(Written by Malual Jangdit)
Your Excellency President Donald Trump of USA
Your Excellency President Putin V. of Russia
Your Excellency President Xi Jinping of China
Your Excellency Honourable President Benjamina N. of Israel
Your Excellecny President Omar Basir of Sudan
Your Excellency President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda
Your Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya
Your Excellency Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia
Your Excellecny President Salva Kiir of South Suadan
Your Honourable Heads of African States
All Honourable Chairpersons of IGAD, AU, EU, Troika, and United Nations’ Secretary General, and Head of UNMISS, David Shearers.
Compatriots, Distinguished guests, Foreign Ambassadors and diplomats, Comrades in Army, Members of South Sudan cabinet, Council of Ministers, Members of legislative Assembly, South Sudanese leaders of opposition blocs, Ordinary Citizens, Students, South Sudanese migrants all over the World, IDPs and Refugees, Prisoners, patients, People with disabilities, Wounded Heroes and Heroines, Martyrs, especially Dr. John Garang, Cde: William Nyuon Bany, Cde: Kerubino Kuanyin Bol, Josheph Odhuho, and the rest who lost their lives to the cause of freedom, Retirees, Widows and Widowers, Orphans, Street Children, Ladies and Gentlemen!
I would like to pay our due respect to all our fallen heroes and heroines for their sacrifice to die for freedom and love for this nation. Now, let us have a minute of silence…
I am very grateful to thank you for attending the celebration of the peace agreement signed in September 12, 2018 between the Government and all the South Sudanese opposition parties in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia through mediation and facilitation by His Excellency, President Omar Bashir, President Yoweri Museveni, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the rest of African Heads of States.
Therefore, I, Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit and on behalf of SPLM would like to welcome you and thank each everyone for his/her presence, compassion, sacrifice, tolerance, resilience, understanding and passion for South Sudan Peace agreement. Today, we have gathered to celebrate the positive peace that would pave the way to tribal unification, reconciliation, truth and political compromise. As I quoted from John F. Kennedy, “Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new mutual relationship and understanding among the different parties.”
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Today will be remembered in the history of South Sudan as a day in which all the South Sudanese hostile parties come together despite their discrepancies, internal conflict, and schism not limited to factionalism and fractionalization to bury their old grievances, end their misunderstanding and to embrace the positive peace and reconciliation as an essential approach to the conflict resolution in the newest nation. For us to work together, we need to show the positive spirit of brotherhood and comradeship as I quoted from Nelson Mandela, “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Ashan Inuu! Youths are the backbone of this country. Therefore, I urge all the youths either in rural areas or urban centres to refrain from tribal and political violence. Today, marked the end of hostilities between Mathiang Anyoor and White Army, the most notorious tribal militias.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
This peace agreement doesn’t belong to His Excellency, General President Salva Kiir Mayardit. Shan Inuu! This peace agreement doesn’t belong to Hon. Dr. Riek Machar.
Shan Inuu! This peace is belonging to the people of South Sudan all around the world.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
This peace agreement doesn’t belong to the leaders who signed it in Khartoum. It is belonging to all the suffering civilians, refugees, Internal Displaced persons in UNMISS PoCs or displaced camps all over the nation, wounded heroes and heroines, disabled people, orphans, widows and widowers, homeless kids living on the street of Konyo-konyo and the armed forces of South Sudan from all the walk of life.
This peace means the end of child and forced marriage, the end of rape and sexual and domestic violence against the South Sudanese women. This peace means the end of corruption. We have to fight for corruption and HIV/AIDS, Malaria and typhoid. There are many wars that we are going to fight them and if we fail to maintain this peace, do you think that we shall be able to fight the war on illiteracy, diseases, poverty, and terror. No!
This peace will bless us once more again. Without peace, we can’t be able to dig our land. Without peace, our people in the refugees won’t be able to return home. Without peace, the roads won’t be constructed. Without peace, we shall not be able to achieve the development. Without peace, we shall not be able to eradicate poverty. South Sudan is arable land, but people can’t dig their lands because of displacement and insecurity in rural areas all over the nation.
Without peace, the unknown gunmen in Konyo-Konyo are not going to stop killing the innocent people or breaking into the shops at night. Without peace, the foreign investors and South Sudanese tycoons like Lual Malong Yoor won’t be able to come and invest in gold in Kapoeta. Without peace, Chinese Construction Company won’t be able to come and build the road from Nadapal to Wau in exchange of crude oil. Without peace, Japanese won’t be able to return to complete building “The Freedom Bridge,” in Logologo suburb. War interrupts our progress and development.
