GOSS President's Speech on the Occasion of the Commemoration of Martyrs’ Day

GOSS President's Speech on the Occasion of the Commemoration of Martyrs’ Day, July 30th, 2010  at Dr John Garang De Mabior Mausoleum, Juba, South Sudan

My Dear Compatriots,

Distinguished members of the International Community,

Friends of the Sudan and Southern Sudan in particular,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me to extend my heartfelt salute to you all in the name of our glorious struggle for freedom, justice, equality, democracy and restoration of human dignity.

Before, I share with you my reflections on the historic memories of the heroic struggle of the Sudanese people, I kindly request you all to rise up and together we observe a minute of silence in memory and honour of our late leader and hero, Dr. John Garang De Mabior, whom we dearly lost on this 30th Day of July in 2005 and all our fallen heroes
and heroines without whose sacrifices our human worth would have remained a mere dream. Thank you!

Distinguished citizens,

Since 2006, this 30th Day of July has been dedicated for remembrance of the tragedy that befell us and in memoriam of all our dear ones who perished in order for us to be free. I would like us all to pay tribute to them and thank God for having created these brave souls whose memories will forever live with us.

These sons and daughters of our precious land paid the ultimate price with their precious blood in the course of our liberation struggle. The memories of the brave young men and women of BNS 104/105, Jamus, Tiger, Tumsah, Koryom, Muor Muor, Kazuk, Shakush and Zalzal among others shall remain indelibly etched in my mind. I recall them parading to shoulder and chanting the hymns of our great revolution.

We all owe a lot to those souls without whose sacrifices we would not have achieved the peace that we are enjoying today. Indeed the victory of our fallen heroes and heroines is the only legacy that wiped our tears and turned our hearty grief into joys. For without
their sacrifices there would neither have been peace nor a bright future for our people. In solace, these great souls will be remembered forever for their courage and the love for our home land.

Let us also remember that Dr John Garang De Mabior and all our other martyrs who died alongside him did not only die in the service of the people of Southern Sudan but also in that of the marginalized people all over the Sudan. Remember also that Dr John did not die as a Southern Sudanese but also as a national hero as demonstrated in his welcome reception by millions of people at the Green Square in Khartoum.


Looking in retrospect, the 22 years of SPLM/A struggle were not only a period of suffering in our history but more importantly they had also been an epoch during which your party was able to chart a new path that would take our country and people to new horizons. It now remains for academics and analysts to evaluate the role of the
SPLM/SPLA in shaping not only the destiny of the marginalized areas but Sudan’s history in general. As remarked one time by our late hero, Sudan shall never be the same again. The achievements of the SPLM/A and its leaders are now cast in stone.

My Dear Compatriots,

I have no doubt that present and future generations shall never fail to acknowledge the leadership of the SPLM/A, particularly the stewardship of this extraordinary man, on whose memorial grounds we now stand in remembrance. Indeed every one of us should never fail to acknowledge Dr John’s courage, vision and commitment to create a better Sudan for all. Dr. John Garang De Mabior was everything to us, a comrade in arms, a friend, a brother, a father and above all a revolutionary leader of all the oppressed and the marginalized people of the Sudan. And were Dr John to live his imprint would have gone
beyond the borders of our country.

As we commemorate and remember the life and death of our leader on this day, it is only fitting that we also remember all those very dear comrades who fell before him, with him and after him in the course of our struggle. We commemorate the lives of our comrades who died in the course of the liberation struggle from 1955 until the day when we would have casted the ballot to determine our own destiny on January 9th, 2011. We commemorate the lives of those civilians who died during the course of our struggle, particularly those who perished in the Juba and Wau massacres in 1965.

We shall be remiss if we do not remember all those who were assassinated in cold blood during the war of Anya nya, legendary examples include Fr. Saturnino Lohure and Comrade William Deng Nhial among others. We also remember all those who died in the 1990s in ghost houses allover Sudan, particularly in government controlled towns during the war. We cannot also forget all those who died of hunger and diseases due to the conditions of war. Let us also remember all those who died due to the wars we fought among ourselves, particularly during the inception of the liberation struggle and the
splits of the early 1990s. For these reasons, this day is not only the day to commemorate the martyrs but it is also the day of remorsefulness, forgiveness and reconciliation. Since the future transcends the past, I urge you all to forget the past mistakes and focus on making achievements that will lead our country to peace and prosperity.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is the responsibility of this government and future generations to cater for the needs and rights of all widows, orphans and parents who have been left behind by our fallen legends. Every family in Southern Sudan and all other war affected areas of the Sudan have recorded heroes and heroines. We also have in our midst comrades that have
aged in the course of the struggle and may not be actively engaged in the daily affairs of the society. There are also others who have had serious bodily harm during the war. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that everyone in society can afford a minimal
way of survival.

