Key Note Speech OF H.E COL. Bangasi Joseph Bakosoro, Governor -elect Western Equatoria State

Key Note Speech OF H.E COL. Bangasi Joseph Bakosoro, Governor -elect Western Equatoria State
 
1.1          Thanks giving message to all the citizens of greater Western Equatoria State :  
 
On behalf of the great people of Western Equatoria State and on my own behalf, may I take this opportunity to greet and welcome our great Leader H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, the first Vice President of the Government of Sudan, the President of the Government of Southern Sudan, chairman of the SPLM, and the Commander In Chief of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army (SPLA). I would like to also welcome and greet H.E the Speaker and Hon. members of the  State Legislative Assembly, Hon. Secretary of the Government of WES, Chief Justice, members of the  International communities, Paramount  Chief, Chiefs, Religious leaders, elders, youth, ladies and gentlemen.
 
First, I would like to personally congratulate our President for the historic and overwhelming victory he had in the April 2010 general elections to become the first democratically elected President for the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS).  
 
I also want to thank our people and our supporters who sacrificed their time and put tremendous effort in the last election campaign. Your contributions, encouragement and moral supports were a true sign of love to the state. We are grateful to you all. During our election campaign, I was able to form election campaign teams in each of the ten counties in the State. These teams were the ones raising funds and other material contributions to help sponsor our campaign and elections. All allegations labeled against me by my opponents were false and were only labeled against me in order to derail the mind of our people from the actual truth. Though these allegations were circulating round more especially in Yambio, I accepted all kinds of accusations as they were being thrown at me while I focused my attentions on my campaign programme. I would like to give thanks to God, that despite all false accusations and abuses directed towards me as a person, I did not weaver at all but rather persevered and continued. 
 
Let me tell you my fellow citizens of Western Equatoria State that winning the recent historic and challenging general elections was the first step, but we have started the most difficult part of our journey of rebuilding our beloved State to give it a new look of a totally transparent, accountable, organized, developed and economically viable State. A State that is full of opportunities and hope for all its citizens, and anybody who lives within its borders. For this to happen, and as your first democratically elected Governor, I will rely on your support and cooperation to realize these objectives and goals. 
  
         1.2         MY POLITICAL AFFILIATION AND COLOR 
 
Just to highlight my little background of the liberation of Western Equatoria State . Yambio is the first town which was liberated in the present Western Equatoria State in November, 1990. Many of the inhabitants of Yambio decided to take refugee in Congo and Central Africa Republic (CAR). I took refuge in Bambuti CAR which is three miles away from Source Yubu town. When I realized that Source Yubu was liberated and SPLA were calling on the citizens to support and join, I decided to return back to Yambio and immediately joined SPLA/M in January 1991. Essentially I had the interest of joining SPLA since 1986, when I was still studying in Wau, but due to our seminary life in Bussere Major Seminary, I was unable to escape to bush. I joined military training in Yambio Gbudue One with hundreds of youth most of whom I mobilized to join SPLA. I was not conscripted to join the military training but I went voluntarily due to bad Arab policy towards the Southerners, characterized by mistreatment of our people by the Sudan armed forces during those days. 
 
Your Hon. members, ladies and gentlemen, I want to make it clear to you all that SPLM is my first and only party, and I will continue to support it at all time. I am an SPLM and I did not leave the SPLM and I will urge all comrades to understand this. Some of my comrades in various States and I were disowned by, perhaps for understandable reasons, and I am asking the same organ to have me back. Of course it is understandable that the SPLM Political Bureau could not endorse two candidates for Governorship of Western Equatoria . However, since there was confusion in the primary selection process, I opted to stand as an independent candidate which is right given in the constitution and the election law. This important two document election law was already approved by the GOSS/SPLM leadership which my candidacy was already in line with all the given and approved rights. Therefore I can even go further that even though I did not stand as SPLM for good reason but the SPLM had already endorsed the rights to stand as independent.
 