Without peace, South Sudan won’t be able to implement the right of child to education. Without peace, we won’t be able to improve our education system and provide equality, and inclusive education in regardless of gender, age, ethnicity and economic background. With peace, we will be able to rebuild the damaged schools, provide school stationery, funding and establish a free education for all. Without peace, we won’t be able to improve our economy. Without peace, we won’t be able to improve our healthcare system.
Peace means giving an individual his or her right to live a fullest life, to have a peace of mind, and to have a freedom of movement from Equatoria to Aweil by foot as we used to do during the dark day of struggle for liberation when South Sudanese moved from Kiboko in Northern Uganda with their goods to Warawar and Bar Pekeny, travelling by foot from Narus to Pochalla and from Pochalla at Ethiopia’s border to Bahr El Ghazal vs Bor without an attack on the way, travelling from Agoro to Imotong via Ikotos without an attack, travelling from Pakok to Kapoeta by foot without an attack. People travelled from Aweil to Bongo Military Training Camp in Ethiopia via Nasir and Akobo without an attack.
Today, no one can travel by foot from Bahr el Ghazal to Ethiopia via Nuer because of the political and tribal violence of 2013. However, this peace agreement signals the tribal and political unification in which any South Sudanese shall travel safely from one region to another without fear of ethnic killings and hijack as it was a case on Nimule-Juba Road.
Today, there would be no repercussion for what happened in the past. Let bygone be bygone and let us begin the New Year with the new life, full of peace and respect.
Looking at the history of china, Kenya, Uganda, Egypt and Libya to mention a few, we learned the absurd notion of fighting for regime change and the importance of peace and reconciliation. China has gone through the trials and tribulations of fighting for freedom during the Moa era in which 20 million people lost their lives, however, Chinese came to realise the importance of peace and reconciliation. Peace is what made China to be a faster developing and growing country in the world.
Similarly, South Sudanese should do the same thing to embrace peace and reconciliation and then shun the tribal war that kills our children as Elie Wiesel states, “When adults wage war, children perish,” (Elie Wiesel, The perils of Indifference! Seventh White House Millenuim Evening, Washington, April 12, 1999).
In 2007, the tribal violence engulfed Kenya, but the people of Republic of Kenya stopped the violence and embraced peace for the sake of development and prosperity. Today, Kenya set a good example of how brothers settle their grievance. His Excellency, President Uhuru Kenyatta was implicated and indicted by ICC, however, he did not waver in his support for peace and reconciliation. He showed his steadfastness and endeavour to unite the people of Kenya. Now, Kenya is a safe haven and paradise for what Kenyans did to forgive themselves. Therefore, we ‘South Sudanese’ need to take a similar move to forgive ourselves and bury our old grievance.
In Uganda, there is political rift and schism, but the oppositions and their supporters don’t resort to violence rather than the use of peaceful negotiation and fair election. For example, Ugandan main opposition leader Kizza Besigye contested several elections and failed but he didn’t moblise his kinsmen to topple the government of His Excellency, Molana Yoweri Museveni. Therefore, I urge all the South Sudanese opposition leaders to take a similar move. I welcome my challengers even my son Mayar if he is interested in running for presidential race in the next years, he is welcomed to contest for presidential seat without repercussion.
In 2011, the Arab Spring broke out in Libya and Egypt, leading to the collapse of Ghadafi’s government and his death. What have we learned after the fall of Col. Ghadadfi? If late Ghadafi rises from death like Jesus today, do you think, the Libyans who joined the wolves and mutilated him would repeat their mistake? Fighting for regime change is not the best option. It is destructive. Libyans are suffering from hunger because of the civil war and political crisis. Therefore, let us not follow such as a destructive path.
In 2011, Egypt was among the nations in the political ruins, but the Egyptians are wise enough to stop the civil war and embrace the peace and reconciliation. In essence, I urge all my fellow countrymen to follow the similar move to avoid the ethnic violence and armed confrontation and embrace the positive peace.
As I quoted from Mandela, “I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all people live together in harmony with equal opportunities…Today, Peace is an ideal, which I hope to live for and see realized as Nelson Mandela said.
Dear fellow citizens, Council of ministers, Members of Legislative Assembly, Members of Cabinet, all the members of opposition blocs, concerned citizens, critics, all politicians and the organized forces, Wounded, Victims of civil war, Members of JIU, and White Army, Mathiang Anyoor and all the dissents still in the bush, Shan Inuu, “To err is human, to forgive divine: It’s only normal for man to make mistakes and do wrong, but one to forgive another for his wrong is indeed great and gracious.”
In the Book of Ecclesiastes 3: 8 says, “A time for war and a time for peace. Shan Inuu! Today is a time for peace. (A Time for Everything).
South Sudan Oyee!!!!
God Bless South Sudan!
God Bless Junubeen!
Written by a self-appointed Presidential Speech Writer professor: Malual Jangdit.