We are going to reflect on the historical struggle for the people of South Sudan in the fight for independence. South Sudanese people from all the corners of the country endured great challenges to create the South Sudan we know today. The SPLM/A-led struggle that steered South Sudan to independence was a culmination of previous struggles.
On 16 May 1983, Battalion 105 mutinied in Bor. This was later echoed by battalions 104, 106, and 107 in Ayod, Pibor, and Kapoeta, respectively. The message of the people’s struggle was later echoed in all marginalised areas of Sudan.
We are going to reflect on this day not as SPLM/A day but as the day South Sudanese people from all walks of life, regardless of religion, ethnicity, or political affiliation, united against injustice and marginalisation.
The focus of our reflection will be on the suffering we all endured during the struggle. Some special guests will share their experiences of the protracted struggle for independence in South Sudan.
The main purpose of this reflection will be to remind ourselves that our collective sufferings and efforts brought us to where we are today. The people who were born on the day Anyanya One took arms in 1956 are now in their early sixties. The people who were born on 16 May 1983 will turn 37 this year. The SPLM/A-promised seeds (child soldiers/red army) are in their forties and are yet to be sowed. The children born on 9 January 2005, when the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed, are now 15 years old and are either growing up in refugee camps or living at the edge of the country. The children born as South Sudanese people voted in a referendum to decide their final destiny from 9 to 15 January 2011 destiny are now 9 years old and are yet to experience South Sudan at peace. South Sudan has lost generations to war, illiteracy, economic exploitation, and more.
To guide our reflection, a set of questions will be drafted and forwarded to those who have expressed interest in the discussion.
SPLM/A 37th Anniversary Guiding Questions
1) What does this day mean to you?
2) What were some of your most memorable experiences during the struggle?
3) Why did we fight for the independence of South Sudan?
4) Have we achieved the aims and objectives of the liberation struggle?
5) What are the impacts of extended wars on South Sudanese people?
6) When and how will the South Sudanese diaspora contribute to development in South Sudan?
7) How can the South Sudanese Government attract local and foreign investors?
8) What role can technology play in the development of our country?
9) Have regularly updating government systems and departments been established?
9) How do we treat our people in need (people with disabilities, orphaned children, elderly people)?
10) What roles did local chiefs play during the struggle? What roles are they playing now?
11) Hon Chol Tong Myai says, “We are the foreign governors governing you.” What is your response to this statement?
12) How are South Sudanese people perceived by our regional and international supporters?
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