Having said this, being an independent candidate does not mean I have rejected or left the SPLM. It was a call and demand from the communities of   Western Equatoria State that I should represent them at this time; the results of the election have demonstrated such a call by the people.  I wan to salute my fellow colleague in the SPLM because today, in this gathering, at this defining moment, during the swearing in ceremony, the vision of the SPLM of democratic transformation has been achieved. 
  
        1.3          RECONCILLIATION AND FORGIVENESS AFTER THE CAMPAIGN 
 
The last 2010 Sudan General Elections was very challenging and has brought divisions and hatred among sons and daughters of Western Equatoria State and Southern Sudan at large. Because of such divisions, I want to argue each and every citizen of this State to reconcile with one another. Our unity is our strength and it’s more important and paramount to the unity and strength of Southern Sudan . Let us forgive each other whole heartedly and forget the past. Western Equatoria should and must show example to other States for practicing and embracing non-violent approach in resolving problems among ourselves. We must continue with our usual culture of tolerance, wise decision-making and living in peace with any person who is living among us or within our territories. We must rally behind SPLM in order to attain the vision of the SPLM that will culminate with the referendum in 2011. If we are divided in the coming short period, it will, at the end bring us back and as such divert us from achieving the rightful result of the referendum. 
 
1.4          INCLUSIVENESS OF THE DIVERSITY 
 
Every person who is a resident in this State has the right to live in peace and to have no pre-condition, every person deserves. This State is for all of us, sons and daughter of Southern Sudan , including members from neighboring States and foreigners. All those citizens from other States are to be protected and be given all necessary assistance that will enable them live peacefully in Western Equatoria State . We must show a good example to the other parts of Sudan particularly Southern Sudan of the importance of co-existence as one people and one nation, provided that the culture, norms and values of the people of western Equatoria State are respected.
 
Today, I want to assure all citizens of Southern Sudan that all reports labeled against the people of Western Equatoria as people who hate others are totally incorrect, and should be thrown out of the minds of those spreading such rumors. These are reports fabricated by the enemies of the SPLM, the South and our enemies of our unity. We are peace loving people, who do not like violence and, intimidations, what the people want is respect. I want to reiterate that we welcome everybody to our State provided our culture is respected.   From this day, I announce that all resident of Western Equatoria are equal and will be accorded subject to the relevant laws, systems and polices. 
 
1.5          THE POSITIVE ROLE OF WESTERN EQUATORIA DURING THE SPLA STRUGGLE 
 
My fellow citizens of WES, I want to underscore the positive role played by the sons and daughters of this great land during the struggle. It was in November, 1990 when Western Eqautroria was captured by our gallant SPLA Forces. It is important to underscore that ever since that date it was impossible for WES to be recaptured again because of the commitment of its sons and daughters to the SPLA vision. Like many other communities in Southern Sudan , the people of this great land sacrificed their lives in the struggle for liberation. Their support and allegiance to the people’s movement is unequivocal and there was not a single defection in the senior leadership from WES; this is why even in this election the people voted for SPLM over 90%.  This indicates  that the revolutionary vision and principles of SPLM/A as laid out by our late visionary leader Dr. John Garang De Mabior and carried forward by great and first democratically elected President of the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS), and the Commander in Chief (Lt. Gen Salva Kiir Mayardit).
 
During the revolutionary period, the people of WES contributed human and material resources (food, soldiers, land).  Western Equatoria became the only place in the liberated areas able to produce surplus food which was then taken to front lines to support our gallant army. At one point, it was the people of WES who provided the only safe haven to all SPLA. It is because of the hospitability of the great people of this land who helped to consolidate the SPLA until  it was able to reorganize itself again. This is why I can declare to you today that Western Equaotria remains and will continue to  remain as a platform on which all SPLM members will continue to grow and the vision of the SPLM will continue to be nourished. 
 
