South Sudan – Free At Last

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“We thank God at this time, the birth of a new nation, South Sudan, is real,” proclaimed Paul Deng Chol, an Anglican priest in Juba, South Sudan.

This was one of many statements of gratitude expressed by South Sudanese citizens as they waited to celebrate their Independence Day on Saturday, July 9, 2011. The new nation is the 54th country in Africa, and the Republic of South Sudan, as it is officially called, is the world’s 196th country.

July 9, 2011 was actually the second time the people of South Sudan have observed an independence day. As pointed out by the Africa Messenger, “On January 1, 1956, the nation of Sudan officially became independent of British rule, and the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum immediately began a campaign of persecution in the south of Sudan, including the expulsion of most foreign missionaries.” Independence from Great Britain brought nothing but suffering and deprivation to black African South Sudanese. This time around, the people of South Sudan had far more to celebrate.

In January of this year the citizens of South Sudan participated in a referendum on secession, a provision of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended the more-than-twenty year civil war between the North and the South. Southern Sudanese voted overwhelmingly (over 98%) to separate from northern Sudan during the referendum. Until the signing of the CPA, Christian-dominated South Sudan was under siege by the Islamic northern regime that was attempting to impose Islamic law and Arab culture on the African Christians and moderate Muslims of the South and other marginalized regions.

Dr. Grant LeMarquand, Professor of Mission and Biblical Studies and expert in Sudanese Christian history notes that, “Sudan has a painful history of civil conflict.”

Even as Sudan was being given its independence from Great Britain, northern efforts to Islamize southern Sudan led to a civil war between the Arab northerners and non-Arab southerners that lasted from 1956 to 1972. A ten-year period of peace followed the signing of the Addis Ababa Agreement. But the agreement was abrogated by Khartoum just as South Sudan was set to become autonomous, and so the more recent and even bloodier phase of the civil war began in which over 2.5 million people died and about 5 million were displaced as refugees inside and outside the country.

Sudan’s methods of war were distinctive in their targeting of civilians – men, women, and children. They included arrests, torture, and executions, government-orchestrated starvation, aerial bombardment of civilian targets, and the abduction and enslavement of hundreds of thousands of women and children. It was a terrible time for the people of South Sudan.

On Saturday, July 9, however, the people of South Sudan eagerly put the final touches on the long awaited Independence Day celebration. On this day, South Sudan was free from the Islamic Shariah- oriented regime based in Khartoum. July 9th will be one of the most significant days in history of South Sudan.

According to the Minister of Roads and Transport for the government of South Sudan, Mr. Anthony Makana, about two thousand dignitaries, including heads of states, had been invited to attend the ‘Big Day,’ or ‘The Declaration Day’, as many referred to it here in Juba, the capital of the new Republic of South Sudan. Workers were busy day and night, putting together the final touches on the single runway at Juba International Airport.

In interviews with the BBC, Makana disclosed, “Juba International Airport will be receiving about 70 to 80 planes” during the week of celebration. “The airport has never received planes at night since South Sudan was created,” he said. But the Government of South Sudan assured the world that the airport was well lit and adequately equipped to meet international standards that ensure safety and security. Sources close to the Government of South Sudan have also confirmed that notices had been circulated to the public that the airport will not operate for the usual commercial flights from the 6th through 12th of July, 2011. This was to accommodate the landing and takeoff of both chartered and presidential jets, which will be ushering invited dignitaries from around the world in and out of Juba.

Juba and other towns across South Sudan were ready and waiting to receive visitors. A thorough cleaning of the less than 10 miles of paved roads in the city of Juba and beautification of the streets took place. Posters adorned the streets expressing the people’s thoughts and emotions about the long-anticipated day. “This is our new country,” “Celebrating the birth of a new nation,” and “Thank you, Dr. John Garang de Mabior” ranked high among the declarations.

Garang, the head of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/SPLA), became the first president of the regional government of South Sudan and the first vice president of Sudan following the signing of the CPA. He was killed six months later in a helicopter crash, returning from Uganda to Sudan. It speaks enormously to the courage and resilience of the people of South Sudan that they continued on in the face of this crushing blow, but they will never forget his leadership.

Another giant board with a portrait of SPLA soldiers was positioned close by the premises of the University of Juba. This billboard read, “We fought, suffered, survived, and won the freedom together from the oppressor.” Just like patriotic Americans thank the troops who ensure their continued freedom, the people of South Sudan are grateful to the troops of the SPLA who endured so much for the sake of finally securing their freedom.

Shops, kiosks, houses, and government residents were painted and decorated. Some shops along the roads around Dr. Garang Memorial Museum had been demolished to provide the place where the president of South Sudan, H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit was to address the nation. Rehearsals involving several choirs had just ended last week for the performance of the new South Sudan National Anthem. One school teacher from Juba Girls’ School had mentioned that several choirs, including those from the churches, schools, and other institutions, were to perform on the big day.

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  • phill

    Thank God they r finally free

  • Laura Latini

    Let us be clear on one thing: the Khartoum government would never have signed so much as a ceasefire – let alone what they must have realized was a surrender – unless they had been beaten comprehensively, on the field of battle, beyond retrieval, beyond endurance, and in spite of their total superiority in weapons and money. The only guns and weapons the southerners had were those they took from their enemies. And yet they won._"…a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal._…The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. "

  • SHmuelHaLevi

    G.d bless them. From all Israelis.

    • Raymond in DC

      Israeli papers noted not only the celebrations of independence among the thousands of Sudanese* refugees in the country, but preparations for the first humanitarian aid shipments sponsored by IsrAid. South Sudan will need all the assistance they can get.

      * Not all of them are from South Sudan; most are from Darfur and Northern Sudan.

