EES Commemorates 56th Anniversary Of Torit Uprising

Eastern Equatoria State successfully marked the colourful 56th Anniversary of the historic Torit Uprising on Thursday in the State capital Torit. Gurtong media witnessed the historic occasion that is believed to have marked the liberation struggle in the new State.

EES Commemorates 56th Anniversary Of Torit Uprising
EES Governor Lobong Loroje (in suit) joins traditional dancers at Torit Freedom Square on 18 August 2011 to mark Torit Uprising Day [©Gurtong]

By Peter Lokale Nakimangole
TORIT, 20th August 2011 [Gurtong] – Eastern Equatoria State successfully marked the colourful 56th Anniversary of the historic Torit Uprising on Thursday in the State capital Torit. Gurtong media witnessed the historic occasion that is believed to have marked the liberation struggle in the new State.
 
As early as 8.00 am, the State Government officials led by Governor Louis Lobong Lojore with a convoy of vehicles, conducted visits to key correlated historical places beginning with Himodonge; 1955 Martyrs’ mass grave, then to the Late Fr. Saturnino Lohure’s mausoleum and finally to the Martyrs’ Freedom square.
 
At the Martyrs’ Freedom square, Government officials led by the governor paid a tribute to the grave of the Late Brigadier Dheiu Warabek Ayuel who was ambushed and killed at Khor English by Khartoum soldiers.

The Government pledged to build a modern mausoleum for the late Dheiu including the late Marting Manyiel whom the EES’ Roads and Transport Minister Hon. Peter Karlo Otim described as a very courageous senior freedom fighter.
 
After the visits, the procession which included members of the armed forces, school children, students and different cultural dancers started at the Martyrs’ freedom square heading to Torit Freedom square where speeches were delivered.
 
The Master of Ceremony, Mr. Victor Gaitano welcomed the Government officials and kept informing the crowd on the day events.

Retired vicar General Joseph Ukello led Christians in prayers while Hon. Hassan Urbano Alex prayed for the Muslim faithful.

The Organizing Committee Chairperson, Hon. Peter Otim Karlo thanked the Governor for the coordination task while Hon. Alm Thomas the Chairperson for Women Association appealed to the Government to step-up efforts in supporting war orphans especially in paying school fees and seeking employment.

A war veteran representative narrated in depth on how the liberation struggle started in Torit while giving more details on the uprising.  
 
In his opening remarks, the State Governor, Louis Lobong Lojore congratulated South Sudanese for tremendous efforts that made the independence of the nation a reality. He described the occasion as a great making of the Equatorian people. The Governor called for hard work from all South Sudanese citizens so as to build the new nation.
 
He said that the freedom gained was not as cheap as other people may think. Millions of lives were lost for it. “Let us protect our freedom. We must cooperate and work hard especially in the economic sector. We must be united to make this freedom a reality,” expressed Lobong while condemning corruption and tribalism.

The host Commissioner of Torit, Hon. Felix Otuduha Siro also praised the Southerners for the great contribution during the referendum. “It is time to give thanks to our fallen martyrs,” he urged the crowd.

Deputy Speaker, Hon. Paul Napwon Yonae called for the protection of orphans by Governments at Federal and State levels respectively. Hon. Napwon also appealed to the State citizens to rally behind the State Government by cooperating for healthy relations and better service delivery.    
 
Governor Lobong was the Guest speaker as there was no representative from the Government of the Republic of South Sudan present. Among the key dignitaries who graced the commemoration were top State government officials including the State Deputy Governor Hon. Nartisio Loluke Manir, all Cabinet Ministers, Advisors, 4 Commissioners of Kapaotea South Hon. Martin Lorika; Kapotea North Hon. Lokai Iko Loteyo; Magwi Hon. Peter Ochilo Bongomin and Torit Commissioner Hon. Felix Otuduha Siro.

Also present was the Commander of Brigade 9, Division 2, Mayom Riak Alaak, Commanders from the organised forces, State MPs and State Directors for Independent Commissions.

The Day is honoured annually as it marks the start of the liberation struggle when south Sudanese fired the first bullet against Arabs solders in Torit, at the present day Martyrs Freedom Square.

“Saturnine Olire was the first person to shoot the postmaster while Franco Otilo Dominic was the first person to shoot at captain Salah (an Arab soldier) leaving his left arm injured but survived the ordeal. Captain Salah was shot in retaliation after shooing his driver known as Mr. Bin (a South Sudanese),” narrated Hon. Marcello Dominic Otwari.

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