By Aken Paankon Ngor Tong
July 13, 2011 (SSNA) — It’s the hope that the forefathers and the successive generations of this region fought immensely throughout the advent of civilization since 11century to the present– until they lastly achieve independence.
The quest for this metaphysical independence is as old as the death of those who fought for its realization and its geo-political course.
The journey that brought us to this day in history has been the roughest journey the world has ever known. From the onset of the Sudan’s instability since 1821 when our country got invaded first by Turkco-Egyptian rulers, under their leader, Mohammed Ali who helped envision army which was constituted by the slaves raided from the southern part of the then, “united Sudan”.
Later on in the same century, Britain form a condominium authority and had posted a double standard style of leadership which was wild to southern Sudanese who they considered savages and thus, could easily be ruled by military force, while in the north made plans to develop it.
This political singularity and isolation at all the parameters of governance and development haven’t stopped southern Sudanese in quest for their freedom. The collective struggle took different shapes; this has been witnessed in 1955 in Torit which experienced a mutiny orchestrated by the southern Sudanese sons and daughters on behest of the entire southern Sudanese. They group got charged by their mentors who pressed hard on Khartoum since 1947 to create ground for equal participation of all peoples in the Sudan or grant the South self rule, many of their comrades got martyred for the course of liberation might.
Despite the odds, they have cleared the path for possible insurrection for freedom not only in the south but throughout Sudan. It’s a living struggle born out of generations to generations for simple creed that, we will, at the very least and by mean last– achieve our prime target, the freedom.
Our mighty Army, the SPLA and its sister SPLM:
Unlike other Liberation Armies, SPLA left for the bush with one uniting factor; possible victory for freedom that we are celebrating today. It has never been easy for the SPLA/SPLM to climb up to the isle of liberation, an irksome and insurmountable ladder in the setting. There have been shortcomings caused by proposition and opposition of the movement’s strategy, but the SPLA/M managed to achieve its last end amidst numerous huddles.
The renowned battalions perished in the famous battles, and inherently reinforced by others to push ahead the same agendum of possible liberation out of long evocative ravages created by wars. Decades of liberation struggle has shown that south Sudan shall be a model for Africa and a symbol of the world.
South Sudanese did not buy their freedom but vied for its realization. We have scores of bitter memories of the past which may perhaps, become our experiences in the next front of governance.
When I look back and envisage the long path SPLA/M walked through, it makes me shed tears. It has never been perceived possible by the masses that there could be a possibility of winning the war and securing peace.
In time of difficulty, SPLA/M stood committed for the course of its objectives, in times of disagreement; SPLA/M never wavered in its quest for a free generation of South Sudan and Sudan as a whole.
This is our army, the people’s army that we would never lose even a hint of loyalty to. It’s that army with remarkable hefty incline to its promise, an audacity that each of us will one day stand a chance and say “we are free south Sudanese”.
The armed battalions that opened a page of successful rebellions and that sent a message to Khartoum without talking garrulously that South Sudan will never be taken for granted.
Of course, all the national assignments weren’t met without repercussions; many of our soldiers lost their lives in and out of the battles. They left scores of unfulfilled gaps in their families they left behind. They joined the movement gate crashing in huge numbers for our course, to be free citizens in our own country.
We are proud, our army have done us pride, and they shall be the fountain of our successful independence we are celebrating today.
The following are the battalions in random numerical : Koryom Battalion, 105 and 106, Tiger, Muor-mour, Ger-ger, Hadid, Jamus, Mukshasa, Nile, One-Zero-Four and Five, Sam Seven, Shark, Tumsaah, Twek-Twek battalion, Kiil, Leopard, Jarrad, Winch Battalion and many more battalions.
You are in the hearts of south Sudanese. This is your day you brought by blood. You didn’t think of trading your youthful ages for families’ pride, you made it for the whole of the south.
Though alive or dead, you are our martyrs, our foundation; your blood has cemented our unity and our national pride. With your might and dedication, we are able to move this country which once been at its desolation forward. Rest free if dead and hold up your heads if alive, you are our heroes and heroines.
The first phase of our liberation has come to final, now comes the next one which will challenge our pious to God and our Nation South Sudan. Though it may post a threat to our piquant unity, we are certain that you will walk over the odds united. All the citizens need is your unity at the government’s brass-top.
It doesn’t matter the party you serve, take South Sudan to your hearts. Experience taught us that countries which had received their independences were marred with coup d’états, the South will be exempted for we have our known history of unity and nationalism and mannerism.
We don’t talk thrust, our parties are national and serving the interests of the masses. The post independence will not be an easy period, but I remain convinced and with firm conviction that we shall find a breakthrough with zeal and might. We will put south Sudan as before and move forward as we often do without naught results ever surfaced.
At the political edge, our country, after independence, shall embark on helping people of the three areas of south Kordofan, southern Blue Nile and Abyei without leaving them in their malformed stage.
Geography won’t dictate their fate. Let us be those who fought for our freedom and helped ask for the freedom of our brothers and sisters who are equally confined in the manacle box of injustice, let us be those who freed every man and woman at the farthest shores, let us test our tools of international contribution through peaceful campaign to ending injustice and marginalization label on the few. We have done this in the past and will still taking it startlingly for God’ sake by helping those next our borders find justice.
We will not be the initiators of war but have divine right to defend our shores and our boundaries. Isaiah 18 will not be complete if we put narrow sarcasm of a few to other south Sudanese.
Together, we can build south Sudan which is tribal free, corruption free and clear it of other vices. Together, we are free and will forever last free.
So God bless South Sudan!!!!
Aken Paankon Ngor Tong is a Freelance writer/Journalist from Northern Bahr El Ghazal State, South Sudan. He is currently working for United Nation Mission in Sudan/Darfur as Inter Media Relation Officer and the author of the upcoming book “The Long Struggle”.