    • Larry C.

      You are so right to say that. We of the CHRISTIAN FAITH THANK GOD ALMIGHTY THAT HE HAS ALLOWED THIS TO HAPPEN ALSO. Now they can Worship, and do as they please without the possibility of being killed for there beliefs.

  • Chezwick_mac

    It's going to be a long, hard slog. These people need our help. I hope it's forthcoming.

  • StephenD

    Laura, I agree with you. But Chez is right. Remember, with friends like the US….Our President granted a waiver to North Sudan so they may continue to receive our tax dollars in aid even if they use CHILDREN as SOLDIERS. Now why would anyone grant such a waiver? How could this ever be justified? Our President knows who would use children as soldiers and has no problem with it. He does EXACTLY what an Islamist would do. He chocked up at the tragic loss of a 10 year old life from a madman in Texas but doesn't blink an eye while granting waivers to 4 countries to use children in battle. The man is EVIL.

  • LindaRivera

    Massive numbers of Christians were taken for slaves by cruel Arab Muslims.
    May every slave be free one day!

    Jihad Slavery in Sudan, with Dr Charles Jacobs

  • LindaRivera

    The free world must help the desperate people of the Nuba Mountains who face genocide from the excessively cruel Islamic Khartoum regime!

  • SHmuelHaLevi

    I am joyously joining those that celebrate that poor people's freedom from evil.
    They deserve our help and will get it as much as we can.
    The Nubian people is now being massacred by the same islamic monster, a convicted mass murderer. They will also overcome.
    They, both South Sudan and the Nubian region have very large oil reserves and they must use them to advance their own interests.

    A good day for humanity!

  • UCSPanther

    Something tells me that South Sudan may need to set up a similar military model to Switzerland if it hopes to survive. I don't think Omar Bashir and his minions in Khartoum are going to take kindly to this defeat…

  • Dispozovdaburka

    "Contingent political circumstances may abolish the"dhimmi" condition by abrogating the dissymmetric relationship, but the archetype will not necesarilily be destroyed, since it exists independently of wirtten laws within the collective psyche, from whence it can inspire the ideology. The archetype, having now become something fluid and abstract-a model of reference-draws its obsessive force from the past, and ,making selective use of political factors in the present, it seeks a reincarnation in suitable circumstances in the future. Thus the archetype retains the potential of recreating the 'dhimmi ' condition inthr future,, even if this conditiojn is temporarily abolished by historical contingencies, such a the successful revolt of the oppresed group or its expulsion. For the archeytype, even though emptied of its substance, survives in its own ideological structure, whose function is to elaborate and select those factors which will eventually…

  • Dispozovdaburka

    implement it in the future. The archetype fashions the condition, which is simply its incarnation in reality. Archetype and condition are dialectically interconnected, the one reinforcing the other. This dynamic relationship between the archetype and its incarnation in reality may be observed in the Arab-Israel war, which were caused, on the one hand, by the "umma's " desire to restore a former conditon through their Arabazation of Israel, and, on the other, by the resistance of the Israelis. Here one sees an attempt to reaffirm the original acqisitions of the "JIHAD AND THE "dhimma". The archetype appears in the language use: the very fact of proclaiming that Israel is "Arab" implies that the Jews are necessarily a "dhimmi" people condemned to suffer Arab implies that the Jews are necessarily a dhimmi people condemned to suffer Arab sovereignty in its homeland…..

  • Iceni

    Have you seen their flag yet? It is a St. Andrews cross.

  • Dispozovdaburka

    Continued… In the logic of Arab history, "Arab Palestine" and "Jewish dhimmi status" are synonymous, Arab Palestine and even "Palestine" – the latter inherited from Roman imperialism – foreshadow the implementaton of the "dhimmi" condition for the Israelis whe the appropriate hour will come. Bat Ye'or Pg 129 Jews & Christians under islam.

  • DeShawn

    Yeah, the freedom of South Sudan is a good thing for sure. And I'm sure you folks are gonna be just as ready to celebrate when Palestine is freed from Zionist control in September. I can hear it now: "Oi vey, but that's different! Only goyim aren't allowed to oppress people! We jews do as we please!"

    • ziontruth

      "And I'm sure you folks are gonna be just as ready to celebrate when Palestine is freed from Zionist control in September."

      No, DeSchutzstaffel. Unlike you, freedom-loving people find nothing to celebrate about the establishment of yet another Islamonazi base from which jihad against the non-Muslims is waged.

  • ziontruth

    They are deserving, and the various Muslim "nations" are not deserving.

    Bush should have dedicated his presidency to propping up states of this kind—infidel states, natural allies, not failed "nation-building" efforts toward the Muslims that result in giving Islamic theocrats more and more bases from which to wage jihad.

  • LibertyMan

    It wasn't really a civl war. It was genocide and modern slave trade against Christians and non-arab muslims by bigoted Islam.

    • Faith

      Thank you, LibertyMan, for pointing that out. I hardly ever use the term civil war about it unless I call it the "so-called civil war" or something similar, but my South Sudanese colleague, Rev. John C. Daau had used the term, (being used to having to be more diplomatic than I am!) so I left it that way. But you are so right. It was a genocidal jihad just as is what is taking place in the Nuba Mountains and Darfur right now.

  • soloman4israel

    i notice you have put the same thought into your badly informed comments as you always do (we jews do as we like) (non jews are not allowed) well i wonder then ? radical islam/ muslims,are they not non jews,how about most of the worlds problems are all these because of jews,under your thoughts the problems in china india tibet russia just to mention a few are all our fault.
    do not say in your comments(we jews) you are not one of us, you should not and are not fit to use the( we word) in any way/meaning,re name your-self DESHAW EMPTY HEADED JEW HATER.

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