1.6          THE IMPORTANCE OF WESTERN EQATORIA STATE 

 
I would like to highlight to you that this state is very important.  Western Equatoria State’s strategic importance, it lies to the Western part of the Greater Equatoria Region and to the South of the Greater Bahr Al Ghazal Region. It shares borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to the South, the Republic of Central Africa to the west and to the Lakes State to the north. It has close boarder with Uganda . The population of Western Equatoria State is large although the recent disorganized census claimed that our population is less than 2 million. Our data shows that our population in the rural area alone is more than two million. 
 
I would say Western Equatoria State is known for its natural resources and for being the bread basket of the South Sudan . Nobody goes hungry in WES. In the old past our food used to be exported to Juba, Wau, Malakal, and could be flown to Khartoum . That is why it is called 'Arusa Al Sudan'... We call upon the GOSS, federal government, our international Donors such as USAID, world Bank, DFID, EU, JICA and partners to provide Western Equatoria State with agricultural implements and support rebuilt our road to move those agricultural products to market areas. We have nine months of rainfall, with exception of three months of December and January.
 
The people of WES are 100% committed to the ideals of Southern Sudan and SPLM/GOSS vision. Once they commit themselves, they never change their minds easily. Also, once they change their minds it is not easy to convince them. I guess this election is a good testimony to ideals and cultures of our people. We, the people of Western Equatoria are the people of God and good faith. That is why God answers our prayers and blesses us with the water from the sky. 
  
        1.7          WAY FORWARD 
 
The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) has brought peace to Southern Sudan that every person is enjoying today, and Western Equatoria is not an exception, although, the State has had bad experiences throughout the CPA period. Now that Southern Sudan is going towards the 2011 referendum, I urge everybody to prepare our masses for that historic event which will determine our future. In order to do that, we must make sure that certain measures be put in place to respect the results of the referendum.  
 
1.7.1      SECURITY 
 
The security situation in Western Equatoria has been volatile due to LRA constant attacks on civilian villages and towns.  Our gallant SPLA soldiers have tried all means to deter LRA attacks, but the solution to off root the LRA is still far from reach. It is also true that we cannot deploy soldiers everywhere, knowing that soldiers are always kept in barracks and LRA cannot attack military barracks. While I recognize the difficulties of annihilating the LRA within the state, I will try my level best, and again with the help of Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) we will find a solution to deter LRA aggressions. We will also try to strengthen the Youth Community Guards (Arrow boys) to protect their relatives and families (need some thinking).
 
There is also another security threat in our State and that threat is the Ambororo. We are going to encourage every citizen in the State to take serious steps in seeing to it that Ambororo must quit their locations. The Government is going to make sure there is good protection of the communities by our organized forces. 
 
1.7.2      ORGANIZED FORCES 

 
The police force is going to be strengthened in order to provide protection to the civil population. It has been brought to attention that police have been frustrating and intimidating the people whom they are suppose to be protecting, it has been happening in the past. But I will make sure the mandate of the police is to keep peace, maintain law and order in the State.  I would make sure that all organized forces are well trained in their jobs and they should do it diligently and in accordance with law. We also need to improve the Standards of our prisons to meet national standard, and open vocational training facilities that will give required training and skills so that prisoners are able to integrate in their societies after they are released from prison. Prison is not only a place for punishment but an institution that educate criminals to be able to help themselves through learning useful technical skills. 
 
1.7.3      GOVERNMENT: 
 

It is very clear that positions in the State government will not be enough to satisfy the aspirations and needs of the people. But I am going to try my best to equitably distribute the few positions fairly. We are going to form a Government of people’s Interest and an inclusive government based on merit, representations and interest of the larger community and with much care about the 25% of women.  The government that I will form will be strong in its organization, will adopt clear policy on human resource development and will embrace sound social and economic development policies.  Our youth will also be considered and given at least 10% representation. 
My Government will try to think of the following:
-          Enact strict traffic laws and regulations
-          Engage the key stakeholders in laying ground work and understanding for possible  rotation of key leadership positions in WES
-          Fight crimes and corruptions
-          Ensure an inclusive, and representative government is set in WES
-          Organized orientation courses to the Law enforcement agencies (police, prison, and wildlife) with the aim of protecting the right of citizens following lawful procedures. 
 
