9th July in WBGS: Gov. Addresses Emotional Crowds, Lauds Their Loyalty, Announces Presidential Visit

During his address to today’s 3rd annual Independence Day celebrations in Wau, Western Bahr El Ghazal (WBGS) governor, Rizik Zakaria Hassan praised the loyalty of WBGS citizens, strongly warning opposition supporters that they would find no refuge in the state.

9th July in WBGS: Gov. Addresses Emotional Crowds, Lauds Their Loyalty, Announces Presidential Visit
Independence Day celebrations at Wau Stadium on 9 July 2014 [photo by James Deng Dimo]

By James Deng Dimo

WAU, 9th July 2014 [GURTONG] -
On Wednesday morning, thousands of Wau residents marched from the peace ground opposite the SPLM secretariat office, to the stadium where the Independence celebrations were held.
The celebrations were colorful, with the event marked by tradition dances, marches by students from different capacities and distinguished schools within the state. At Wau main stadium, the national anthem was sung and SPLA soldiers paraded.

However, many who had gathered to celebrate the 3rd anniversary were in tears, questioning why the hard-won independent nation is in such crisis, with so many of its citizens dying and suffering, and a rapidly worsening humanitarian situation.

Governor Rizik questioned the actions of the leader of SPLM In Opposition (SPLM/I-O), Dr. Riek Machar, in waging war against a nation which has recently emerged out from the war with Sudan. He also questioned the position of those he said had joined with Machar in the cold-blooded killing of their own people.

“As South Sudan already gained her independence in 2011 and you are now fighting and killing your own people for the sake of someone who is fighting for leadership, who are you liberating South Sudan from again?” he asked of those who have defected to SPLM-In Opposition (SPLM-IO), the movement led by Dr. Riek Machar.

Governor Rizik noted that not a single person from WBGS was among the defectors, militarily nor politically, and stating that the state’s citizens are people of peace who respect the vision and mission of the SPLM and are committed to respecting the current national constitution.

“We have cleared out all criminals who were trying to use the forests of Western Bahr el Ghazal state to carry out their activities against the current the government. Western Bahr el Ghazal is a state of peace; we do not want such rebellious activities to sound in our state. If you are interested in the current situation where the people of South Sudan are dying at the hands of its own people, you had better move out from us to go where [hostilities] are taking place”, Hassan said.

Governor Hassan also took the opportunity of the celebrations to officially announce an upcoming visit to Wau by HE President Salva Kiir Mayardit from 13th-15th July 2014, during which he would inaugurate a number of new buildings in the state.

“Our President will be with us in Wau on 13-15 July 2014. He [Kiir] will on the 13th July inaugurate Wau county headquarter [Bagari] and on 14th will inaugurate Jur River county headquarter [Nyinakok], whilst on the morning of the 15th, he will open Wau teaching hospital women’s ward; he will also address the public at Wau main stadium on the same day”, governor Rizik said while addressing thousands gathered to commemorate the 3rd anniversary of South Sudan.

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