Today, July 30th a day dedicated to the men and women who paid the ultimate price for our freedom is a day that we all must honour and spend well. A day of deep and honest reflection. A day memorable enough that we recommit to call to mind the spirits of our fallen comrades. The heroes and heroines whose love for their country surpassed their own lives. They died as martyrs; true lovers of our freedom, and the champions of liberty.
We acknowledge these fallen heroes and heroines as men and women who will forever remain as symbols of heroism and true leadership. Their death shaped our resolve; and the resolve was finally rewarded with the creation of a country we all can proudly and everlastingly call home. The visible and tangible manifestation that represent the love of all of our martyrs.
Our heroes and heroines on top of whom is our charismatic leader and our nation’s founding father, Dr. John Garang de Mabior, deserve undying respect and never to be forgotten by any South Sudanese anywhere in the world. Their ultimate sacrifice created a new country and home for us; and for all of the generations that shall follow. With due respect and acknowledgment, I salute our comrades. Our love for them is enduring; and it is for this reason that we are paying homage to their resolve in fighting for our freedom, welfare and glory of South Sudan.
In memory of our long lost comrades, I urge all South Sudanese to remain committed to the path of liberty and justice; with their quest for national cohesion. We are all duty-bound towards the betterment of our country. We must not allow its complete disintegration. This is now possible. What it requires to prevent, is that we all must shun detrimental sectional divisions; and work collectively to achieve a just society that is harmonious with itself, in a country where good governance and the rule of law are preconditions for the achievement of societal harmony, these are prerequisites for genuine and durable peace; and stability. Thereafter, we need good governance through competent and non-tribal leadership; leadership that will once again be able to stir the nation towards progress and sustainable development.
The United Nations defines the rule of law as “a principle of governance in which all persons, institutions and entities – public and private – including the State itself, are accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced and independently adjudicated; and which are consistent with international human rights norms and standards. It requires, as well, measures to ensure adherence to the principles of the supremacy of law, equality before the law, accountability to the law, fairness in the application of the law, separation of powers, participation in decision-making, legal certainty, avoidance of arbitrariness and procedural and legal transparency.”
Going by this definition, as a nation, we should be claiming without remorse that economic liberty has been guaranteed and attained; and that development in all socioeconomic sectors, is thriving given our hard-fought and died-for nation’s natural resources. None of this has happened due to bad and incompetent leadership; and its concomitant flouting of the rule of law, culminating in violence and insecurity throughout our country.
Peace is one pillar that we all must build; and subsequently, the question of insecurity will require no answers, as it will eventually vanish since it does not thrive at the expense of peace and the rule of law.
While honouring our heroes and heroines and paying homage to their selfless heroic deeds, we must also think of what rewards to give them. To me, the greatest reward that we can give to our martyrs, is not only the promise of a heavenly kingdom, but also the fulfilment of making our country great as they wanted it to be after the signing of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
In memory of our martyrs, I salute you all.
Sincerely and humbly yours,
Gen. Paul Malong Awan
Chairman and Commander-In-Chief
South Sudan United Front/Army.