1.7.4      BILATERAL RELATIONS:  
 
Western Equatoria shall not be an Island, but a State that recognizes the right and well being of its’ neighbors. Western Equatoria State is going to create good relations with its neighboring States and will be willing to resolve border issues, particularly, those issues that will lead to conflicts such as livestock management. We will endeavor to address Nadiangere, Mvolo and Mundri border problems immediately to avoid further conflicts among the communities. We are going to open negotiations with our neighboring Countries such as Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic on cross-border security related problems to allow each side protects its people from LRA aggression and also to foster economic development. 
 
1.7.5      INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY: 
 
Western Equatoria will work in partnership with the international community ensure the safety and security of all the International Staff, including UN agencies and their properties are also protected. I am informing all our organized forces to ensure protection of International staff. We must lead by example, and show good relations to those people who have come and help us in our time of need. We also plan to form strong partnership with the international community so that they can come and support our developmental program. I say to all members of the international community, your presence is very important and we recognize your present. Our vision is turn towns to multicultural societies like major cities in the world ( Dubai , Nairobi, Johannesburg , etc) 
 
1.7.6      RELIGIOUS PERSONNEL: 
 
The citizens of Western Equatoria State are God fearing people and we are going to foster peaceful co-existence among ourselves, cooperate with the churches in order to deliver Godly messages to the public and continue to consult our churches on matters that affect us. I will encourage our churches to continue their good work through caring and helping our communities morally and spiritually to enhance good behaviors and promote love and peace among the different groups within the State. All public and private activities should begin with prayers just like the example of our SPLA soldiers during the liberation struggle when every march was after prayers with big cross in front of the parade. People of all other religious believe will also enjoy the freedom to exercise their religion and they are also welcomed to this state. 
  
1.7.7       AGRICULTURE SECTOR: 
 
This is the most important sector that needs immediate attention. Western Equatoria was once called the bread basket of Southern Sudan. But today it is not due to insecurity in most of the villages. We must revitalize the Agriculture sector to reclaim our old status and continue to supply the markets in Southern Sudan including neighboring countries and support the Government of Southern Sudan achieve its objective of food secure and self sufficient country.
 
I am glad to hear that USAID will be providing support to the agricultural sector here in WES, and we shall support his important initiatives and do everything possible to improve and import new agriculture technologies including mechanized farming that will enable farmers to produce surplus food for the market.  I am now requesting every individual to toil hard in those farms to produce enough food and deter food insufficiency.  Experience has it that rapid agricultural growth is a major contributor to a drastic reduction in poverty. Hence, agriculture will continue to drive the rural economy of WES. To achieve highly successful agricultural development outputs, we need to focus on modernizing the sector. 
               
            1.7.8    SOCIAL SERVICES 
  
                1.7.8.1   EDUCATION 
 
The Government of Western Equatoria State will endeavor to improve the standards of our Schools, starting from kindergartens, primary and secondary levels, we have to enhance the quality, quantity, and access to all the citizens of Western Equatoria State . We will make deliberate efforts to increase and support students from Western Equatoria State to enroll and complete their education through university level. Everybody has the right to better Education and that will be one of the priorities of the State Government. I want to make sure that no single school age child is left out of school. The Government is going to adapt and enact laws that will govern Girls enrolment in schools. Adult schools are going to be initiated and this will be an obligation for any able bodied persons. Our focus will be that after 5 years of this education program, 75 % of the citizens of the State shall be able to read and write. 
  
                1.7.8.1   HEALTH 
 
Where there is no proper medication, there is no good health and when there is no good health, there is no life. The Government is going to try to help and promote health sector more especially MCH, and Primary Health care centers and Units. We are going to target the following:
Emphasis on diseases prevention and improvement in primary health care system
-Consolidate the existing HIV/AIDS care through increase of anti-retrovirus drugs for families who can and those who can’t afford.
-Improvement of mother / women, and children health care in the state in order to reduce the current high maternal and child mortality rates in WES. 
  
