A SPEECH TO PAY HOMAGE ON THE PASSING ON OF UNCLE ELIABA JAMES SURUR
AS HE REPOSE IN STATE AT THE NATIONAL LEGISLATURE OF SOUTH SUDAN
THE NATIONAL LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY (NLA)
JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN
Date: 1 September 2014
Honourable Speaker, National Legislative Assembly,
Honourable Members of the National Legislative Assembly and the Council of States,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
All protocol observed.
Oct 8, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — On this sorrowful occasion of the sudden departure of our beloved national icon and freedom fighter, Late Honourable Eliaba James Surur; I would like to greet you all to share with us this historic moment.
On the behalf of the Late Eliaba Friends and Colleagues in our long struggle for freedom, I feel very much honoured to stand before you here today and say a few words to salute and bid a deserving farewell to this great hero.
I first met Late Eliaba Surur in Rumbek Secondary School in the late 1940s, but I came to know him better and strengthen our friendship during the years of the Anyanya One Liberation Movement. In 1964, the Late Eliaba was appointed as the Anyanya One Movement Representative in by then Zaire, the current Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) when I was by then the Movement Commander of Training in Morta base.
Late Eliaba was very instrumental in purchasing arms for the Movement from various sources. Due to these great achievements, soon after that, Late Eliaba was appointed as the District Commissioner for Central Equatoria Province based in Morta. It was here that we worked hard together with the Late to lay down clear principles and implement measures for the Anyanya One Movement to respect and win the hearts of the civil populations. This significantly transformed the Movement into a formidable grassroots Movement and made Morta to become the liberation Movement heart.
After the Addis Ababa Agreement, being a humble person as he was, Late Eliaba joined the civil service and assumed various capacities until 1975 when the Late went back to politics and became a member of the Regional Assembly. From here, Late Eliaba began to lay his nationalistic vision to see Southern Sudan as a free nation liberated completely from oppression of the successive regimes in Khartoum.
This struggle continued when the Late became a member of the National Assembly in Khartoum in 1986 and championing the cause of Southern Sudan. It was during this period when I was the Military Governor of Equatoria Region, we shared ideas, coordinated various political activities to ensure that we have a solid, united Southern Sudanese political base which later gave birth to the great USAP Alliance.
It was through the work of USAP Alliance that the struggle of the marginalized people of Southern Sudan who were inside the Government of Sudan controlled areas came to be known regionally and globally. The persistent political struggle of Late Eliaba as the leader of USAP to liberate our oppressed people almost cost him his dear life and also many of us. During this period, many of us endured a great deal suffering including imprisonment, torture and psychological trauma that affected the value of our lives today.
Today, our Hero, the historic icon and a freedom fighter has departed; but his vision, work and spirit to see South Sudan as a peaceful, united prosperous Nation is still with us. Unfortunately, this great vision has been severely shaken by numerous senseless bloody conflicts that is gradually destroying our beloved Country from within.
Dear Compatriots, for many of us who strongly believe in the vision and Ideals of Late Eliaba, we have come to the end of our long political struggle journey. But the challenge is for the young, our young politicians, to work hard and unite our people and build a strong Nation that is in harmony with itself.
Finally, I would like to end this remarks with a simple message: South Sudanese, stop, stop fighting among yourselves, stop killing your own people, remain united and build a peaceful Nation.
To the Family of Late Eliaba, I say do not mourn your great Late Father too much, but instead I want you to celebrate the great legacy he left for all of us. Remain strong, focused and become very successful like him.
Hon. Gen. Peter Yugussuk Cirillo Swaka
Juba, South Sudan.