July 9, 2011 is a good day to say thank you!
By Lul Gatkuoth Gatluak
August 2, 2011 (SSNA) — Like millions of South Sudanese who live far away from home and view the proclamation of the Republic of South Sudan on online transmitted television, sleep was not an issue that night. Almost about 9:00 P.M. central time, one made preparation to moved to wireless made area, where my Nook e-reader machine has able to received South Sudan T.V. in the internet. Thank to Becky Machar who sent me a link to view ceremony on, through my face book account.
July 9, 2011 is a great day to say thank you, first, to almighty God, and second to the millions of Southern Sudanese in various generations, who one way another struggled that South Sudan must gain its freedom. It is indeed a testimony day that our martyrs did not die in vain as president Salva Kiir Mayardit Stated in his maiden speech on the occasion of the independence proclamation.
The struggle for the African descend Sudanese freedom existed for a very long time. Despite many reasons, their country was robbed by various intruders.
In biblical time, the African descend Sudanese whose freedom was celebrated on July 9, 2011 inhabitated the present day Sudan since ancient humans evolved. King James version indicated that, “Ham” the son of Noah begot Cush and the rest of his brothers Mizriam, Put and Canaan; where Cush himself later had begotten his children including the mighty hunter Nimrod whom historians belief Nubians or the rest of Black Africans Sudanese might have traced their origination. It is unclear however, which child among Cush’s children Southern Sudanese originated from other than Cush himself or Southerners are from the line of one of his brothers take Put for example. One would retire here and only count on Cush.
The term “Cush” in the Old Testament, generally applied to countries south of Israelites. It has been used inter-changeably with Ethiopia, Egypt and the Sudan.
In reality, the following chapters in the bible mentioned the word Cush, Ethiopia and Egypt coordinately. Genesis 10: 6-20, 1 chronicle: 1-10, Ezekiel 29: 10, Psalm 68: 31, Isaiah 18: 1-7 and Jeremiah 46:9.
Base on all these facts, it has to be inferred here that, Cush included Egypt, Ethiopia, and the Sudan in early days and anciently occupied by African descend indigenous groups before modern arrangements were made.
The Cushite present in the area known today as Sudan was by far entailed by archaeological excavation of the sites on the Nile and beyond. Archaeologists confirmed human habitation near the river Nile valley during the Paleolithic period that took place about eight millennium B.C. followed by the Neolithic revolution.
Consequently in that stage, African Sudanese descend of Neolithic culture had begun settling in villages near the Nile valleys, surviving only on hunting, fishing and gathering grains for food. They also were among the first humans to start domesticating animals and plants as a reserve for use when food is deficient.
As time went on, contact between these African background people and their neighbors occurred along the Nile River mostly through Egypt. Such contact has to be categorized as the trigger cause of all crises which led to untold suffering and the delay of gaining freedom in many generations.
Arab invaders who intruded in the area as merchants looking for goods that were available in Sudan and highly needed in Middle East grasp the would have been African descend freedom in 1956, which led South Sudanese to opt only for armed struggle which result was celebrated on July 9 in Juba.
As this author already indicated that the 9 of July 2011 is a good day to say thank you! It is indeed the good day to thank million of Southern Sudanese but most importantly some notable figures. Among them included then educated southerners like Clement Mboro, Both Diu Thong, James Tambura and Philemon Majiok who were very much persuaded in 1947 Juba conference by both British colonial masters and Arab power seekers to agree the idea of granting Sudan an independence as a united State. Having seen the conspiracy of British and Northern Sudanese supported by Egypt to handover South Sudan to North Sudan, 13 delegates to the conference including the above mentioned individuals came up with the federal system ideas where Southern Sudanese could ruled themselves freely with in the united Sudan.
July 9, 2011 was also a good day to thank Army Company of the Equatoria Corps who on August 18, 1955 before independence mutinied in Torit contesting transfer to board trucks for Juba and proceed by steamer to Khartoum that sparked the first civil war in the country.
In February 1957 when the government of Abdallah Khalil authorized the minister of education to take charges of all missionary schools and integrated them into the national educational system by rapidly imposing Arabization to all programs in which, Arabic will replace English and be the language of instruction in the Southern schools that has to be accompanying by Islamization, such an act followed by Abbud in 1964 to expel all missionaries, the act of intimidation angered the most Southern senior politicians and church leaders who did not been associated with the mutiny of 1955. Important people like father Saturnino Lohure, Agrey Jaden, Joseph Oduho and William Deng Nhial as well as many other southern intellectuals fled the country and help energized the previously exile politicians in the fight for South Sudan independence, July 9, 2011 was a good day to thank them.
July 9, 2011 was a good day to thank important people such as Joseph Lagu, Gordon Mortot, Akwot Atem Demayin, and the late Joseph Akwon generally known as Otei, Dr Lawrence Wolwol, Elissapana K. Mulla, and Job Adier among others for leading us in Anyanya one era, and for their willingness to had able to negotiate peace in 1972 which made our problem widely known to the outside world.
July 9, 2011 is a good day to thank Vincent Kuany Latjor and those who were with him, who like the Equatoria corps, contested transfer to the North and rebelled in the town of Akobo in 1975 and later establish the training camp in Bilpam in Ethiopia border.
Then in 1982 when Nimeri administration decided to impose slamic law on Southern Sudanese, our leaders reacted swiftly and decided to rebel against the government, important people like Kerubino Kuanyin Bol, William Nyuon Bany, Salva Kiir Mayardit, Martin Majier Gai, Samuel gai Tut, William Chuol Deng, Dr. John Garang Demabior and many others fled the country and start the rebellion that has now become the last rebelling our people has taken. July 9, 2011 is a good day to thank them.
July 9, 2011 is a good day to thank, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, Dr. Lam Akol Ajangwin and Gordon Koang Chol, who in 1991 has questioned the objective of the South Sudanese movement, aiming that, “it was wrong for Southern Sudanese to liberate whole Sudan other than the cause of independence South Sudan.”
The list could be long and go on and on………….
Let, me sum this piece by saying, the day is a good day to thank gallant forces of the SPLA and all of us for questioning our rights from consecutive oppressors in the North.
Finally, let me not forgot that, it is a good day to thank the entire friends of Southern Sudan who stood up with us during our dark days. In the actual fact, the war left ever family in the South to witness a loss of loved ones and many more health has one way another been damaging. Let enjoy together and do not spoil this new borne State, number 54 in Africa and 193th in the world. The all time inspirational speech of Dr. King concluded, “Thank God almighty, we are free at last!!” This is the song we will be singing this year long in our hearts, thanking God for keeping his promises that South Sudan banner will indeed be raised on the mountain.
Lul Gatkuoth Gatluak resides in the United States; he can be reached at [email protected]