               1.7.8.3    SPORTS AND GAMES 
 
Where there is sport and games, there is health life. Sports and games are the strength of the youth in any given location. My office will do all it can to promote sports and games in the State. This is an attempt to foster unity and peace among the youth. They will be encouraged to compete and will be offered free sponsorship. 
 
1.7.9          PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURE 
 
Infrastructure throughout Western Equatoria either never existed or has been destroyed during years of civil conflict and there is an acute lack of financial and institutional capacity to provide road maintenance services on the part of both the public and private sectors. Lack of physical infrastructure and the physical isolation of our communities constrain economic growth; make it difficult for vulnerable populations to establish sustainable livelihoods, and constrain provision of critical governance, economic, and social services.
 
Roads and transport infrastructure in particular is essential to provide security and employment opportunities and to facilitate peaceful reintegration of returnees into society. We are grateful to MTR, USAID and World Bank for fixing parts of critical lifeline road from Faragasika to Tambura and parts of Tambura -Wau. But the road from Mundri to Juba is in terrible situation despite the fact this is the road linking almost 5 states with Juba. I will make the rehabilitation of this section my immediate priority working with fellow colleagues from Central Equatoria, Lakes, Warrap, Northern and, Wastern Baher Al Ghazal state. This road is important to all of us. In addition, we need to connect our road with neighboring countries of DRC and CAR to jump starts the economy.
 
Most of our towns and villages today are neither surveyed nor demarcated; this scenario is giving an awkward outlook. I shall try through the Ministry for Physical Infrastructure to improve and implement town planning in all the ten Counties within the State. We shall try to modernize our towns and improve our main and feeder roads.
 
Let’s be clear, without roads and adequate infrastructure there is no security, no social services and no economic growth. Therefore, my Government will take infrastructure among its highest priority. My first priority will be Roads, Energy, Water, Communication and capacity building of people to develop and manage infrastructure projects.  
  
               1.7.10   ECONOMIC SECTOR 
Economic development is fundamental to everyone, anywhere in the globe and remains key to fast development and wealthy living standards. My Government will try its level best through assistance from GOSS to encourage and facilitate economic growth in an attempt to change the living standard of the population, as described below:   
 
-          My office will encourage and facilitate entrepreneurship endeavors leading to creation of employment
-          Attract foreign Investors  leading to creation of employment opportunities
-          Create an environment that is conducive for business opportunities
-          Provide manpower training for the citizens of WES to enable them participate in economic activities
-          Encourage local capital creation and investment in all fields of economic endeavors 
 
1.5.11            CORRUPTION

Fellow citizens, corruption is one of the greatest enemies to our people and our young country. Fighting corruption begins with me and with you. Corruption is nothing but greed, and because of uncontrolled greed most people are subjected to suffering and ultimately death.
 
I want to make it very clear that I will not tolerate corruption in any form. Our President General Salva Kiir has already declared and I implement his policy.  I  know some people will begin to hate me, but we should all be aware that unless we stop corruption we will not be able to keep to our ideals, all your efforts will not yield results and you will begin to hate both WES State and GOSS administration. Please, please let us all unite to stamp corruption out of this State, we need to be a model and I will champion over it. All those who will work with me need to take this message and implement it as it is 
 
1.5.12            LAND ISSUE

Land is a valuable resources and it is because of land that we continue to exist and it is because of land that the Northern Sudanese want to subjugate us and control our land, we all say NO and we fought for the liberation of our land. We will continue to defend it forever.
 
Our land is our national heritage, it will benefit us and the many, many generations to come, so we are custodians and we promise not to destroy the land. For the land will feed us and the generations to come. We should also note that we have to make use of the land by tilling it, while also accepting others to invest in this land, through formally agreed conditions that will better them and ourselves too. The land will remain a source of our capital investment.
 
