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Museveni honours birth of South Sudan – posted by

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Sunday, 10th July, 2011

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South Sudanese President Salva Kiir (right) receives President Museveni and his wife Janet at Juba Airport
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir (right) receives President Museveni and his wife Janet at Juba Airport

By Vision Reporter

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has paid tribute to the late Dr. John Garang de Mabior.

Museveni and the First Lady, Janet Museveni, were among over 20 Heads of State and Government who attended the Independence Day celebrations of the new nation of South Sudan on Saturday.

The ceremony was held at the Dr. John Garang mausoleum in the capital city, Juba.

The independence follows a referendum for secession early this year in which South Sudanese voted overwhelmingly for cessation at 98.4%.

It comes six years after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005 in Kenya.

According to a State House press statement, President Museveni visited Garang’s resting place at the mausoleum before the celebrations started.

Museveni was accompanied by state minister for foreign affairs Henry Okello Oryem, Chief of Defence Forces Aronda Nyakairima and the commander of land forces, Gen. Katumba Wamala

Other prominent guests included Presidents Omar el Bashir (Sudan), Jacob Zuma (South Africa), Mwai Kibaki (Kenya) as well as representatives from the European Union, Britain, and the US.

A 21 gun salute and signing of a constitution were the highlights of the colourful ceremony.

The British government immediately announced the opening of their embassy in Juba the same day.

In his maiden speech, President Salva Kiir made a passionate call to the detractors to change.

“I declare a public amnesty to all those who have taken up arms against us to put down those arms and help us build our new nation,” Kiir said.

He said the challenges facing South Sudan such as corruption and poverty would be tackled, but urged the citizens to understand the limitations of the new nation in face of great expectations.

President Kiir promised to equip nationals with skills through education and capacity building, effective service delivery.

He also promised strong and effective civil service as well as protection, peace, security and rule of law.

Kiir pledged to support Darfur, Abyei and Blue Nile regions.

He called on leaders in Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia to resolve the conflicts in their areas in order to forge a consolidated peaceful environment in the region.

Sudanese president Omar el Bashir promised to co-exist peacefully with South Sudan and congratulated President Kiir on this achievement.

President Mwai also paid tribute to Dr. Garang and other fallen heroes for their sacrifice. He urged the South Sudanese to work hard to build their nation and co-exist peacefully.

The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, called on the international community to help South Sudan promote democracy, build capacity of the nationals and boost security.

The chairman of the Africa Union and president of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, congratulated President Kiir and promised to help the nation join the African Union.

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