VOTE FOR PRESIDENT LT.GENERAL SALVA KIIR FOR SOUTH SUDAN NATION
Speech of H. E. Jemma Nunu Kumba, Governor of Western Equatoria State, on the occasion of the 5th Anniversary Celebration of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Yambio,
Western Equatoria State
Yambio, January 19th, 2010
Governor of WES Comrade Madam Jemma Nunu Kumba is delivering
her speech at the Fifth CPA Celebrations in Yambio
H.E. Field Marshal Omar Hassen Ahmad Al Bashir, President of the Republic of the Sudan.
H.E. Gen. Dr.. Salva Kiir Mayardit, 1st Vice President of the Republic of the Sudan and President of the Government of Southern Sudan.
Your Excellencies, Ministers and Advisors of GoNU, GOSS, and State
Your Excellencies Ambassadors and Consul Generals of various countires in Juba
Your Excellencies Foreign Ministers of Kenya and Uganda
Representatives of the UN system
Representatives of International NGOs
Ladies and gentlemen
“Greetings to you all in the name of Jesus and in the name of our Land the Sudan”
On behalf of the inhabitants of WES and specifically on behalf of the citizens of Yambio, permit me to welcome you all to the historic city of Yambio and to extend to you our traditional warm and courteous greetings and hospitality.
Indeed, it is a great privilege for me to have this rare opportunity to address this historic national gathering on a historic occasion such as this. We the people of Yambio, and indeed, of the entire WES, are greatly honoured to host this national occasion. Again, on their behalf, I would wish to extend a word of gratitude to the Government of Southern Sudan, under the able leadership of Comrade Dr. Salva Kiir Mayardit, for having selected Yambio as venue for the 5th anniversary of the CPA celebrations.
The CPA was signed on the 9th January 2005 in the Kenyan capital city, Nairobi, on one side by the Government of Sudan under the able leadership of H.E. Field Marshal Omar Hassen Ahmad Al Bashir, and on the other side by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement under the able leadership of Sudan’s greatest martyr and hero of all times, late Dr.. John Garang de Mabior. This agreement was witnessed by all the Sudanese people and the entire international community some of whom are here with us today in Yambio.
Mr. President, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
The CPA will go into history as the greatest achievement for national reconciliation and peaceful coexistence in Sudan and indeed contemporary Africa. For this is the first time during our 50 years of independence that Sudan’s political leadership finally realized the futility of the policies of previous oppressive sectarian rules and decided to conclude a genuine peace agreement in order to build a new Sudan based on the free will of its entire people. For this, our generation, and especially our current leadership, will be revered by the future generations of our country for many, many centuries to come.
Mr. President, Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
The people of Western Equatoria, like all Sudanese in the North, South, East and West of the country, cherish the idea of a free, just, democratic and peaceful Sudan, in which all citizens are equal before the law irrespective of race, sex, colour or creed. That is why, throughout the recent history of our country, the people of Western Equatoria have always been at the forefront of the struggle of our masses against colonial oppression and sectarian marginalization.
For example, King Gbudue, the greatest Azande king of the 19th Century, fought ferociously against European colonizers as well as against Arab slave raiders. Also, starting with the Nzara riots in August 1955, when textile workers at the Nzara Agricultural Scheme downed their tools and went on rampage against sectarian marginalization, Western Equatorians have played decisive roles in the people’s struggles including, the Anyanya 1rebellion (1955-1973) and in the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (1983-2005). It is against the background of the heroic deeds of the heroes and heroines of Western Equatorian origin that I take this opportunity, just to name a few of the most prominent sons and daughters of this state who, although have gone to their rest, are still remembered for the significant roles they played in the struggle of the Sudanese people for genuine freedom and justice in our country. These include:
- King Gbudue Yombi-yo, the greatest Zande king of all times.
