By Rebecca Athiang Bol
Minister of Labor and Public Service has announced Sunday and Monday as public holidays to celebrate the Martyrs‘ Day.
The day recognizes and celebrates men and women who fought for the freedom of South Sudan. The day also honors the sacrifices of those who brought independence.
According to the circular issued by the Labor Ministry, the public is asked to stay home and celebrate the achievements of the heroes and heroines with their loved ones.
Work resumes on Tuesday 1st August 2023. Martyrs’ Day is observed every July 30.
This day commemorates the death of John Garang de Mabior, the revolutionary leader. He led the Sudan People’s Liberation Army during the Second Sudanese Civil War.
Following the comprehensive Peace Agreement, he briefly served as First Vice President of Sudan for only three weeks until his death in a helicopter crash on July 30, 2005. The date of his death became marked as Martyr’s Day in South Sudan.
He led the Sudan People’s Liberation Army from 1983 to 2005 during the Second Sudanese Civil War.
He is also regarded as the founding father of South Sudan and a symbol of unity.
The Garang accident occurred near Uganda’s border with Sudan on Saturday.
He was trying to get back to his base in Southern Sudan from a meeting with Yoweri Museveni, Uganda’s President.
The helicopter belonging to the Ugandan government came down, apparently because of a lack of fuel, in bad weather.
All of the people reported to have been on board, were killed. It is said Garang’s death could also expose serious internal “schisms” within the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement.