South Sudan Independence Celebration Stood in Limbo After Juba Massacre

By Lul Gakuoth Gatluak,

Two masses graves found by the Human rights group to contain the bodies of the Nuer Ethnic massacred in the capital city by the presidential guards (photo: file)

Two masses graves found by the Human rights group to contain the bodies of the Nuer Ethnic massacred in the capital city by the presidential guards (photo: file)

July 8, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — Since the war broke out nearly two years ago in South Sudan, majority of South Sudanese began to have mixed feelings when it comes to July 9th celebration. Those who support Salva Kiir euphorically walk on streets both at home and abroad to celebrate and those who aligned with the opposition, find it hard to celebrate. Among South Sudanese who are filled with bitterness, are Nuer ethnic group who have been saddened by the selective massacres of their compatriots in Juba in 2013 and followed elsewhere to date.

Sometimes, it feels like our independence hasn’t been completed, given that the freedom our forbearers took up army for, has been mishandled. However, we need to value the blood of our mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters who gave it their all.

While writing this message, I thought about our heroes and heroines who paid the ultimate price so that July 9, must be a glorious day.

I thought about 2.2 million: mostly South Sudanese people, who perish as the result of the struggle for South Sudan freedom. I thought about all men, women and children who lost limbs during the revolutionary war. I thought about all widows and widowers who lost loved ones and live painful life after their partners had been killed or died as the result of hunger or disease. And finally, I thought about all orphanages who lost their parents and grew up without knowing their biological fathers and mothers; all they hear is that “you resemble your dad or mom” from those who knew the parents when they were alive.

We all know it was rare to keep pictorial images of the parents to view because during the war, it was impossible for majority of people to carry cameras that could help them take pictures. Majority of people have no, other important documents like identification cards, school certificates and/or passports. For those who try to keep family-photo albums, if a town, village or camp you live in is attacked by the enemy at night, you don’t have a moment to pack your valuable belongings—-all you do is just run to save your life.

If you try to come back after an attack had ended and the enemy had retreated, you will only find burning aches given the fact that all properties had already been set on fire.

The struggle for South Sudan freedom has been a long coming. The war has decimated and affected each and every-family in one way or the other. Many families are now living without complete family they used to have, due to the fact that, some family members have died and others ran away during the war. Many South Sudanese people are limbless; living a disability life. That would make it harder for us to fight among ourselves.

However, the country had already been plunged on fire. Let owe July 9th to all fallen heroes, heroines, as well as disables, widows, widowers and orphanage.  And then, the full democratic free South Sudan will be owed to current heroes and heroines who are fighting for realization of “Federal Democratic Republic of South Sudan.”

The author,Lul Gatkuoth Gatluak, can be reached at

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