The SPLM/A celebrations were marked in style in Wau, Western Bahr el Ghazal State. [Gurtong/ James Deng Dimo]
By James Deng Dimo
WAU, 16 May 2012 [Gurtong] - The celebrations were led by the Western Bahr el Ghazal State Governor Brigadier Rizik Zackaria Hassan and graced by key government officials.
The celebrations began a few minutes past midnight amid gunshots to symbolise the important day in South Sudan’s history.
The fete was marked by a procession from the SPLM State Secretariat office to Wau Main Square where several officials delivered speeches, including those on the history of the liberation struggle in South Sudan.
Governor Hassan told the gathering that defending South Sudan’s territory lay in the hands of the youth.
“No one can accuse you of fighting for your country and rights. I hereby inform the youth that anyone who wants to join the SPLM is welcome and should register with their respective County Commissioners”, he said.
Brigadier General Stephen Gawer Manyok who spoke on behalf of the 5th Infantry Division commended the SPLA forces for their effort during the struggle and in protecting the sovereignty of South Sudan.
“The freedom we are enjoying today is not a gift from anybody but something we rightfully fought for and nobody can claim it from us because our gallant SPLA forces have the capability to defend it”, he said.
He added that the SPLA will not allow external aggression by the Sudan Armed Forces, adding that the army will liberate the towns of Heglig, Abyei, Gafia Gengi and Huforanas.