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Thousands turn out in state capitals to mark 9 July

Authors: Charles Wote | Garang Abraham | Deng Dimo | Published: Tuesday, July 9, 2019

South Sudanese wave the flag of their new country in the capital Juba on July 9, 2011 to celebate the nation's independence from Sudan. South Sudan separated from Sudan to become the world's newest nation. Credit: Roberto Schmidt

Citizens in the state capitals turned out in thousands to mark the eighth anniversary of independence, as the official celebration in Juba, was canceled due to the economic situation.

On Monday, the government spokesperson, Michael Makuei, said there would be no national celebration to mark the 8th Independence Day.

Makuei attributed canceling of the official celebrations to the economic situation facing the country.

Independence Day, which is annually held on July 9, celebrates South Sudan’s independence from the Sudanese rule on that date in 2011.

But some states across the country, including the IDPs in POC in Juba, held public rallies to mark the day.

Citizens in Gbudue, Maridi, Jonglei, and Gogrial states gathered to celebrate the day.

Addressing a rally, the Governor of Gbudue State, Daniel Badagbu, said South Sudanese should strive to solve their own problems.

“Now we are celebrating our own identity as South Sudanese people. The issue of the war, the issue of going to the refugees is actually our own creation but the fundamental here is we have a nation, the nation which we have to strive to take it out of insecurity,” said Gbudue state governor.

“The insecurity is created by South Sudanese people and South Sudanese people can remove themselves from the situation by themselves. We have taken this day seriously because it is the day we have our own identity as South Sudanese and our own problem we can solve it.”

Addressing the masses during the celebration on Tuesday, Maridi State acting Governor Samuel Bati called for political tolerance in order to achieve sustainable peace in the country.

“What is required from the people of South Sudan is a sense of political tolerance among all stakeholders of political parties in this country. ,” said the acting governor.

“In respective of their political affiliation to ensure that, people put the interest of this country first and the people of South Sudan so that people can be able to reconcile [and] forgive each other for the past mistakes in order to have sustainable peace in this country,” said Bati.

Meanwhile, Gogrial state thousands have turned up for the independence celebration today.

Deng Dimo, Eye Radio reporter said the public gathered at the stadium to mark the day.

“There are thousands of people that are matching to the stadium, citizens of Gogrial state have turn-out from their houses and shops are closed as people are just focusing on the celebration of 9 July in Kuajok,” said Deng Dimo

“There are jubilations, people are matching, students are singing, traditional leaders are singing and dancing. People are very happy because today marked the day South Sudan gain her independence from The North,” he added.

Meanwhile, the chairman of Internally Displaced Persons at POC 3 in Juba, Tap Lual said the IDPs also celebrated the day.

“This celebration of 9 July and we raised our flag. We wrote some petitions indicating that South Sudanese citizens in POC are now celebrating the 9 July,” said Mr. Lual.

“The message I want to send to South Sudanese is that people are expecting the revitalized peace to hail and now people have opened their eyes to see what is going to happen and I finally am going to convey the message of peace to the IDPs.”

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