By Tombura James
South Sudan emerged as a nation after decades of civil war, culminating in the independence of the country, on the 9th-July-2011. This day valued as a remarkable day in the history of South Sudan, remembered as a day when South Sudanese got freedom from the repressive regimes in Khartoum, through liberation struggles.
This year, the celebration of the day has been counselled by the government due to the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
However, the No.1Citizen reporter, Tombura James, spoke to some citizens on the streets to ascertain their views on the day. Below are the responses:
Mr. Nelson Bakhit, a tailor in Munuki has this to say;
“I am happy because we are an independent country. This is an important day for us South Sudanese because we have achieved the purpose of our liberation movement. As civilians, we are united and celebrating the day in peace. This day is supposed to be specifically for us the citizens to send our messages to the government on what we want during public gatherings, country wide, but I am a bit sorry that most of such important days are always being postponed in this country. It is during independence that the government will know the public opinions in the country; whether they are lacking good roads, hospitals, schools, recreational grounds, markets, employments, security, or not.
I am requesting the government to given total freedom of speech, movement and gathering during Independence Day, so that we can feel that we are indeed free. But if much restrictions are put in place, we the civilians will feel like we are still having troubles, although we are independent. The market should not be closed in case the official celebration of such important days are being postponed or counselled. Some people get their daily bread from the businesses they operate. I am asking my fellow citizens to remain united and celebrate the independence in a peaceful manner.
Mr. Samson Ladu, working in a bakery in Munuki has this to say;
“The day is so wonderful for me because I can see people are moving on the road peacefully with joy, making me feel happy in my bakery during this Independence Day. The turn up of the customers in my business is much better than any other ordinary day. I thank the government of South Sudan for the peaceful day that we are in, although it is not officially celebrated, but next time if possible, the shops should remain open in case the celebration is being counselled like of this year, so that business people can decide either to open or close. I am asking my fellow citizens to enjoy the day together in peace and happiness. I am requesting those who are driving and riding to respect the pedestrians on the roads to avoid accidents during wonderful days like this.
Mr. Godwin, a boda boda rider in Gudele has this to say;
“I am happy because today is our independence day, although its celebration has been counselled, but am so happy than we are alive in the day. We don’t blame the Government much for counselling the celebration of the Independence Day this year because the message about the danger of coronavirus pandemic in our country is clear to everyone. Otherwise, we use to celebrate the day colourfully, but no problem, next time we shall enjoy it better. Let everybody in the country enjoy the day peacefully.”
Mrs. Regina Athanasius a market vender in St. Kizito has this to say;
“I am so happy for our independence, but today I decided to come to sell my commodities because I am looking for food for my children, in addition to the announcement that there is no official celebration of independence this year. But I am disappointed that I don’t have customers the way I used to have on other days. May be because of the Independence Day.
Those days, whenever it is an independence day, the government could provide something for the civilians for celebration. I am requesting our government to adopt the idea of distributing gifts to the civilians so that they enjoy the fruit of their liberation struggle for independence.” 0000