July 30, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – The former vice-president, Riek Machar, who leads the SPLM in Opposition rebel faction, said Martyrs’ Day has reminded the people of South Sudan and their leadership of their obligations to uphold the ideals for which the nation’s heroes and heroines sacrificed their lives.
- South Sudan’s former vice-president turned rebel leader, Riek Machar (Photo: Philip Dhil/EPA)
In a press statement he issued on Wednesday a copy of which was sent to Sudan Tribune, Machar said his “resistance movement” saluted the martyrs and their families for their sacrifices which made it possible to achieve the country’s freedom and independence, saying their sacrifice must not be in vain.
Among them, he said, is late John Garang de Mabior, founder of the SPLM/SPLA in 1983 and first president of the former Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) in 2005.
Garang died in a mysterious circumstance when a Ugandan chopper carrying him crashed on 30 July 2005 while on his way back to South Sudan from Kampala.
The new country is on 30 July commemorating the countless martyrs who died in the course of the struggle over the decades.
However, Machar decried the state of affairs in the country, accusing president Salva Kiir of disrespecting and letting down the martyrs by failing to uphold the ideals for which they selflessly sacrificed their dear lives.
“The country is in a state of civil war consequence to the dictatorship erected by Salva Kiir Mayardit. We recall how in mid 2012 the grass-roots of the SPLM/SPLA cried out against loss of vision and direction in the country as a result of poor leadership provided by Salva Kiir Mayardit,” partly reads the statement.
“Our people, since the consummation of the CPA in 2005 have been yearning for a democratic, peaceful, just and prosperous South Sudan in which human rights and dignity of the people are respected and upheld,” he said.
Machar called on the people of South Sudan to stand up together and honour the memory of the heroes and heroines by reviving the vision of the ruling party (SPLM).