By Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa.Umoja Standard.
Kampala, Uganda: His Excellency Simon Juang Deng, the South Sudan envoy to Uganda appeal to south Sudanese to protect the laws of Uganda and be law abiding citizens urguing that they have been hosted well so they in turn should conduct themselves well.
He clang to leaders of South Sudanese in different parts of Uganda to tell young people to be law abiding not to cause trouble as a way of also ensuring the mission’s course of operating within Ugandan laws.
Read History of SPM/A here.
“As a diplomatic mission, we are responsible for many things including protection and welfare of south Sudanese people in the host country as part of our mandate and we really appreciative to the government of Uganda led by the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and Ugandan people who have hosted South Sudanese all over the country.”. Amb. Deng.
(L R) Ambassador Simon Juang Deng, South Sudan envoy to Uganda and South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit.
On the 40 years of SPLM/A, he said, indeed it was a revolutionary movement that grappled with realities of running the country and was against this background that he recognized the achievements delivered to the people of South Sudan that are overweighing, ‘thank you all who supported struggle in action and other ways.
He pleaded to the people of South Sudan so that they can realize stability and peace that the political leaders are able to discuss and sort things out
He went to appeal to the East African bloc where it is a member since 2018 that peace peace should prevail and for this he revealed that they also contribute to the stability in the region as they have over 300 forces in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to ensure peace.
On economic and integration, he revealed that S. Sudan economy has improved since 2018 with implementation of Peace, it is a strategic trading partner not only for Uganda but for the whole of East African Community (EAC).
“We have areas of investment, please come for example South Sudan is an agricultural area, people say we have oil, yes but 60% of the land is arable but according to statistics, we are now utilizing 4%. We really need to utilize agriculture and industrialization then use oil to catalyze the economy rather than being the backbone.” Said Amb. Deng.
“And this connects us to the integration within the east African integration framework, you know south Sudan became a full member of East Africa in 2016, this is big and one of the fastest growing economic blocs in the world. It’s a home to over 300 million people with an economy of over US$300Billion thereby making it a big market but we have not taken up that opportunity well and also at the political level, we need to expedite our political integration, the custom union so that a Uganda travelling to South Sudan and vice versa uses the ID, we are not yet there but we have to do that and so that even a South Sudan Student studying from Uganda should not be seen as an international student but as a local student in the East African Community custom to all of us.” He added.
He revealed however, that despite improved economic trade, there is a major challenge that they are discussing with the leadership of this country and within the East African Community, ‘we have some armed groups that have failed to join the peace agreement and these are the people attacking businessmen, travelers on the roads and cause trouble so that they make South Sudan look like is causing troubles with neighbors therefore am appealing to you, South Sudanese people here, our international friends in the region, please talk to these people, we are talking to them but you also may know somebody who knows somebody, we need to tell them to come home, if you have any issues come we discuss’.
Major General Kuol Dend Abot, the Director General for external and Public Relations Ministry of Defesce and Veteran Affairs in South Sudan narrated that the liberation of South Sudan had many hiccups starting with denial of federal system by the Khartoum Government and with this, the population continued to look like third class people in their own country.
“What made matters worse with the discovery oil in the southern part of the country, the Khartoum government tried to redraw the map taking a big part of it in addition to building the refinery in Khartoum instead of having it in the region where oil was discovered”. Said Maj. Gen. Kuol Deng Abot.
He said that the 1983 struggle however ended with all leaders of the formation dead including the founding father Dr. John Garang in plane crash near Juba in 2005, the Capital of now South Sudan leaving only H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit, the current president of the country.
He in the end expressed that their struggle climaxed in attainment of independence that all South Sudanese are enjoying today and therefore it is worthy to celebrate sacrifices offered.
This he said while he delegated the Chief of Defense Forces of South Sudanese Army.
The same arrangement was done is South Sudan where President Salva Kiir Mayardit saluted officers who led formations SPLM.A, chief among them, Late Dr. John Garang de Mabior who successfully marshaled the struggle towards the attainment their aspiration of a free and independent South Sudan.
“Let us pay homage to those who paid ultimate sacrifice during the war of national liberation. Without the courage we would not have achieved our objective of free and independent south Sudan.” He stated.
“At this fortieth anniversary of our movement, I would like to inform you that my intention to restore stability in the country remains unshaken. We will continue the implementation of the Revitalized Peace Agreement under the Roadman 2022 through the implementation of its remaining provisions. Despite the challenges that may be in this noble task, we are determined to give you, the citizens the right to choose your leaders through credible, transparent and fair elections come 2024.” He added.
He vowed that there will be no another extension of this transition period and that those who are doubting their ability to remain peaceful during the upcoming period, he assured that there will be return to war under his watch.
“With this work in progress, I am calling upon you citizens to support us the parties the parties to the Agreement by embracing peaceful co-existence among yourselves. Let us all say no to violence and choose peaceful means in resolving our differences. I wish you all happy 40th Anniversary of the sounding of the SPLM/A.” He revealed.
About South Sudan.
Republic of South Sudan, is a landlocked country in East Africa. It is bordered by Ethiopia, Sudan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, and Kenya. Its population was estimated at 10,913,164 in 2022. Juba is the capital and largest city.
South Sudan gained independence from Sudan on 9 July 2011, making it the most recent sovereign state or country with widespread recognition as of 2023.
Between 9 and 15 January 2011, as a consequence of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, a referendum was held to determine whether South Sudan should become an independent country and separate from Sudan, and 98.83% of those who took part voted for independence.
On 23 January 2011, members of a steering committee on post-independence governing told reporters that upon independence the land would be named the Republic of South Sudan “out of familiarity and convenience”.