- Ustaz Isbon Mundiri Gonja of Mundri
- Gen. Paul Ali Gbatalla of Maridi
- Ustaz Michael Tawil Ngamunde of Maridi
- Gen. Samuel Abujohn Kabashi of Nzara
- Gen. Richard Babiro of Tambura
- Gen. Dominic Dabi of Ezo
- Col. Costanzia Nako of Ezo
- Chief Samuel Ranzi Tambura of Tambura
- Captain Naomi Arona of Mundri
Mr. President, dear compatriots,
Western Equatoria heroes and heroines, alongside other Sudanese heroes and heroines of the South and other marginalised areas of Sudan top on the list Dr. John Garang Demabior, fought so that genuine peace, freedom and justice take root in the Sudan. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement marks the beginning of this era of peaceful coexistence in our great country. Following the footsteps of our heroes and heroines, we in Western Equatoria, pledge to defend the CPA, and to ensure that this historic agreement is implemented to the full, in letter and spirit. We will stand with all peace loving Sudanese, friends in the region and beyond to guarantee that the CPA is never dishonoured in any way whatsoever. For this reason, we urge our leaders to expeditiously implement all remaining protocols and provisions of the CPA.
Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen,
The era of peace brought about by the CPA was supposed to bring about another era of development and prosperity in the marginalized areas in the Sudan. However, although some success stories have been scored since 2005 in the areas of essential service provision, a lot still remains to be done in Western Equatoria. This has been due to the inadequacy of available inputs. With the little donor funding that has been received by the WES government, and the limited financial transfers from the Government of Southern Sudan, we have been able in the last two years to resume provision of some limited basic services all over the state, such as health and education. We have also started rehabilitation of essential infrastructure including major trunk roads, schools, water facilities, health facilities, law enforcement and judicial facilities, to mention but a few. The private sector is picking up all over the state and the government is doing a lot to assist the process. Signs of progress can now be seen in most of our towns. A commercial bank, the KCB, will be opening in Yambio this month, in addition to the NCB. This will boost the activities of the private sector in the State.
However, we still have a long way to go by way of services provision. Preventable diseases still abound in Western Equatoria. Child mortality rates and peri-natal maternal mortalities in this state are the highest in Sudan. The forgotten sleeping sickness, transmitted by the tsetse flies, still remains a menace. Water-borne diseases are also a common occurrence, especially among the vulnerable tender age children due to inadequate safe drinking water. Most schools in this state remain in ruins while hospitals and health centres lack personnel and medical equipments.
Our agricultural sector, being the key sector for this state is still underdeveloped. In particular, the citizens of WES are asking H.E. the President of the Republic to decree the establishment of an Agricultural University in Yambio as well as the revival of the Agricultural Research Station. These two institutions are vital to provide backup services for agricultural development, which is the backbone of the economy of this state. As always emphasised by our late Hero Dr. John Garang De mabior, “our oil revenue should be used to fuel our agricultural sector as the engine of our economy”. For the same reason, Western Equatorians are asking for the revival of Nzara Agro-Complex. The Nzara Agricultural Scheme, used to process finished goods from locally produced agricultural products.
In fact, Mr. President, Ladies and gentlemen, if you just look around Yambio, you will see forests of mango trees blossoming with flowers. This indicates that trillions of mango fruits will be produced this year all over Western Equatoria. Less than one percent of the trillions of mango fruits will be consumed by us. The rest will simply rot and go to waste. This kind of thing recurs on a yearly basis in this state. We appeal to the Government of National Unity, the GOSS and to the private sector to put up a fruit factory in WES that would process and preserve mangoes and other tropical fruits that abound in WES for export to other parts of the Sudan where there is scarcity of fruits.
Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen,
At this juncture, I am sorry to inform you that, since 2006, normal life in Western Equatoria has been greatly disrupted by the Lord’s Resistance Army foreign bandits. Today huge numbers of our citizens are displaced from their villages. They live in makeshift shelters and depend on small handouts from the International Community. The LRA, and to a lesser extent their allies the Ambororo nomadic pastoralists, have killed hundreds of our people and abducted many more. What is disturbing is that neither the Sudan Government nor the UN systems treat the LRA menace as a grave problem. UNMIS which is mandated to provide for civilian protection during the interim period has not done enough to address the atrocities committed by the LRA in WES, even though the UNMIS garrison in Yambio has itself come under LRA fire a number of times in 2006/7 respectively. The current UNMIS mandate of CPA observation does not fit with the current LRA related security situation in WES, hence requires review. Likewise, the African Union (AU) Security Council and the IGAD do not even bother about this problem. In fact nowhere in the world has it happened that a band of ruthless bloodthirsty bandits, with no clear political objective for their country, control huge territories across other independent countries, and are allowed to do so with impunity! Mr. President, we in Western Equatoria demand that the Sudan Government, the UN, AU and IGAD systems and the International Community put an end to Kony and his LRA rebels and immediately bring them to book. There is no doubt that, the insecurity caused by the LRA has a direct effect on the implementation of the CPA in this state in terms of reconstruction, rehabilitation, reintegration and the over all socio-economic recovery programm in WES.
Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
As the first and only female governor in the Sudan in the post-CPA era, I would not end my speech without re-emphasizing the concern of the Sudanese woman. To start with, allow me to raise a thumbs-up to the SPLM for having rekindled women empowerment through its famous policy of 25% women representation in all institutions of governance. We also applaud the NCP and other political forces in the country that have adhered to this policy. For this reason, I urge all political parties contesting the forthcoming general elections to ensure that at least 25% women representation is achieved in the subsequent legislative bodies in all levels of government at states, Southern Sudan and National Unity levels. Adoption of the 25% policy is a giant step forward for womankind in the Sudan. From this position, women all over the country will aim higher for parity with their men in the governance of our country. If women’s rights and concerns are to be adequately addressed, women must be part of the processes by which the governing laws and regulations are enacted and executed.
Mr. President and dear compatriots,
The best way to promote women’s welfare and empowerment is to consolidate peace in the country. In every conflict situation, women are the ones who bear the brunt of the war-related atrocities committed. Let me assure you that no woman rejoices when she hears of sexual assaults and humiliations committed against any other woman anywhere in the world. On the contrary news of such atrocities cause pain and shame in the heart of every woman, especially so when this is done within our country by perpetrators who are our compatriots. On behalf of all Sudanese women therefore, I would wish to urge the NCP, the SPLM, and all political forces in the Sudan, to safeguard and protect the peace brought about to us by the CPA. This is the only way to ensure that the country does not return to war and put the dignity of our women back in jeopardy. In the same vain, we also call for a speedy end to the conflict in Darfur, so that the suffering of our sisters in that part of our beloved country may be brought to an end.
Mr. President, dear compatriots,
The people of WES are grateful to the GOSS and the USAID, and other donor teams for providing funding for the construction of some of the truck roads of WES including the internal roads in Yambio as part of the preparations for the CPA celebration. The intention was to asphalt 16 km of some of the key internal roads in Yambio city. However, due to the current global economic downturn and the delay from the GoNU to release its contribution for this CPA celebration, the work is only half way done with 60% of the budget contribution from GOSS. The people of WES Mr. President are eagerly waiting for the GoNU contribution of the remaining 40% of the CPA celebrations budget, to enable the completion of Yambio internal roads and the improvement of the Nzara and Yambio airstrips so as to reduce the dust as witnessed during your arrival.
I would like to acknowledge the support and contributions of other players towards this celebration, among whom are the UNMIS engineering work on some facilities in Yambio, Kirnyaga Co, EYAT Co and Civicon Co. and all those that have supported this event. I comment all the contractors, Prisim, Astroid, Sudan Logistics who have done credible work on some of the key CPA projects in record time; the Stadium, VIP Guest House, Presidential Villa, and the water projects. In fact all what you see here were done within a period of two and half months. I also want to acknowledge the hard work of the GOSS High Committee for National Celebrations and the GOSS and State Technical Committees for these celebrations and indeed the entire people of WES for their tireless effort to make this event a success. I cannot forget to acknowledge the great effort of our forces, the SPLA, the ally forces, our organised forces, the community and the youth, for their tireless effort to provide security in the state that has enable us have a peaceful celebration in Yambio.
With these Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, once again you are all welcome to Yambio. We hope that H.E. the President of the Republic, the First Vice President and the President of GOSS and other dignitaries will spare a little more time and stay with us and to visit the historic Nzara Agricultural Scheme which is just a few Kms west of here as well as the Maridi Dam and water treatment plant project in Maridi, the first and only GoNU/GOSS co- funded project in WES before their return journeys to Khartoum or elsewhere. For the rest of you, feel free to stay longer with us after these celebrations so that you can see for yourselves the great potential in WES for profitable investment. However those of you who might chose to leave immediately, don’t forget to come back in the not too distant a future. Now that we have a stadium of this quality, WES and its people will be ready to host any future national or regional events including the annual states football competition.
Thank you and wish you all a wonderful stay and CPA anniversary celebrations in Yambio
Long live the Sudanese people
Long live the CPA
Long live H.E. President Omar Hassen Ahmed Al Bashir
Long live H.E. 1st Vice President Salva Kiir Mayardit
Long live WES