July 30, 2012 (BENTIU) - A large group of people marched in Unity state from Naivasha Green Park on Monday morning to the Bentiu independent stadium honouring South Sudan’s Martyrs Day.
- Unity state deputy governor addressed crowds during Martyrs Day in Bentiu, July 30, 2012 (Bonifacio Taban/ST)
The commemoration of 30 July came after the death of John Garang, the leader of former rebels Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), the political wing of which now rules South Sudan.
While addressing the crowd Unity state’s deputy governor Michael Chiengjiek Geay said they will build small memorial hospital’s within Jau, Kachkang and Rotriak to provide the SPLA with better services for their children.
Geay urged the people of South Sudan to avoid tribalism and that “this kind of language is the one pushing us backward in the 21 year civil war between the north”.
"All of our martyrs died or were wounded for our freedom. We need to pay a special tribute for our people who died in the Jau and Panthou clashes. Our people fought and died for our freedom. It would not be easy to pass through Mayom, Parieng and Abiemhnom if our army hadn’t offered their blood for the defense of the country," he added.
Peter Dak William a citizen from Bentiu, said that the 30 July is a very important day, because it is the time to remember South Sudan’s martyrs. He urged the people of South Sudan to come together and honor their dead on this special day.
Garang died in a helicopter crash soon after signing a peace agreement with Khartoum which paved the way for South Sudan’s independence in 2011. Garang’s widow recently said that her husband’s death had left South Sudan in a state of "confusion".