During the past five years, the Government of Southern Sudan has tried its best to provide assistance to the war disabled, widows, orphans and veterans through the relevant Commissions in addition to delivering support to similar groups in our society through the Ministry of Gender and Social Welfare. We will continue to work out better ways and means of meeting the basic needs of our people.

My dear countrymen and women,

On this 5th Anniversary of the Commemoration of our Martyrs, I call upon you all to become more vigilant and alert because it is the last commemoration before the forthcoming referendum. I therefore request Southern Sudanese of all walks of life both internally and externally to redouble efforts to ensure that on January 9th, 2011 we will vote massively to determine the future. All eligible voters of Southern Sudan origin will decide through the ballot box freely whether to remain part of a united Sudan or to form a separate and independent Southern Sudan. Do not miss this rare opportunity for this is a hard won right and the ultimate historical fruit of our long struggle.

As a culmination of the tenure of the Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), I call upon leaders at various levels of our institutions to particularly mobilize the population of Southern Sudan for the historic event. I equally call upon the international
community, particularly the United Nations, the African Union, European Union and other donor partners to assist the process overwhelmingly.

From our part as government, we will ensure a free, fair, transparent and peaceful environment for the conduct of the referendum exercise. I have always reiterated our stand that no amount of provocation will reverse the country back to war. It is only those who have never had adequate experience of the carnage of war who will dare to take the
country back to war. I appeal to all peace loving Sudanese to desist from any attempts to be dragged back to war. Let us say no to war and yes to peace!


There are still difficulties with regards to CPA implementation, which require solution. Instead of focusing on addressing such critical outstanding issues such as the North-South border demarcation, Abyei and the Post-referendum Arrangements which are now under discussion, people begin talking of making unity attractive. There are now a lot of initiatives at the zero hour to make unity attractive including development projects that may not even materialize. The National Civil Service Commission throughout the five years was reluctant to recruit Southern Sudanese to meet the 28% stipulated in the CPA. Now they are hurriedly recruiting them at the last hour I do not know what the objective is? Why was the work of the Commission delayed all this time? They want to create problems amongst Southern Sudanese because GOSS will be forced to relocate such recruits and will be forced to pay them money.

In any case for us in the SPLM/A, these outstanding issues must be resolved and they are not conditional to holding the referendum on time. There are people who would like to obstruct the process towards the holding of the timely referendum and they are causing unnecessary hurdles to achieve diabolic objectives. Let me reassure you that we are committed to overcoming any obstacles because to us every difficulty is surmountable and we will redouble efforts to ensure that the referenda in Abyei and Southern Sudan and the Popular Consultations in the two areas are held on time. I therefore call upon all Southern Sudanese and the people of Abyei who are eligible voters to register and turn out in big numbers to determine their destiny.

Last but not the least, we are now engaging the region, Africa and the international community to stay tuned in order to follow the political developments in the Sudan. We are urging all peace loving peoples of the world to recognize the outcome of the referendum in Southern Sudan. On January 9th 2011 our people will be voting in the
referendum whose choices are crystal clear and there should be no room
for confusion.

To the international community, I seize this opportunity to thank all those who have been treading with us the path in search of permanent peace. I would particularly thank our neighbouring countries of IGAD, the IGAD Partners Forum (IPF), the Arab League, the African Union, the United Nations, donor partners and the international community. I
urge you all to become even closer to us during these final hours of CPA implementation. The people of Southern Sudan will never forget your valuable contribution during the course of their struggle for freedom, justice, equality and democracy. Indeed there could be no other better day than the Martyrs’ day to acknowledge your significant support.

Once again, let us all call upon the spirit and patriotism of our martyrs to give us the strength, courage and wisdom required to complete our long journey smoothly.

To you our fallen heroes and heroines rest in peace and rest assured that your vision and memories will live with us forever!

Long live the SPLM,
Long live the SPLA,
Long live the Sudanese people,
Long live the Government of Southern Sudan,
God bless you all!

Thank you.

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