to evaluate and analyze the facts in the President word that create doubt and which create trust about all the citizens of South Sudan and the country at large.

My first article and question was during 16 may 2007 celebration President Speech posted by SPLM Diaspora,where our President Salva failed to acknowledged Torit Mutiny and its mutineers plus our Elder and Commander in Chief/Founder of South Sudan Liberation Fr.Saturlino Ohure,another point is the failure by President Salva to recognize/declaration 18 August 1955 or 52 Anniversary of their Struggle as a national day holiday during his term of office second anniversary but only declaring it during the opening of Dr.Garang De Mabior Memorial School which in actual sense must or should be renamed/named as Fr.Saturlino Ohure Memorial School .The Reasons are simple,Torit is the Place where the revolutionary struggled for South Sudan problem started and where the first leader come from and assassinated and this was suppose to be the procedure and how we should award our heroes according to their work. If SPLA/M want to make their historic naming it should either started with Brigadier Late Paterno,Angelo Lopuro or they should name Captain Jada (the name is not clear but he was the first SPLA officer that was dragged by Khartoum military tanks on Torit streets between 19889-1989 or the first Captain to shape his life for the liberation of South Sudan).

Therefore naming Dr.Garang is catch 22 and it belittle the founders of 1955 that shaded blood and taught Dr.Garang the spirit of liberating South Sudan through Referendum or Self determination.I would prefer the School to be named as Major General Obuto Mamur Memorial school because this will reminds us how he sacrificed his efforts and struggle to overcome Nassir faction and Khartoum offencive on Torit main faction that brings the CPA. The reasons for naming it after Major General Obuto Mamur is that he is under going the second liberation struggle in South Sudan known as underground,physical and psychological torture under his own party of SPLA/M.As rumours circulate he is undergoing final stages of his physical live and soon it will history since the Southerners betray him and never give him support as he supported them for the last 22 years of SPLA/M and Jallaba of Beshir war.

In conclusion,the President of South Sudan should take another step of declaring Major General Obuto Mete afree man and hero of SPLA/M.His declaration of 18 August 1955 as national holiday without explanation is another question mark.One country can not have two national liberation days or two national Heroes day.One must be forgo another or one must be eliminated or aleast combined to the major or the first incidence carry more weight than the second.Therefore the President of South Sudan should declare one liberation day or national holiday in South Sudan,we can not have 16 May 1983 and 18 August 1955 celebrated separately,it is waste of resources and time consuming since we need more time for reconstruction of South Sudan.

In order SPLM party to succeed in the next coming national elections and making their dream for South Sudan independent come true ,the top brass must release their captives like Major General Obuto Mamur,re-instate Governor for WES who was democratically accepted by the people of Western Equotoria,allow freedom of press,encourage private entrepreneurs like Aggrey Idri of Nile Commercial Bank,remove insecurity,corruption,forceful land occupation,harassment of civilians by SPLA and nepotism from South Sudan or GOSS government,any prisoners of conscience in South Sudan whether in Equatoria,Upper Nile and bahr El Ghazal must be release without any conditions.

Human rights respect must be atool of SPLM government and it should champion it since the purpose of struggle was to give freedom for the people of South Sudan and to allow them elect people of their choices.The problem in Eastern Equatoria has defeated democracy and freedom to choose/elect and to refuse aleader who abuse and misuse resources of the needy..

To remind our President of South Sudan and our South Sudan Legislative Assembly representatives,we want and I appeal to SSLA to pass laws that speed the trial of all prisoners of South Sudan especially political prisoners like Major General Obuto Mamur Mete who was detained on 21 march 2007 up to date without his case heard in the civilian or military courts neither did the conditions of his arrests and the results of his investigation made public to the people of South Sudan and SPLA military his a leader.As concern citizen,I appeal to the President to declare Obuto as free man since their is no evidence to support his continuos detention.

If our country of South Sudan does not respect freedom of speech and conscience it is time to international community to intervene,there are situations in South Sudan which are worst than Darfur conflict if immediate attention is not made.

Both the government of South Sudan and the government of national unity must respect international /diplomatic protocols,the expulsion of Canadian Diplomat is not internationally acceptable.The innocent detention of opposition leaders and members has enticed the democratic and peaceful country like Canada representative to call for the release of those innocent detainees who under daily torture in the hands of NCP/SPLM who are the sole owners of CPA.It is up on this I call the international community to condemn Sudan government for the expulsion of the Canadian Representative to Sudan.Sudan must be appreciative of the role Canada government played in bringing peace and donating millions of dollars to help the poor,in addition to that Canada have offered its land to host refugees from Sudan which in return repatriate millions of dollars to Sudan which help to improve the economy and living standards of the people of South Sudan.

To the people of South Sudan I believe the Founder of South Sudan Problem Fr. and C-N-C Saturlino Ohure dream is coming to its objective achievement sooner than later I predict that our current President Salva Kiir will declare South Sudan sovereign state or an independent country.

The author is the president of South Sudan Concern Citizens International (SSCCI). He can be reached at olukokonyoiharilangairio@yahoo.ca

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  • 6 September 2007 06:57, by Deng

    whoever fight or not fight for the independent of southern sudan has a right to say whatever he/she thinking is right to our people,but there a limit for that,because you have no right to tell authority what to do.because the government of southern sudan know what date,time ,year is important to the people of the south sudan.whose town is not a historical town? whose chiefs was not slaughtered in 1955? I am surprise when people described their town as historical town.

    • 9 September 2007 16:43, by Dau Atem

      Hi comrade, you are out of your mind otherwise, you shouldn’t picture Torit as historical town.

      Not to surprise you, the name of school was given according to leaders performances not where they come from.

      In 1955 incident, hundreds of chiefs from different provinces, tribes were killed by Arabs and for these reasons your uncle Obure or whatever the name is not first liberator.

      Mate, you are breaching GOSS Policies by recounting your town as a historical town. All towns are historical. Don’t tell them what to do, if they don’t.

  • 9 September 2007 16:44, by Dau Atem

    Hi comrade, you are out of your mind otherwise, you shouldn’t picture Torit as historical town.

    Not to surprise you, the name of school was given according to leaders performances not where they come from.

    In 1955 incident, hundreds of chiefs from different provinces, tribes were killed by Arabs and for these reasons your uncle Obure or whatever the name is not first liberator.

    Mate, you are breaching GOSS Policies by recounting your town as a historical town. All towns are historical. Don’t tell them what to do, if they don’t.

  • 11 September 2007 12:44, by Bob Tata

    Dear author! My condolences, thoughts and solutes are to your people who are in fact my people as the citizen of south Sudan; who were victimised by the SPLA disastrous war!

    Actually I am from Nuer tribe where the man that led the so-called Nasir faction during 1990s unfortunately comes. However, I would like to remind you that all the innocence people of southern Sudan have paid and are still faying dearly to that war and that every fallen victim of that wasted war deserves remembrance should that person be a leader, commander, solider, or a civilian has an exclusive right for legitimate respect and honour!
    Things were not right under our warlords during the days of their rampages, there were nonsense arrests, looting raping of people wives while watching, mass murders and carnages or massacres and among others . we must do something to stop such stupid and evil deeds by SPLA warlords!


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