Malakal celebrates South Sudan’s independence anniversary for the first time since 2013
On 9 July, citizens in Malakal in central Upper Nile celebrated the seventh anniversary of the independence of South Sudan. This was the first time the day was commemorated since war broke out in 2013.
“Our state was once very rich, now we became poor, with our people scattered in different countries. During our struggle with the government of Sudan for more than twenty years, we have not experienced this kind of situation. Malakal which used to be peaceful is now destroyed,” said Achol Nyibong, a women’s representative who urges politicians in the country to put their differences aside and work for a greater common good.
The event to celebrate Independence Day was attended by a good number of displaced persons who are sheltering at the United Nations Mission in South Sudan’s protection of civilian site, and by people living in town. Representatives from the UN and non- governmental organizations who are working in the area were also present as the occasion, which was marked by colourful cultural performances by national dancers and Rwandan and Indian peacekeepers.
The Governor of Central Upper Nile, James Tor Monybony, urged the local communities to co-exist and work collectively for the benefits of all people.
“9 July is very important for us as the citizens of South Sudan. The independence of any country in the world is essential. Your government will exert efforts to bring peace and stability, so that we can celebrate every year. Our motto for this year is peace, security and production” Mr. Monybony said.
The Head of the Field Office in Malakal, Hazel Dewet, assured the commitment of peace-loving partners in assisting the warring parties in South Sudan to end the suffering of the nation.
“This is a message of peace and solidarity, South Sudan is just seven years old, you are the youngest nation in the world. It is important to recognize and understand what has been done to you to be able to celebrate this day,” the Head of Field Office said.
She said that the whole world is concerned about dire humanitarian situation a result of ongoing fighting across the country.
“We are very much aware that without peace there will be no development and I belief the rest of the international community would want to support you when you are stable,” Ms. Dewet said and added: “I hope that by this time next year we will have no child out of school and no protection of civilian site anywhere in South Sudan.”