Dear fellow citizens of South Sudan,
I address you today to elaborate on some facts as the Interim Chairman and Commander-In-Chief of the South Sudan United Front /Army (SSUF/A).
When I co-founded the South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A) in April 2018, it was established on the principles of nationhood, justice, liberty, mutual respect and freedom for all; and overall, to contribute to the prosperity of our nation, where we the people of South Sudan would play equitable roles in the Nation Building process. These are principles and values that have been so fatally missing in our country since the death of our leader Dr. John Garang De Mabior, the former Chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, in July 2005.
The late Dr. John Garang led us during that hard time of liberation, but that did not deter him from being proactive and all rounded. He was a strong advocate for youth in the leadership of their country. In this regard, he even coined the phrase “Seeds of the Nation”.
For far too long, we, the youth of South Sudan, have been undermined and prevented from taking part in the political, economic and military decision-making processes of the future of our country. We have been manipulated to fight and kill each other; and all in the name of others which are our elders. Tragically, the inherent respect that we have been told to have for our elders, has been abused and weaponized against its very own – who are the majority of the population of our country – the young people.
It is for this reason that we must rise above this status (fighting for the elderly) which others have created for us. We have to define our own path; not by trampling on the said elders, but by telling them that we now deserve to be at the forefront too, just as they were 40 and 50 years ago. We can succeed in this if we come together and champion for our space and rights; and shun the tribalism that we have been conditioned to cram and pass on to our younger generations. We are one nation and thus, must have one focus. The hurdles will be overcome through the principle of discernment.
I shall not go into details here regarding what has transpired within SSUF/A as an organization, the time and occasion for that shall come, but I shall just say this now; it is time for all of the youth of South Sudan – regardless of ethnicity, religion and socioeconomic background, to be given a genuine and transparently open platform for them to freely be able to voice exactly what they want to happen with regards to the future of their country.
It is time for the “Seeds of the Nation” to be genuinely heard by everyone. It is time for the youth of South Sudan to have a powerful voice in the affairs of their nation; and therefore, they must be allowed to contribute positively now politically, economically and militarily, and in all sectors of life because they are an integral part of the newest nation. It is time for the youth of South Sudan to bring about that durable peace and change that their political and military elites have been unable to bring about for so long.
As one of the co-founders of the South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A), and now its Interim Chairman, and who represented with dignity and diligence the same organization during the establishment of the South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA) – and who has never deviated from the values and principles under which these organizations were established – I urge the Community of Sant’Egidio to permit the SSUF/A to attend the upcoming peace talks with the government of South Sudan in Rome, Italy. It is time for the youth of South Sudan to have a say in bringing about peace and stability within their very own land.
God Bless the South Sudan United Front.
God Bless South Sudan.
Dr. Emmanuel Sunday de John.