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U.S urges gov’t to speed up peace process

By Gladys Fred Kole

The United States of America has urged those in positions of power and influence to double their struggles to meet peace commitments for the best interest of the people.

In a statement issued by the embassy in Juba on Martyrs Day, the United States reiterated that it supported the people of South Sudan in an effort based on foundational values, including a commitment to human rights, peace, democracy, and the ability of people to have a government that is responsive to their needs.

“We also remember colleagues from the United States Agency for International Development who made the ultimate sacrifice providing assistance to the people of what would later become South Sudan,” the statement read in part.

Among them were local colleagues who were killed in Juba by the then-regime in Khartoum before they could see the birth of their new country, it added.

The embassy recalled that an American colleague was assassinated while he was managing an assistance program.

“We look to those in positions of power and influence in this country to accelerate efforts to meet peace commitments so that the South Sudanese people can achieve the better future they deserve. That is the best way, indeed the only way, to properly honor those who are remembered on Martyrs’ Day.”

Martyrs’ Day is observed on July 30 yearly. The holiday commemorates those who died during the liberation struggle of South Sudan.

Due to the religious differences between the north and south, some mutinies broke out in the Sudanese army in the southern regions in 1983.

The mutinies led to the establishment of the SPLA, led by John Garang. Initially, the SPLA campaigned for a United Sudan against the policies not great to the south but changed to gain full independence for South Sudan.

The Sudanese Civil War started in 1983 between the central Sudanese government and the SPLA. From 1989 to 1991, SPLA occupied many towns and controlled most parts of southern Sudan.

The civil war lasted 22 years until 2005 and resulted in the independence of South Sudan six years later. However, about 2 million people died due to the war.

On July 30, 2005, John Garang died in a helicopter crash. That day was chosen as the celebration day of Martyrs’ Day.

He was the leader of the SPLA during the Sudanese Civil War and is regarded as the founding father of South Sudan.


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