Nation Talks

Is 16th of May really useful to the people of South Sudan?

By Kiden Stela Mandela

In the first place I would like to salute the people of South Sudan, our fallen heroes and heroines who have sacrificed their lives for the quest of freedom, justice, equality, and peace. Without their contributions, this day would have not been celebrated within an independent state.

Well, on 16th May 1983, our two battalions 104 and 105 declared mutinied in Bor town under the Command of Late Karbino Kuanyin Bol and William Nyoun Bany. As a result of military mutiny, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) was established in Headquarters Bilpam under Commander-In-Chief Dr. John Garang. That military mutiny against Sudanese government led to the second Sudanese civil war which ended with the signing of 2005 CPA.

The 16th May, marks the re-organization and another preparation for Sudanese people under well-structured armed forces known as Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). It also marks the second military mutiny in the then Sudan after Torit Mutiny in 1955, as a continuation of long struggle with the new structures, vision and strategies and thus it is not the beginning of struggle in South Sudan. Therefore, on the occasion of 16th May, the entire nation must celebrate this day to remember and honour those who have served with distinction in defence for our country over decade. We honour them from the sense of duty to our country by paying tribute as a vote of thanks signifying their blood never gone in vein.

On this day, we remember the long suffering our people have had gone through for many decades and honour our armed forces and its service for the nation starting from Anyanyna time to the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). This day is significant to commemorate and pay tribute to our people who were murdered in cold blood within or outside the country simply because they were of South Sudanese origin and to pay respect for our late commanders who gave their lives for the sake of peace, justice, freedom and equality. Hence, we celebrate 16th May to strengthen our unity as one people with common historical background. This day 16th May, reminds all South Sudanese about the killing, torture, injustice and oppression perpetuated by Sudanese regimes against marginalized Southerners (now South Sudanese) as well as other Sudanese based on race, colour, gender or geographical location. The day reminds South Sudanese about the inequality, injustices faced over long decades from successive Sudanese regimes.

Today the 16th of May becomes meaningless to celebrate in some parts of the country due to insecurity, for example, just last week over 47 people were killed and others injured in Mugali of Eastern Equatoria also two police men were shot in Nimule border that raised tension, caused displacement and people fled for their lives, as per now many families suffer from hunger making it meaningless to any celebration.  

I’m appealing to the government to work hard in settling the issues to do with insecurity in the country and to stabilise the economy to help the country grow in entrepreneurship and avoid the challenges of economic recession in the country.

God Bless South Sudan

Be right there! 

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