The GOSS has appointed Southern Sudan Land Commission (SSLC) to come up with appropriate policy that will guide the use of land. USAID is supporting the process and Western Equatoria State was the first of the Ten States of Southern Sudan to be consulted and some of you contributed and inform the land policy development.  We will all make sure to protect the land and the land will also continue to provide us with all that we need.
 
I will put efforts in place to make sure that we have proper mechanisms that will allow proper land rights, land use and ownership specially for our women, disabled and the marginalized groups 
 
1.5.13            TRADITIONAL AUTHORITIES
The Southern Sudanese people have for so long been following rules established by either the Colonial or Northern Sudan elites. We are all aware that we as Southern Sudanese have the ability and the resources to establish and pursue our own versions of participatory governance, responsible and accountable leadership, we have prosperous communities that can grow and develop according to standards set by the people of Southern Sudan . Our Traditional communities do offer and present a great deal that is inspiring, progressive and worthy of emulation. As you all know, a great deal of African democracy is already in existence we should seek it out, protect it, and promote it with pride and determination.
 
I believe that the strength of our traditional authorities does provide an appropriate vehicle for Development of our state. What is required therefore is to strengthen the capacity of our traditional authorities for good governance and development at all the local levels.  We must empower our institutional structures, of our Kings, Chiefs, etc.  We will recognize their roles within the Government Structure as the Fourth element of our Government.
 
We will empower and strengthen the institution of Traditional Leadership by providing resources, training and technical support. Leadership can be cultivated and nurtured from a young age, as it is in my family. Good leaders continue to learn and master their skills while they are in office. Like other leaders, Chiefs and Kings do a lot of learning on the job, and the best, and most accountable leaders always learn from their peers as well as from their own mistakes.
 
Let me take this opportunity to recognize our Great Chiefs and  ask them to stand up so that I can extend my thanks for the positive role they played since the days of the SPLA liberation struggle to this very day. The traditional leaderships contributed greatly to the success of the SPLA/M struggle. It was during the liberation struggle that traditional leadership gave their best by providing resources to the SPLA, Food to the SPLA, and Soldiers to the SPLA. It was this traditional leadership that maintained a sense of stability and a system of governance when there were no governments in place. So once again we say thank you.
 
I want to ask His Royal Highness Sultan Wilson Hassan Peni to stand up. He is the Chairman of the Traditional Leadership of WES. He is one of the grand grand sons of “King Gbudue”, one of our historic greatest leader who fought the colonial powers, the successive Northern regimes and ruled this land with integrity. I say to all our Chiefs, thank you, thank you, and thank you.
 
Finally, I want in closing to thank the distinguished guests who spared their time to come to this ceremony, it is an expression of solidarity and support to us. I can see here the GOSS and GONU leaders, the NEC, Members of international community, ………, and all the other dignitaries, thank you.
_
Finally, I thank the Organizers of swearing ceremony from ……… and …… and all the members of the Western Equatoria Legislative Assembly. My special thanks to the sons and daughter of Western Equatoria who voted in the historic 2010 election. These men and women, many of whom are young in age, the age of strength, worked day and night to mobilize rallies across the 10 counties of Western Equatoria. We shall not let you down, for the future and  Western Equatoria and Southern Sudan belong to you.
Western Equatoria Oye!  Democracy oyeee!
 
I love you and May God Bless you all.

Comments
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03/06/2010, 3:01 PM
 - Posted by Deng Ruei
Commented by Deng Ruei Kong
3 june 2010

It was because of the good qualities that Bakosoro has, gave confidentiality to the people of W.E.S to elect him although he was independent candidate for the position of governorship. He is a good man who has trusted his people and the people trust him. He will do everything he promised during the time of his compaign. We are all waiting to see how he will react to the rebells of LRA who are doing bad activities in WES.

In fact corruption is nothing when leaders are not party to it. Those with concept of playing roles related to corruption are not happy if leader like governor isn't concern with corruption.

Even if the corrupts will not be happy with Bakosoro, all the communities of Western Equatoria State will appreciate their cleverness to elect Bakosoro in April 2010 elections to be governor of WES and they will ignore and taunt those corrupts.
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