Posts Tagged ‘July 9th 2011’

9th July, 2011 – Rebecca Fowler

South Sudanese celebrate Independence Day in Parramatta, Western Sydney NSW.

A happy Southerner showing off her flags.

Today i had the honour to stand alongside my Southern Sudanese friends in celebration of their Independence Day.  The mood was electric, over 2000 Southern Sudanese living in Western Sydney made the trek out to UWS Parramatta for their day of celebration. In attendance were Elders from the local Southern Sudanese Tribes, Honorable Local MP for Parramatta Julie Owens, SPLM Chapter and many local media and journalists. The day was filled with people coming and going, chanting “South Sudan Oyeee”. Dancing outside the UWS Audatorium starting and everyone seemed to get into the mood of celebration.

Australian Born friends of Southern Sudanese were also in attendance, and I also met an Arab man from Northern Sudan who had moved to Australia and was standing alongside his Southern Friends. I was able to have a great discussion with him and many others about their lives back home in Sudan and what the future now holds for not only Southern Sudan but the North as well. Many were happy to share their tales from the war, from being displaced and their journey to Australia.

A Southern Sudanese Woman raises her Flags in celebration

Many faces were happy, smiles were everywhere, but the deep concern over the next steps is always present. In each and every speech that was made, people were congratulated but also reminded of the challenges that now face Southern Sudan in their rebuilding, the first new steps of their newly elected government GOSS, solving volatile issues such as those in Abyei, South Kordofan and Nile State as well as Darfur and upholding Human Rights and Democracy for the people.  As President Salva Kiir Myardit said in his speech “to those in Darfur, Abyei, South Kordofan and Nile State, we have not forgotten you”, and I truly hope that the rest of the world stand alongside President Kiir Myardit in his words. Freedom may have been obtained for the South, but those area’s still under dispute are far from seeing Freedom and Peace.  This MUST remain the top priority for GOSS as well as ensuring democracy and human rights will be upheld.

In the last 2 years of working with some of these Men and Women i have seen that their Courage, Determination and Faith in God is inspirational. The atrocities these communities faced are some of the worst in recorded history, but yet they do not hold revenge in their hearts, they forgive, move forward and strive to ensure they have what every human deserves, Freedom. It is in true honor these people have fought for their freedom and dignity and i am so honored to be able to work along side some of the most remarkable and passionate people i have ever met.

A Toddler stands along side his SPLM Chapter holding his Southern Sudan Flag

Congratulations to the Republic of Southern Sudan, May God bless your fertile land with abundance, freedom and happiness.

For more pictures Click –> Freeuganda.

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