Hope for a better future

The people of South Sudan have spoken clearly. They have voted for freedom, equality, justice and democracy. They have voted for the fulfilment of the ideals of our struggle. The official result of the referendum which indicates that 98.83% of the southern Sudanese voted for independence demonstrates that the people have chosen the path of permanent peace, human dignity and nationhood.


This vote is a fitting honour to the fallen heroes of liberation, among them Dr. John Garang de Mabior. Through this vote, the people have shown that these heroes did not fall in vain. They laid down their lives so that we may live as free men and women. Their memories shall live forever in our hearts and minds.


By this referendum we have ended one struggle and must now start a new one, that of nation building. We must consolidate our institutions and begin to play a major role in the region and among the community of nations. From now henceforth, we must protect this new nation and ensure that we do not end up in the same situation which we fought against. Never again shall the people of southern Sudan be oppressed for their political outlook. Never again shall the people of southern Sudan be discriminated on account of race or religion.

 


In addition to the preparations for the transitional period, we do have a number of priorities to attend to. These include addressing the outstanding CPA issues, notably the Abyei Protocol and the North-South border demarcation; reaching agreement on post-referendum issues; addressing the security and economic challenges; and working to meet the huge expectations of our people.


Managing the high expectations of our people requires us to concentrate our energies on rural transformation; education, training and scientific research; healthcare provision; physical infrastructure development; delivering quality public service; peace, security and the rule of law; mainstreaming of women and youth issues; reconciliation; meeting the needs of the war veterans, heroes, heroines and victims; nurturing integrity in the public service; protection of the environment; and cultivating national unity.


We have fought and made enormous sacrifices for the freedom of our nation. In the field, we stood together as comrades in arms. Now we must stand steadfastly together as good citizens and focus on the task of nation building which cannot wait.


Now we can also allow ourselves to dream. We dream of South Sudan where children go to school without fear of air bombardments. We dream of South Sudan where every house is served with electricity and water. We dream of South Sudan where everybody has access to healthcare. We dream of South Sudan where every family has enough food on the table. We dream of South Sudan where all our sons and daughters live in brotherhood and sisterhood. We dream of South Sudan where we live at peace with our neighbours and the world. This is our dream and our task is to make it happen. Our purpose is to give to our children what the war took away from us: peace; rule of law, food, security, healthcare, good education, running clean water, electric power and opportunity to pursue happiness and prosperity. We must all work to give our children this hope and future.


Excerpts from the speech delivered by GOSS President Salva Kiir Mayardit during the release of the referendum results on 7 February 2011 in Khartoum.