By Aldo Ajou Deng Akuey

When the first bullet of freedom broke out from the barrel of a gun on 18 August 1955, all South Sudanese rose up in unity behind their leaders: fr. Saturino Lohuhre, Aggrey Jadeen, William Deng, Joseph Oduho, Gordon Mortat and Joseph Lagu, the SANU/Anya-Nya-one top leaders from 1955 to 1983. The vision and mission was the sole liberation of territorial integrity of Southern Sudan, total freedom and independence from Khartoum, within the bounds of its three provinces of Equatoria, Bahr Al Ghazal and Upper Nile, as they stood from 1.1.1956, the time the British and Egyptians colonisers left Southern Sudan and Sudan. The SANU/Anya-Nya-one failed to accomplish the mission.

In 1980, the Anya-Patroitic-Front reenforced by Anya-Nya-two took off for a new liberation leadership, principled on Anya-Nya-one. This new leadership was composed of: Gordon Mortat Mayen, Elia Duang Arop, Dr. Mayar Akoon Wakbeek, Dr. Ajou Akuen Ajou, Agolong Chol and others (for Anya Patriotic Front, from 1972 to 1983). The extended Anya-Nya-Two leaders: Akuot Atem Mayen, Gai Tut, Abdellah Chuol, Joseph Oduho, Benjamin Bol Akok and others. They were united on the ground in South Sudan and abroad, fighting for independence of one South Sudan.

On 16 May 1983, Col. John Garang de Mabior, Major Kerubino Kuanyin Bol, major William Nyuon Beny, major Salva Kiir Mayardit, major Ngor Maciec, ignited the new liberation fire, this time from Bor, Jonglei military garrison and moved their military base to Ethiopian borders. Here Dr. John group joined hands with Anya-Nya-Two leaders. Dr. John and Anya- Nya-Two leaders, then in Ethiopia, differed on vision and mission over separating South Sudan from Sudan and unifying New Sudan approach. But, eventually, they two agreed to unity of their forces in one army one movement.

On 18 August 1983, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLA/SPLM) were born. The SPLA/SPLM led by Dr. John, in its new manifesto and constitution, trajectories for liberation settled for revolution of what emerged to be known as “New Sudan;” taking the Sudan and South Sudan as a unit. Dr. John planned to transformed the Sudan for all the Sudanese, not just for the “Arab minority clique,” governing Khartoum and colonising South Sudan since 1956. Dr. John, in his capacity as a charismatic, political philosopher with major ideological commitments and as a good solider, managed the leadership of the Movement to a successful peaceful resolution in 2005. The 9 January 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the SPLM and Khartoum Government, signed by Dr. John and President Al Bashir respectively, broke opened the way for democratic referendum, favouring yet, the successful unanimous vote of 99% for independence on 9 January 2011. Thus, for veterans freedom fighters, President Salva Kiir Mayardit, Dr. Riek Machar Teny and their colleagues in the leadership of the SPLM and Government, along with all the citizens of South Sudan, raised the Flag of the SPLM/SPLA, turned National, in the image of the abled leader John Garang, the people and the sovereign nation of South Sudan among the world nations.

This is the sovereign Independence Day we are about to commemorate and celebrate together in unity. We fought for it together, we voted unanimously for it together and we raised its flag together on 9 July 2011. There cannot be a genuine reason, whatsoever, for any one of us to refrain over the celebration and honouring of our sovereign flag since it is void of any political contention.

In my opinion the Opposition parties can celebrate alone in the premises of their parties if they don’t want to Join President Salva Kiir’s State celebrations, tomorrow 9 July 2019 at the freedom square.

God bless
Peace and security ever
Violence and war never. Aldo Ajou Deng Akuey

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