WBGS: Prayers for Martyrs And Dr. John Garang’s Memorial

Western Bahr el Ghazal state (WBGS) marked the 9th anniversary of Martyrs Day, which combines the celebration the memory of South Sudan’s liberation heroes, heroines with the marking of the tragic loss of the liberation movement’s leader, late Dr. John Garang De Mabior.

WBGS: Prayers for Martyrs And Dr. John Garang’s Memorial
Mass at St Marys Cathedral Wau in honour of Martyrs Day 30 July 2014 [photo by James Deng Dimo]

By James Deng Dimo

WAU, 30th July 2014 – Western Bahr el Ghazal state (WBGS) marked the 9th anniversary of Martyrs Day, which  combines the celebration the memory of South Sudan’s liberation heroes, heroines with the marking of the tragic loss of the liberation movement’s leader, late Dr. John Garang De Mabior, who passed away on 30th July 2005 in a helicopter crash.

In the Republic of South Sudan, the 30th July is a public holiday, a day to remember fallen heroes and heroines who lost their lives to achieve the country’s freedom. This year Memorial Day was held under the theme of “Martyrs are the symbol of redemption and loyalty,”

Wau’s celebrations, which ended in the evening with a candle-lit event at Wau cultural theater, started at Saint Mary’s parish in an atmosphere of excitement and jubilant prayers led by Bishop Rudolf Deng Majak and attended by dignitaries, including senior state government officials.

While addressing the mass congregation, Bishop Majak called on leaders of South Sudan to keep, in their daily prayers and in their hearts, the aim of reconciliation, forgiveness and peaceful dialogue to end the seven month-long civil war in the country.

“Use of weapons against innocent South Sudanese should not be a solution toward the problems facing the nation; there is no need for the people of South Sudan to continue dying day and night without reason” said Majak.

State Information Minister, Alfred Oya, who represented the state governor, said: “Today we are celebrating a very gigantic episode in the memory of the lives of our beloved over 2.5 million martyrs and more, whose blood remunerated for our independence in both Anyanya one war and SPLM liberation wars which ended with the signing of the comprehensive peace agreement,” said

Meanwhile the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) state deputy chairperson, Anthony Wadrif, urged churches in the Republic of South Sudan to continue praying for the welfare of the suffering public and to bring the rebels back to the negotiation table for in order to find a peaceful resolution.

The vision of SPLM under the leadership of Dr. John Garang was to give each citizen equal rights and freedoms in the country. However Garang tragically died, weeks after being sworn in as First Vice President of the Republic of Sudan and President of the semi-autonomous region of Southern Sudan, on 30th July 2005. The full circumstances leading to the accident which caused Dr. Garang’s death have never been completely or satisfactorily resolved. However it is widely believed by the South Sudanese public to have been an assassination.

Thus Dr. Garang passed before he could see the fulfillment of the South Sudanese right to self-determination, for which he had fought, and which led the country to separation from Sudan and the declaration of the new independent state of Republic of South Sudan, on the 9th July 2011. Dr. Garang is buried in Juba, now the capital of South Sudan, but his passing is marked throughout the country.


 

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