President Addresses 100,000 at Wau Stadium
By Andrew Apiny Macham
On Wednesday 14th March 2012, the president of the republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit arrived in Wau - Western Bahr el Ghazal. He was escorted with heavy security personnel from the airport to the state Council of Ministries back to Wau stadium where he addresses thousands of people.
Before delivering his speech he jumped on a pick up truck and moved around the field waving his hands as sign of greeting the audience.
His visit to Western Bahr Ghazal State has attracted thousands and thousand of people yearning to see and hear from their president. Salva’s visit to Western Bahr el Ghazal State came following an invitation letter sent to him by the state governor to come and witness the swearing in of the state Governor for three years in office and the signing of the State transitional constitution into law.
The function was overwhelmed by Thousands of citizens and other significant dignitaries which included the National Minister of Higher Education, Religious Leaders, the Minister of agriculture, the Governor of Warrap state, the Governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal state, the Govenor of Central Equatoria State and high profile WBGS Cabinet Ministers, Legislative Assembly members and other distinguish guests.
The president addressed over a hundred thousand citizens of the Western Bahr el Ghazal addressing five major areas of concern, that is, state constitution, citizenship, the wrangle between the two nations and oil, disarmament all with the message of hope.
In his first remarkable speech the president said “This is my first time to address such a gathering in Western Bahr el Ghazal as your president since after independence. I must say this freedom it was not freely given, but through your sacrifices and struggles for the last twenty one years have given you this fundamental freedom. This is the freedom which you and I were looking for, in which 2.5 million people lost their lives, in which you cast vote against unity during the referendum. Now it’s time to enjoy your struggles, sweat, though it has been long and painful you have got it.
For the last few years, we have achieved this freedom and become self-sufficient , at least now there is a bit improvement in terms of road construction and buildings, when I came in those days, and the road was too much dusty, most of the buildings were thatching as well as there being poor sanitation. Today there is change, at least there is a little tarmac road from the airport to the State Council of Ministries and Legislative assembly, new buildings are coming up, this tells me we are moving forward. Not only that, today you made a great significant move, your state Government has enacted the law, this constitution will guide you in all thing you do, I therefore, ask you to respect it, if you respect the constitution, then the law will respect you. Perhaps some of you are thinking that this constitution has its own autonomy apart from the national constitution, your state transitional constitution is not different from that of the National transitional constitution that is why it has been passed at the National level by the Ministry of Legal Affairs into law before it came down to you. You have to respect it and do what it says.
Ladies and Gentlemen! To proceed on I would like to bring to your attention our relationship with Sudan and South Sudan, Sudan as a nation of its own sovereignty has articulated very clearly that South Sudanese who are in the North have no rights to have access to services unless they are given citizenship.
We are all having the right to be in South Sudan or Sudan you have equal rights to live in South Sudan or in Sudan. Those who have chosen to stay either in South Sudan or Sudan must be given National ID Cards as citizens. The choice is yours if you want to be South Sudanese you are most welcome, feel free to get your citizenship right and be a South Sudanese citizen. We don’t have any problem with anyone who wants to be citizen, we didn’t separate because of racialism but it was because of self determination. We are not against anybody providing that you are following the right channel.
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Once again, I want to enlighten you about the wrangle between Sudan and the South Sudan in the border, South Sudan as nation it has its own autonomy, and has rights to protect its territory from any invasion specially those disputed areas, my government is aware of the daily aggression by the Sudan army forces through air bombardment used on both Unity and WBG states.
The borders issue remains our biggest challenge, Sudan wants to grab our territory by force because of ongoing discoveries of oil and other minerals resources. The government of South Sudan will not let this happen, my government is determined to make sure our terrain remains ours according to the 1956 British demarcation and as it was agreed in the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).
Regarding oil my government has taken a decision and closed down oil production pipelines, this came after the Government of South Sudan discovered the Sudanese had stolen 600,000 drums of oil which is equivalent to 800 million Dollars, it’s a sad story anyway. Our plan now is that we are constructing two pipelines one in Luma port Kenya and another in Ethiopia. After setting up these your oil will be safe no one will steal it again.
Ladies and gentlemen as I conclude my speech, I would like to inform you about the issue of disarmament which is going on in Bor Town, the Capital of Jonglei state. Together, the Government have deployed 15,000 South Sudan soldiers to deal with those who have the weapons. This will not be only in Bor town alone but across all ten states of South Sudan, those who will not surrender their weapons peacefully then my government will do all she can to make sure no weapons are left to civilians. So you better lay down your guns before you will be subjected to face legal military actions during the process. Thank you so much God bless South Sudan. After the ceremony His Excellency Salva Kiir left to Northern Bahr el Ghazal for another swearing in.